Finally – A Truly Accessible Room Beyond ADA Minimums & I Go To Buc-ee’s

Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 23409 – 1194

Dear Readers,

As I’ve mentioned before, a lot goes on around here these days and even though I have subject matter I have to find time to type it all up. Today’s post is the last about Mrs. Herb’s trip to the Ladies’ Retreat.

Here’s The Haps:

I told you what the highlight of our trip was but the actual reason we went to Houston at all was for a Ladies’ Retreat, which my wife enjoyed very much. Okay, the actual town name was Highlands, Texas but when I look at a map and see a big gray blob that says “HOUSTON” on it and your town, Highlands, Baywater, or whatever is part of that, it’s all the same to me. This is a trait I have that aggravates people from Denver as well. Yes, there’s Aurora and Lakewood and Littleton, et al. but to me, it’s all the same. It’s all Denver to me. And I hate driving in large cities. Anywhere. Even in Texas, where I think all the nicest people are. Colorado Springs is even getting to be as bad as any of them to drive in anymore.

Anyway, my wife did have a good, uplifting time at the retreat and I relaxed and lay around readin’ and ‘ritin’. No ‘rithmatic for me, though, just relaxin’. Oh, there are many things to do in Houston but I just wasn’t up to doing them by myself. I like having my wife with me to enjoy the cool stuff. Plus, driving in that town was pretty awful. If we have the opportunity to go next year we will likely take in more sites there.

When we go places we have to consider Mrs. Herb’s health and TNT’s if she goes with us. I have learned to start requesting “Accessible” rooms whenever I book a place. Accessibility means different things to different places and we have been to some that seemed totally clueless as to what that request meant. Some of the Mom and Pop places don’t even meet the minimum standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act let alone go above and beyond.

One chain that we are consistently fortunate to have used is Marriott Bonvoy Hotels. We stayed at the Springhill Suites (a Marriott brand) in Houston(Baytown) and were amazed at how much room there was. You really could maneuver a wheelchair or walker with ease and comfort. The spaces in the room were plenty wide enough and the bathrooms were outfitted with properly installed bars at the correct angles, a handheld shower hose (that was long enough) with a multi-faceted head, and a built-in bench. And the staff were consistently pleasant and responsive.

I took some pictures but they weren’t much to show really. Except for this really cool tie rack that could hang several ties at once. It can also double as a coat rack as well:


One of the highlights of Houston for me was the super-duper, gigantumongous, Texas-sized, colossal gas station/convenience store/food stand/souvenir shop called Buc-ee’s. Whether you are looking for Texas-centric (and/or Buc-ee’s-centric) tchotchkes, something to eat, something to snack on, sporting goods, grills and smokers, getting gas at one of the over 100 pumps, or even just needing an incredibly, almost immaculately clean restroom, this is your stop. The spirit of customer service is palpable and management is constantly monitoring the food freshness, bathroom cleanliness, and customer serviceness.

I will admit that I was skeptical of the hype when family and friends all told me this was something to see, but I am now a convert. The restrooms are really that clean which, for a travel stop is no mean feat and says a lot about the place. As I exited the restroom I heard a chant from the center of the store, “Fresh, hot brisket on board!” I had the XXL Brisket Sandwich and it was some of the best I ever had. The pulled pork was really good, too. I felt like the place lived up to its hype and I can’t wait for them to open the one in Johnstown, Colorado because we go up there on occasion for the dinner theater. And now, Buc-ee’s.

Okay, so there was one product that made me laugh and shake my head and that was this:

Since before we were married our families have always saved the bacon grease after frying bacon; a thing we never stopped. I don’t remember too many times when we didn’t have some unless we were too poor to buy bacon. Mrs. Herb or TNT (or even I) fry up the bacon in a cast iron skillet and when we’re done we (usually relegated to me) pour it into a container that already has some in it. I thought this was just something everybody does as a natural thing but apparently not.

So that winds up this adventure. Our trip back could have been more adventurous but I needed to get the rental car home before it turned into a pumpkin so we skipped some stuff but we plan to go back.


  1. Herb, it sounds like an exciting trip. You have been baptized by Buc-ee’s. Every time Momo and I stop at one, a bathroom break cost us $50.00 in food and merchandise. We lived in Galveston for a while, so I am familiar with the Mad Max traffic in Houston. We stay at Drury Inn when we travel and it’s very much like the one you described: clean, large rooms, nice tie rack, free breakfast and supper and free adult beverages. Let me know when you come back to Texas: I’ll meet y’all at Buc-ee’s.

    • Almost seven bucks for less than a pound! As for ties, well, I didn’t know if i would need any or not. Turns out I didn’t this trip.

  2. Well, thank you, Herb. This post caused me to LOL more than once; and I had to turn my laptop around to show my wife and son the pic of the tie rack. They cracked up, too. Great stuff, Bro! Also, I second Phil’s offer – next time you are in Texas let me know – I’ll meet ya for some BBQ. ~Ed.

  3. Last spring, I traveled to Galveston on a girls’ trip, stopping in Little Rock first to pick up my cousin and visit with her family. Her grown son very seriously told us we just HAD to stop at a Buc-cee’s, which 3 of 4 of us had never experienced. I, too, was skeptical, but he was not wrong.

  4. I keep hearing about Buckee’s, and now I really want to visit one. Which will require a trip. Anyplace that sells bacon fat is OK by me!

    I feel sorry for people who have to design or maintain “accessible” bathrooms. There is an almost infinite number of disabilities, and what is accessible for one person is quite inaccessible for another. You could almost say that the usefulness of one accessible bathroom over another is a crap shoot.

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