Dec 2, 2010

The Time I Made My Family Drive Six Hours for a Cheeseburger

That title makes me sound a little demanding. I'm really not very demanding. But when I'm in the mood for a good ol' Whataburger, I'm not gonna let a little thing like distance get in the way.

Have you ever had a favorite something that you would really go out of your way to get to...even if it meant dragging your whole family down with you?

I was born and raised in South Texas. Whataburger and I share the same hometown, which means that where I grew up, there are more Whataburgers than fleas on a dog.

Bad analogy.

Let's say: there are more Whataburgers than fries in a Whata-size.

Better analogy.

My point: I ate a lot of Whataburger. Number 7 with cheese, please. All the way. Unless it's time for breakfast, in which case I'd like a Bob: Breakfast on a Bun.

The closest Whataburger to where we live now is in Birmingham, Alabama. I live in Georgia. There are Whataburgers in Alabama and Florida, but somehow the WB family has neglected the state of Georgia. Believe me, I have sent many a-complaint to WB Headquarters.

So when my birthday rolled around in September, I decided I wanted that Number spite of the three hour one-way drive.

Well it was my birthday; I wasn't about to go alone.

DH was all for it, because he loves the WB as much as I do. And my boys are always up for a road trip, so we set out on the interstate in want of a great burger and fries.

The trouble was that I had no idea what else we'd do while we were in Birmingham. But I figured there had to be some antique stores or something that I could torture my all-male family with, so I was content with that.

However, it's not like me to go somewhere and not have some kind of an idea, so I did a little research first. I found an old bookstore in downtown Birmingham called Jim Reed Books and The Museum of Fond Memories. (Sidebar: when the owner answers the phone, he says, "Reed Books...." I thought that was worth posting.)

The quote at the top of his website was a review of the store:

"To call Reed Books an 'old bookstore' is a bit like saying the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel has a good paint job." -- Allen Johnson Jr., author

As a lover of just about all things old, and especially old books, I just had to go there.

I was not disappointed...about the Whataburger or the book store.

We found the Whataburger first as it was just about lunch time and we were all starving.

This was the lovely lady who greeted us at the counter. She knew something was up when I walked in with my Nikon 35 mm camera taking pictures. I never saw her without that sweet smile on her face. She just about made my day, and I think we might have improved her day, too. She could not get over the fact that we had just driven in from North of Atlanta just for Whataburger.

We ate our wonderful, hot, delicious lunch and laughed with the staff and the other customers in the restaurant, who were as sweet as pie. And to prove it, that wonderful lady gave us all free fried pies before we left, just because we came all the way there just to see them. It was a treat well worth waiting for.

Here's Mini me after our meal, a.k.a. Les Miserables.

We made our way back on the road to look for this bookstore I had read about, and it revealed itself about 20 minutes later. Getting out of our truck parked on the curb in front of the store, I could hardly contain myself. There were squeals and claps and beaming smiles oozing from my being. I hadn't even entered the store yet.

We finally got past the storefront, which was interesting in and of itself, and much to my amazement we opened the door to this.

Immediately to the left of me just inside the door was this.

We didn't need to find any other antique store; this was going to suit my purpose juuuuuust fine.

We spent three hours in this one store, and I didn't even get to see everything. What's even more amazing than that is the fact that in three hours, my three boys didn't even get bored! Well, maybe a little at the end, but I'm telling you there was something for everybody in this place. Mini me got a couple of Star Wars books, Lil bit got a cheap plastic hero mask from the 1970's (huh?) and I got a coupla things for my birthday, too.

This glorious cabinet housed books that Mr. Reed kept locked away until someone asked to see them. They were either extremely rare, extremely old, or otherwise extremely expensive. In his acute discernment, he sensed my quivering excitement and pulled a book out of this cabinet that was no less than 450 years old and let me flip through it.

I was dumbfounded.

So much so that I forgot to take a picture of it before he put it back in the cabinet. :-/

Once we left antiquity paradise on earth, can you guess where we stopped before going home?

We had to eat dinner, didn't we?


Merrie said...

LOVE it! We have so much in common besides our love of Jesus! So happy you had a wonderful birthday enjoyed by the entire family. Blessings!

DidiLyn said...

My goodness.
Clearly, besides being bloggy friends, we could be RL friends.
I would totally drive 3 hours for my favorite burger and then spend the day at a bookstore. That would be Happy Birthday to me!
And that store! Seriously, that looked awesome!

{Jodie} said...

I love your family as if I knew them all! I LOVE that you made that trip just for food and I laughed out loud at your Les Mis reference toward your overly stuffed son! :) Hahahah! Oh you make me laugh! You're so clever and so much fun! Two of my favorite things, which makes you number 1 on my list. :)

Oh my gosh and that old stack of books with no jackets, made my heart palpitate fiercely! Like a lion chasing a gazelle! What a great place!

So happy you're blogging again. I MISSED you!

Ronda said...

Oh my! I loved the story, the pictures, and I distinctly remember the day. I saw you posted that you were going to WB so I went to the one in CC town and enjoyed myself a #7 with cheese and mayo (no mustard). Yummm! Wish I could have gone to that store with you - would have spent much more time there!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Chel, that sounds like a PERFECT birthday outing!! LOL! I would drive three miles for a BOB!! That is my all time favorite "comfort" breakfast, with a Diet Coke! When I was working long hours rehabing the Old Girls (my OLD historic multifamily buildings) and feelinga a little sorry for myself, I would decide to head to the WB on my to work... the BOB and DC immediately lifted my spirits and got me on to a productive day! Yay for WB!

Diana said...

Well, of course, being here in Texas I can get to Whataburger within 20 mins. Not to rub it in or anything.....

Glad you had a great birthday.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

First time to visit and I was just laughing...I am in Texas and I remember when the first Whataburger was built in my town...Dad loved them and we could have one, without cheese and not frys...there were four kids and cheese was 10cents extra.
I, too, get the need for a Whatburger...but it is just 2 miles away.
I will however drive any length for a memory.
Your book store looked wonderful
Enjoyed...glad you had such a wonderful birthday!

bensrib said...

Chel, You need to go check out the "31 Days to a Better Photo" series by Darcy at I went through it with her shortly after I got my camera and it was more help than a thousand books. You won't believe how much fun you'll have playing with and learning about your camera!

PaisleyJade said...

You are CRAZY - and sounds just like something I'd make my family do!! :)

Angela said...

Is a month later too late to wish you a Happy Birthday? =) Glad it was so great. It looks like you all had a wonderful day. I have actually never had Whataburger. May have to remedy that soon!