Friday, February 19, 2016

Texas Forever

After Christmas, DW and I started watching “Friday Night Lights” on netflix. I know, we’re way late to the program- the series began and ended several years ago, but we’d never watched it. I fell hard for Coach Taylor and Tammi. I loved the series and while everyone knows that true Texans take SERIOUS pride in thier state, I wondered if it was as hardcore as the show makes it out to be.

My cousin, Stephanie has lived in several places in Texas, but it hasn’t worked out for me to visit until this year. Steph had her second baby, Benjamin, at the end of December and we were all itching to get out to Texas to meet him.

We planned a girls trip for mid-February and I was counting down the days. A few days away is always good for wives/mommas, but to get to get away with some of your most favorite ladies- that’s just the best.

Mom & I flew out of Gainesville at 6:15 a.m. We landed in Atlanta before the sun had even come up. IMG_8697It was EARLY- but we wanted to get the most time we could with Steph. We met my Aunt Kay, Becky & Amy to catch our connecting flight to San Anotonio. We were excited to all see each other at our gate and out of nowhere, we hear, “EXCUSE me, MA’AM!!!”  - and then Aunt Cindy made her surprise entrance! We were so excited she was able to come. My mom had been saying all morning how she couldn’t believe we were headed to Steph’s without her momma coming too!  My cousin, Krissy had to back out at the last minute (boo!), but we were excited Aunt Cindy had worked it out to come. Steph didn’t have a clue either, so we couldn’t wait to to land in San Anotonio and have her momma with us!

We landed in Texas just before 11:00 and Steph picked us up curbside. We loved seeing her reaction to seeing her mom there with us! Of course she busted out crying! IMG_8726So sweet.

We all oohed and ahhhed over Ben and although we all wanted to fight over who got to sit beside him in the car, we did what was right and let Aunt Cindy. We figured she was his grandmother, after all… :)

Steph & Henry live about 2 1/2 hours from San Anotonio, so before we left the city, we did some sight seeing.

First stop was the River Walk for some lunch. We parked sort of centrally and then walked the few blocks down to River Walk.IMG_8728IMG_8732IMG_8750 IMG_8824We got some lunch on the patio of a tex-mex restaraunt and enjoyed the river. After we’d all washed our hands, it was time to get them on Benji! The view of the river walk was really neat, but nothing compared to that sweet little face. IMG_8753

Next up, it was back to the Alamo. IMG_8802I think I was more shocked than anyone when we saw it. It’s IN TOWN…and not at all like you think it would be. IMG_8782Still, very neat to say we’ve been. IMG_8786I will definitly “Remember the Alamo” forever. IMG_8794I’d also like to point out we were three hours into our trip and I had already confirmed that people in Texas REALLY are as hardcore about Texas as everyone thinks they are. IMG_8769Texas FOREVER.

After the Alamo, we got some ice cream  – I introduced the girls to Haggan Dazs pineapple-coconut and they were thankful. :)

We made it Steph’s in Victoria in time for dinner, and Henry & Hank had picked up Chick-fil-A for everyone. Hank was excited to have guests, but he was most excited to have his MiMi there. Of course we all worked double time at getting Hank to warm up to us – I brought prizes, becuase I’ve never said I’m above bribery. ;)

On Saturday, we spent the morning taking turns holding Ben. IMG_8842That afternoon, Steph drove us around town and showed us a few places, including their favorite park. We had lunch and then went back to the house.IMG_8845

No pictures, except for the backseat selfie of me, Becky & Amy.

When we got home, we found a UPS delivery waiting. It was the sweetest surprise from Krissy. IMG_8849We hated so bad she didn’t get to make the trip with us. She did, too – and was so thoughtful to send us Valentine ladybug cake pops! She was the one who was sick and sent US the prize. She is always so thoughtful like that.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in the backyard. Hank is like most other little boys and he loves being outside- and in case you missed it- we love whatever Hank loves. IMG_8883

Aunt Kay moved into the lead with Hank when she let him see pictures on her phone.


while Mom bounced Benji. Those two little boys had it made – three grandmothers to dote on them all weekend.


That evening, we left the boys with Aunt Cindy, mom & Aunt Kay and just us “girls” (we’ll always be girls, even though one of us is 40 and the rest of us arent that far behind) did some shopping.

Sunday was Valentine’s Day. I woke up to sweet text messages from my loves and even a card DW had hidden in my suitcase. He’s the sweetest.

We made the most of our “GAL-entines” day together. Hank had three dates for our lunch at the local Tex-Mex place. He ran the show and his Mimi, his great Aunt Pam & great Aunt Kay were so glad to let him. ;)IMG_8933We came home and snacked on chocolate, because what else? Even little Benjamin was drooling over the Ghiradelli squares. IMG_8981Then, I scored major love-points with Hanky-Doodle when I wooed him with a Valentine balloon.IMG_8937 I’ve been a momma long enough to know you can win any kid over with balloons, bubbles or Smarties.  :) IMG_8967

It’s crazy when someone you love so much has babies, you just expect that they love you and that they know you, and in a way I think they do. It’s like they just get that you’re one of their people. It’s always been that way with the other cousins’ kids who have grown up in Georgia, and I’m expecting no less from Hank, Ben and whatever else babies come along.

That evening, we sent Henry & Stephanie off for a dinner date ALONE! IMG_8985When they got back that night, we had birthday cake for dessert for Mom (who’s birthday was the following day.)

We had lots of time just soaking it all in – catching up on what everyone’s been up to – laughing until we cried – and watching Youtube tutorials on how to fill in our eyebrows. Quality time at it’s finest. Poor Henry – he was the best sport of all. He let his house be overtaken by a flood of estrogen and he just rode it out. We don’t all get to see each other often, and when we do it’s usually with husbands and kids and times like this trip are few and far between, so we all appreciated Henry help make it happen.

On Monday morning, we woke up, picked up our rental van and said our goodbyes. That’s always the worst part of any time togehter. IMG_8995

The very worst part is just when you’ve been there long enough for the littles to warm up to you, it’s time to leave them. Hank was so sweet giving us all good-bye kisses and then we all just sat in the car in tears when it was time to leave. :(


Our flight back to Atlanta was a little bumpy and I won’t lie and say I wasn’t nervous when mom’s phone (which wasn’t on airplane mode…oops!) started beeping with a weather alert saying “Tornado Warning!”

We hugged the Georgia crew goodbye and jumped on the tram to our gate to catch our flight to Gainesville. It’s always special to get to be together, but there is NO PLACE LIKE HOME.

When we landed in Gainesville, I could see my little herd standing by the fence watching us land. It was the sweetest. When we made it off the plane, they were already inside and had signs waiting for us. IMG_9039So sweet- and you would have thought we’d been gone for months, or at least a week- not just four days! ;)

It was a fantastic trip, all made possible by these sponsors (ha ha) – my Dad, for the plane tickets; DW for holding down the fort and Pappy & Nie-Nie for assisting him at holding it down. They are all the best and I’m so glad I have them.

Texas Forever!

- amw

No comments: