“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”
― A.A. Milne
From my old online journal The Daily Epiphany – Wednesday, November 28, 2001
Corpus Christi is the home for Whataburger, the chain of fast-food hamburger joints.
I first ate at one in 1979, in Harlingen, Texas, when my brother and I drove from Kansas to South Padre Island for his spring break. We were spending the night is some bizzaro motel (the chains along the freeway being full, but giving us directions to a more out-of-the way place of lodging) that sported small lizards living in the showers and some man making enormous noise apparently puking in the room next door. Not knowing our way around, we simply drove ’til we found the first place to eat – a typical orange-and-white, A-frame Whataburger.
I remember having a damn good burger (such as it was).
Of course, in the decades since actually moving to and living in the Lone Star State, eating at Whataburger has become commonplace. Their food is old-fashioned and superior to the more national chains (such as it is).
The first night in Corpus Christi, Candy and Nick went out to eat with some teammates, but Lee didn’t want to go. He and I decided to simply walk out of the hotel and look for something to eat on foot.
We walked a few blocks, working our way through the dark streets of downtown Corpus Christi. Lee and I cruised past several seafood joints, a handful of Mexican places, and some bars with loud music pumping out through the smoke and florescent lights.
It wasn’t long before we saw the familiar orange and white A-frame of a Whataburger – and that’s where Lee wanted to eat. It wasn’t any old Whataburger, though, it was the company flagship, a super-delux eating establishment.
Two stories high, with a generous outdoor terrace overlooking the gulf, waiters to bring food to your table (though you still ordered at the counter – they gave out a little plastic number) and even tableside ketchup service (and Whataburger serves Fancy Ketchup).
Lee loved the place. Especially cool was the fact that a clot of teenagers with skateboards was grinding on the metal railing across the street. Lee grinned wide, especially when they’d let out a periodic string of obscenities.
It was nice, Lee and I, sitting out on the terrace, eating our burgers, chatting about the events of the day, enjoying the flawless weather and sweet ocean breezes.
Now that’s the only place Lee will eat. We went back for breakfast every day, and walked over every evening. It’s good when you’re nine to have your own restaurant – your hangout