Our time in Texas was insanely lovely. Insane schedule. Lovely time. I have realized that I can not go to Texas for vacation. I go to Texas to visit and I need LOTS of time for visiting. Our trip this summer will be longer to ensure that I don't just catch glimpses of my loved ones but have quality time with them!
Regrets: I wish I had set up a coffee date with April. I am sad that I did not get to share some laughs with Stephanie. It was so good to see Claire but what I really would like is for our complete families to be able to get together. We have not been able to achieve that in years. I was very tempted to stop by Janice's for time out on her back patio with iced tea as only she can make it. Who knew a Canadian would make the best iced tea in Texas? I did not get enough time with my old Pizza Night Crew. I forgot to ask Jen and Michelle how the boys are liking kindergarten and I think Rob and Mike took it a bit easy on the insults with me. I miss their abuse and I miss dishing it back. No one in CO gives me a hard time like those two but then nobody here is like a pesky brother to me. And then there are my Dallas Peeps. Completely missed out on them this week!
Highlights: FAJITAS AT LUPE'S!!!! This was a double shot of awesome because I dined with my girl, Lesley!! We started at her home and dipped fruit into chocolate (because it's the only way to eat fruit.) Then we went out for pedicures. Fun! The gals doing our feet talked to each other in...I don't know...Korean? I do hate that part. I'm pretty sure my girl said "Holy $#*@! Have you ever seen bear claws like these?" And Lesley's gal was like, "Yeah...that's...wow. Sorry about that."
We walked into Lupe's growling and drooling. The silly people handed us menus! We began with queso and swirled margaritas. Mistake. I had hardly any room for my beloved fajitas! I tried...how I tried...but it was not to be. Les and I boxed our meals. I wrote "The Essence of Life" across the top of my box. "Tomorrow my love," I whispered. "Tomorrow."
The other awesomely awesome thing was that we were in Texas in the SPRING!!! The bluebonnets were in bloom! I have to say though that they are a bit sparse this year. I'm not sure if it's the cold weather or if we arrived a bit early but there were still enough for us to pop a squat and get some pics. Last year I had sown some bluebonnet seeds in our front bed. We got about 3 blooms from it. When we pulled up to our house this year I was thrilled to find a gorgeous display! I really hope they spread to the yard!
My garden needed some attention and I was all too happy to give it. I got in the dirt Tuesday. I weeded and even pulled out a few of my plants that were growing where I did not care for them to. I got the shears and cut back the spent growth from the fall to allow the plants to focus their energies on the new growth. We lost a couple of plants from the freeze this winter but mostly everything is growing along splendidly!
I had almost forgotten about CO and that I did not live in TX anymore. I was back in my old home, that still had some of my old furniture and decor in it. Things that would not fit in our home here. When at a friends home it was even easier to forget that we were just visiting. Nothing was foreign. I knew exactly where I was driving and what to expect of the people and places that I ventured. I was really missing Drake, and Baking Day, and then Caren called...
She asked how are visit was going and then said she had a little bit of bad news.
"Drake got out."
"What? Oh great."
"He's at one of our neighbors. She called me..."
"I got him a tag before we left. I wonder why she didn't call me?"
"I don't know," she said, "but I have her information. Do you have a pen and paper?"
I was in a car full of kids and could barely hear her. I tried to get them to pipe down while I dug a pen and paper from my purse. (I wasn't driving BTW.)
"OK, I'm ready," I said.
"Her first name is April,"
"OK," and then to the kids, "Guys, guys! I'm on the phone. Shhhh! I'm sorry Caren I did not get the last name. Could you spell it?"
"Caren M! You are going down!" She burst into laughter and I was homesick for my friend.
The drive home was such a chore. Aaron really wanted to crank those 16 hours out in one day. He reserved a room in Amarillo just in case. Both the boys were tired. They did not complain much but there was an incident where a helium balloon WHOOSHED out the window at a rest stop. Drew burst into tears. Poor bub. He was pooped. Late in the afternoon Drew started to claim that he could "smell the hotel!" He would rub his little hands together in anticipation! He couldn't wait! Aaron gave in and we stopped for the night at the room he had reserved. "But we are leaving early tomorrow. I mean 3 a.m."
And we did. The boys and I slept in the car until about 6 a.m. while Aaron pushed us through Dalhart and the last bits of West Texas. When the kids and I did wake up we were just past Raton, NM and in the mountains of CO. We stopped for breakfast and Gabriel begged Aaron to buy him a newspaper. My son with the Old Soul, read just the headlines. He then passed the rest of the paper to his Daddy and dove into the Comics. Yea!
The only evidence of Spring in CO was the wind. It was crazy strong, bending the antenna on the car. Tumble weeds raced across the road. One Tumble Weed was so big that it made a THUMP sound when it hit our car! As the winds howled I notice the aches in my hands starting to return. At some point in the trip I traded my Texas allergies for my Colorado arthritis. I don't know which is more bothersome.
I put my nose in a book and read; looking up periodically to see how the scenery had changed and to check on Aaron. His eyes were intense, ball cap low, unshaven face. He was a man on a mission. We passed through Colorado Springs and Castle Rock and then...I could see them. Our mountains. Aaron must've too because I felt we picked up speed. The only thing that slowed us down were the cyclists and bikers. Aaron hit the steering wheel as a particularly slow motorcyclists pulled in front of us.
"What is this guy doing?! He's riding a damn Crotch Rocket and going 30 mi/hr!" Aaron ranted under his breath.
"Calm down. Back off of him. It would be a shame to have an accident or get a ticket this close to home." I chuckled, Crotch Rocket!
As we pulled onto our hill we could see Drake laying in the yard.
"I don't think he knows it's us yet," I said. But then he stood to his feet. As we pulled up the drive he ran to the fence. They're home!!
Once out of the car we all ran to the fence to love on him and promise him play time as soon as we were settled. The boys and I played fetch with him while Aaron unloaded the car. He looks a little pudgier and he played more aggressively. He had a lot of pent up energy.
After unpacking and having lunch, we all relaxed in our own way. Aaron worked on the computer, the boys played the wii and I finished my book. As I sat on the chaise reading, snow began to fall. At first I was disappointed. I just came from 80 degree weather where flowers were blooming and my friends were planting tomatoes. Then I just let the soft drifting snow soothe me. The view from my home is beautiful and it's a real sight when everything is covered in white. This is not Texas. It's a whole other bit of country with it's own ways and idiosyncrasies, like snowing in April. There are things "here" that I would miss if I was "there."
Still, when the boys were getting ready for bed I heard Drew ask Gabe, "What was your favorite part of the trip Bubba? Mine was the elevator rides at the hotel in Austin!" And then when we tucked them in Drew began to cry. "I just want to go back to TX!" I reminded him that we would go this summer. He shuddered back the tears, wiped his nose and began making his plans for the next visit.