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936.581.3334 booking@historictoursoftexas.com

The joys of air conditioning

As we slip into September, we can’t help dreaming of the delights of cooler air. We long for the day when that first cool breeze of Fall touches our cheek. Not quite yet, but soon.

Two weeks ago, the loyal members of my Sunday School class decided to brave the elements (in this case 100 degree heat) and load up on the Joye Mobile to visit the Bryan Museum in Galveston. I thought the air conditioning on the van was working, I truly did. Or perhaps I didn’t. The leather seats felt hot to the touch and even the Dance Pole could have served to iron clothes.  

Fan in the bus

Hoping to cool the interior down and drop the temperature of the seats to a more comfortable coolness, I had one of those 2 a.m. inspirations. Ice. Buy bags of ice and pack the interior with ice. Knowing the ice would melt, I would have to put down plastic tarps to keep the seats from getting soaked.

Cooler heads did not prevail. I was desperate to cool the cushioned black leather seats. The day before the tour, I invested in 40 bags of ice and packed it onto those famous blue FEMA tarps with which I had covered the seats. Much later, Adolf from Texas Bus Sales asked why I hadn’t gotten those plastic swimming pools from Walmart and packed the Ice in that. To be honest, I hadn’t really thought the whole concept through.

By dawn, I rousted out to see what my idea had wrought. Sure enough. Wet. Much of the ice had melted and the plastic bags had not retained the dripping water. The tarps were awash. I threw dripping bags of melt out onto the driveway, some of it still ice. I carefully gathered up the edges of the tarps, trying to trap the water. As I dragged the puddles and ponds and lakes of water in the tarps out of the bus, the now quite cool liquid didn’t stay in the tarps. The ice water flowed freely out onto the leather seats, the parquet floor, around the dance pole, and down the steps. I ran to gather every towel we had. It took nearly twenty towels to sop up the wet, all of which I left piled on the driveway for hubby to put in the dryer. But, by George, the seats were cool.

The tepid air blowing from the vents kept the van cool part way to Galveston. At the first stop (there are always potty breaks, since we are, after all, a trifle elderly), I decided ice was still the way to go. I hadn’t learned my lesson. Ten bags of ice packed around the top of the seats might keep the passengers cool. Fifteen rolls of Bounty paper towels would sop up the wet before it dripped down their backs.

Climbing back on with wet backs

Water has a way of escaping. By the time we got to Galveston, as our passengers exited, (one doesn’t deplane, but can one debus?) I patted blessed, uncomplaining Linda on the back. Her blouse was soaked through with water. She hadn’t said a word, and Bounty had failed to quicker-pick up any of the melting ice. But her back was certainly cool.

By the time we got back home that evening, after a delightful day lunching at the yummy Sunflower Bakery and Café, visiting the #BryanMuseum, and dining at the Saltgrass Steakhouse on the Seawall, the bus could no longer be called even just warm. Blessed Linda was again wet down her back, but this time it was just plain “glow”. (Ladies don’t sweat, after all. Horses sweat, Ladies glow). As Teresa put it, I should have charged for a Sauna.   

But after a full week down #TexasBusSales, the AC now actually works. So cold, in fact, that one of the ladies on the next tour in Historic Huntsville, asked that the fan be turned off. And if you can believe it, four of our dedicated travelers have signed up for the next trip, this one to the Painted Churches! Now, that is loyalty for you. But with airconditioning.

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