Friday August 18th
Our trip to see the eclipse started immediately after school that Friday when we picked up Tina.
On our way to Nashville, we passed Waco. The city is situated along the Brazos River and the 22nd most populous city in the state (data from 2010). Baylor University is also located in beautiful Waco. It is a private Baptist university and the oldest continuously-operating in Texas. It has a 1,000 acre campus and is therefore considered the largest Baptist university campus in the world!
We needed gas so we stopped at Buc-ee’s in Temple. It was the first time I had ever entered the Texas based convenience store and I was stunned by how huge it was. You can buy anything you think of: all kinds of food and beverages, (cook)books, cast iron skillets, clothing, signs, plush toys, cowboy hats, fishing/hunting gear, keychains, Texas souvenirs, jewelry, gas (ranging from 80 till 120 fuel pumps!) literally anything you could ask for. No 18 wheelers are allowed, though. The store in New Braunfels was named the 2012 “Best restroom in America”. This is also the largest convenience store in the world: it features 120 fuel pumps, 83 (!) toilets, 31 cash registers and 80 fountain dispensers! Their advertising is simple and humorous and goes like this: “The top 2 reasons to stop at Buc-ee’s: #1 and #2” or “Don’t worry, P happy”. If you’d like to read more about Buc-ee’s, visit the link here.
It was quite busy on the road and I wondered if it was because of the eclipse. Philippe thought it was just because the weekend started.
We finally arrived at our hotel in Rockwall (North-East of Dallas). It was located near Lake Hubbard Reservoir. Because of its location in a densely populated area, the (fresh water) lake is crossed by several bridges. The most significant being Interstate 30 with 6 lanes on a 2.9 mile (4,7 km) causeway!