Saturday, December 14, 2013

The great ESCAPE

 We sure have made a grand attempt at putting a lasso around our long distance passion of the "way beyond anywhere but here" effort, this year.  2013 has gifted us with a couple of repeated treasures. 
This Texas trip has been 10 years in the making.  With little babies in tow, we toured Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and back in 2003, Chato got the idea that being in Dallas on the 40th anniversary of the assassination of JFK would be cool.  It was -- then.
When he got designs on the idea of returning for the 50th, many things had changed.  Having to register for admittance with SS# and DL# was new along with huge amounts of security.  The cold, yucky weather was also a new addition that we didn't quite welcome, but we were historic nuts on a mission.
 
 
 Five thousand were admitted at the gate.  Our heads are in there; Chato Prado never goes unnoticed, always picked up for an interview or photo op.  On this date, the Associated Press got him and both the Aiken Standard (in South Carolina) and Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Georgia) printed his photo.
 Hands, frozen solid, we knew we would eventually thaw out and it was worth the pain.
Bad weather, nonetheless, we found some vintage digs to call home for the week.
Texas holds plenty of old friends and family to see.  Over the course of the week we totaled up some awesome faces...
...family in Dallas...
...Jill met us in Fort Worth...
(She is our 2nd Jill we've met up with this year and BOTH of them live in Arlington: one in D.C. this one in Texas!) :)
...more family in Dallas...
 ...and Mom's cousins...
Carol (in San Antonio)...
...Patsy (in Austin)...
...and Mary Ann (met us in Waco).
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We headed over to Fort Worth to find some Texas glory...
 ...Aly found her favorite treat...
 ...the boys rustled up some outlaws...
 
 ...but I think they figured out real quick where to put Brandan...
 

 ...Chato and I both got some new boots to kick up (mine are just so much cuter)...
 ...and a couple of rodeo-loving kids to enjoy on a plaid loving night.
I don't care how the livestock treated us; we loved Ft. Worth.
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 On Sunday, one of the coldest days spent in Texas, we had liberty to stay inside our nice home away from home and celebrate Chato's 39th birthday with family.

On Monday we traveled onward to Austin...
 ...and San Antonio, but the truth of finding warmer weather the further south you travel, wasn't quite the truth this time around.  

 The boys hit up a Spurs game on this night, too.
 
 When we headed back north, we finally caught onto the sunshine and day tripped through a bunch of sidestops we should've enjoyed earlier on in the week.
This was Mom and Dad's first trip to Texas.  They were the ones that lived through the historic events that we seem to always be chasing, so bringing them here was very fitting.
 
 We conquered the blue skies to the fullest, hitting the grassy knoll, the Sixth Floor Museum, the Ft. Worth water Gardens and the newest monument to JFK.
---
But, I couldn't quite take the trip to Texas, especially Dallas, without ensuring that my Mommy got to visit Southfork Ranch.  It was a part of my childhood... #everyFridaynight growing up.
 
 The desire to take in another basketball arena had Chato, Brandan, and the twins, Fabiola & Jorgie at a Mavs game with a packed house on Wednesday night.
  By Thanksgiving Day, we still got to enjoy sunshine...
 ...and were ever grateful for another fulfilling trip.
Thank y'all, Texas....
...we'll see what another 10 years brings!



Saturday, November 2, 2013

Snap. Scrap. Repeat...without fail.

 It comes to a point.  You never see it fall right in front of you until you've already taken quite a few steps past it.  And sometimes, you even forget the steps you took that landed you where you are.
At fifteen years, we took our first trip completely alone.
 Bright and early on a gorgeous anniversary date, we flew 37,000 miles up and over great, desolate mountain ranges.
 We landed directly into a not-a-cloud-in-the-sky land.  They say it is a desert here, but without a single tumbleweed, nor thirst ravaged skeleton in sight; I have yet to believe it.  This magical place was full of wonders I had heard about.  The city of many cities, where east meets west and dialects, customs and cultures gather internationally to take it all in.
 A Parisian breakfast, where the French are as friendly as the come, even if their roots might have been tied to Buffalo NY or Seattle WA, was the most beautiful way to begin in this land of bright light, before set foot to pavement and began to explore...
 
 Leave it to that comical, wandering eye of great photographic endeavors to find the "sin" in the city...
 Our Italian retreat was filled with luxurious comforts of which we had little time to enjoy with the extenuating environment there was to conquer.
 Star sightings, well...
...there were one or two, but you'll have to take our word for it.
It's unimaginable.  All the while, I prayed for it for as long as I can remember.  Luckiest girl in the world has lost track of the world around; still loving the written word and maintaining the good fight against the evil stealer of time.  She will forever SNAP. SCRAP. REPEAT.  It just may not always be apparent.

October 4th, 2013