It wasn't long after I first heard about Buc-ee's Travel Centers a few years that I also learned that one was opening in Richmond KY. And then all heck broke loose.

The Texas-based chain has turned traveling Americans into borderline insane Buc-ee's lovers, but it's a good kind of insane. Friends of mine, when traveling, usually won't miss stopping at one and then posting to Facebook. Like a ritual.

A couple of months ago, after wrapping up a trip to Lexington one Sunday, we ventured down Interstate 75 to that Richmond Buc-ee's. It was my first time. Yes, you really have to see the mania to get the full experience. You can see all the pictures you want, but until you are there, I don't think you FULLY get it. Well, I do now. It is thoroughly fascinating Americana. (I didn't post my trip on Facebook, though; I hope that's okay.)

No seriously, I hope it really IS okay, because I've joined a Facebook group that's all about documenting Buc-ee's this one.

Even though Buc-ee's features a gazillion gas pumps, I can't imagine JUST stopping for gas and moving on. That's what the OTHER travel centers are for. I honestly don't how you walk through Buc-ee's without buying SOMETHING. Or a lot of things, as the case may be.

The Buc-ee's appeal also extends well beyond the excited motorist counting the seconds and the miles until they get there. At least based on this sign, anyway.

Can you say "lucrative"?

Can you say "I believe we're only just seeing the beginning of a kind of mania usually reserved for rock stars"?

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