Day 3: Woke up to a thunderstorm. A looong ride through Austin to the hotel. A big reunion w/lots of hugs. I met people I didn’t know existed. For dinner, we went to a FANTASTIC German restaurant with live music on Fridays. Apparently, it was the most fun this reunion had had in 30 years. Great food and family.
Day 4: Day 4: Up at 7:30 and headed down to breakfast. Went to a “lazy river” outdoors… with a few rapids. I lost my water bottle when I went through one of the shoots. I wiped out and my hat was completely soaked! My cousin lost her M & M’s and decided to float around to strangers and tell them her sob story. I was attacked by a bird. No sunburns!
Went swimming with a three-year-old and helped with the little guys. Got cleaned up and the whole troupe headed for a fancy Bar & Grill. It was beautiful! I had pan-seared talapia and basmati rice. Lots of family fun! The walk back to the car was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Peaceful. I played with the kiddos until I was tired.
Day 1: Happy trails. Had some unexplainable fantastic Mexican food in one of those super remote mini-towns. Shout out to Silvia’s Mexican food! Woo!
Day 2: One day in Dallas! We’re having a great time here. Spent the afternoon messing around at a shopping mall a few blocks away, and this Mexican smoothie place called Fruta Loca. I ordered a Tormenta, which is storm in Español. It’s a fruit juice filled to the brim with sliced fruits… kiwi, cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries… to name a few. It’s served with a tamarind candy stick (kind of like fruit leather) and topped with a TON of Tajin, a sour/spicy powder. It was wild! I went to a double A league ballgame. They sucked. And the other team did, too. At the end of the game, there was only one point between them. The other guys won. There were probably only about 40 people in the stands total, but it was fun. Why? Because
A. The hecklers behind us were GREAT and
B. The mascot liked us so he gave us free stuff.
As I go on my journey for the next two lovely weeks, I can’t help but fear a few things.
Will the people I meet be nice? Will they welcome me? Will I just be another tourist?
I hope that all is well, but I can’t shake the feeling that I’ll forget something. Something will go wrong. “Where’s the sunscreen?” “I thought you had it!”
I don’t want to feel unprepared. I always over pack. However, I am thrilled to be leaving home. Something always excites me about stepping out and going away from the nest to find something new and beautiful. It will be refreshing to me. Lovely, like a little bit of sunshine in the rain. I hope I can enjoy it that much.
Well, I’ll be off soon. Maybe I’ll document my whereabouts.
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I feel like I’m running…
I’m racing… for something I can’t see.
I prize that can’t be won.
Everything is winning…
The world is spinning,
Am too dizzy to stop and reconsider.
I want to get off, get away
From this ride that keeps on
So for this Christmas post, I’m stealing a topic from another more famous site, The Huffington Post. They updated something posted a year ago, November 24th. It’s called “20 Questions to Ask This Holiday Season” and I’m going to answer them all! Now of course I’m not writing on Christmas day. I’ve set this to post automatically. But anyway, you can find the O. G. site here.
- What do you remember about previous houses you’ve lived in? Which one did you like the best?
- Well. This is a good one. There have been several. I lived in a tiny apartment building with my brother, mom, and dad when I was born. We only stayed for about four months, but in that short time we had several fish, apparently. All named Goldie.
- In our next house, I had a severely tiny bedroom with a door that always locked on me, and I’d get stuck in my room. That’s when we got our dog, Annie Sue. She was the best and the only dog I’ve ever had. Down the street there was a playground where I walked to whenever I pleased, all alone.
- When I was about five, my parents split. So we lived in a duplex, just my mom and brother and I. It got crowded when my mother got married and had her third child. We had to move again.
- The best house is the one I live in now with the same people listed above: mom, two brothers, stepdad… and a new addition, the baby sister. (My favorite sister.) A huge creek, crazy neighbors, perfect backyard, and my best friend down the street. I love it.
- Aaaaand at my dad’s, we moved to a tiny spit-and-scotch-tape house where we stayed for about nine years. At this very moment, we’re making plans to move to a much nicer, sturdier home.
- What do you have that previous generations didn’t have? How would your life be better without it? How would it be worse?
- Wowie, I like this one! Okay. I have a computer that I use daily at school. It’s pretty amazing. Online textbooks, virtual classrooms, and computerized testing. It’s fantastic! The interactivity level of learning has increased to and impossible size. Without the computer, I could live. I don’t really need to be staring at a screen all day. I’d probably get fewer headaches during school, but I’d also be bored with the pen-and-paper thing. I do like it, but I love the tactility of being able to work with so many mediums.
- Has anything ever happened at a family wedding or event that you’ll never forget?
- Oh yes. A very memorable moment at my aunt’s wedding. All I will say is WHO GIVES A TEENAGER FIREBALL SHOTS?!
- Think of some relatives that have passed away in the last few years. What would they be likely to do tomorrow if they were still alive?
- I’m a bit lucky here. I can only think of one family member who I’ve lost and was close to. I lost my great grandmother. She would probably be at home cooking her husband a nice dinner, and settling down on the couch to watch the T. V. with the volume turned WAY UP. “I can hear it better this way!”
- Which family member has been your greatest coach in life? How have they coached you? What has made them good at it?
- I don’t like to say it because he can be wrong a lot, but sometimes my brother can be brutally honest with me and I thank him for it. He’s good at it because he’s older and more experienced, plain and simple. Now he didn’t really get the whole common sense thing like I did, but ya know. Gotta love him
- Which family member have you recently received advice from? Was it good advice?
- My mother told me every morning to be nice to boys. I haven’t quite figured out if that’s good advice or not.
- What was your favorite movie or book last year, and what is your favorite now?
- Oh, yikes! Umm… My favorite book last year was probably Because of Mr. Terupt, or Eleven Birthdays. This year I think it’s Looking For Alaska. I have to hand it to that John Green guy. Always twisting up my emotions.
- Tell us a story about a family reunion or family party that you remember attending as a child.
- This is a good one. When I was very little, my aunt and I stood up on our chairs during Thanksgiving. A huge table full of people was just staring at us, waiting. And instead of proposing a toast, we started singing the National Anthem. Yep. Best memory I have to date.
- What was the hardest thing you went through/have gone through as a child? How did you overcome it?
- Likely my parents’ divorce. But also realizing that I can’t do everything. Both of those were actually pushed to the side until I was older and could understand them. And now I’m at peace with both.
- What are your favorite stories that grandpa/grandma told (or still tells)?
- I’ve always loved the story my grandma tells about my aunt being dropped on her head at birth. Because it’s actually true.
- If you could know anything about our family history or about a relative who has passed away, what would you want to know?
- Okay, well at some point, we went from decent Europeans to crazy people. When does the crazy come in?
- What is the most embarrassing thing your mother or father ever did to you?
- I don’t think I’ve ever actually been embarrassed by my parents. They’re relatively decent human beings. 🙂
- What are your best memories of holidays or family gatherings?
- Probably see #8, but I also love going to the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting. I brought my two best friends this year. My whole family and the two of them all piled into the car together, along with me, and off we went. The music is terrible, it’s cold, and children are screaming. What a wonderful time to be together as a family!
- What three adjectives would your grandparents use to describe you?
- They’d probably say smart, tall, and spoiled. They’re also probably right.
- Did your parents or grandparents ever lose their jobs? What happened? How did they start over?
- Nope! My parents have always had stable jobs. However, my mom does tend to move around from job to job because she gets bored.
- What is the best thing that your grandparents ever cooked? What about your parents?
- My grandparents are actually terrible at cooking, but my mom and stepdad are professionals. My mom ran a bakery, and my stepdad worked as a chef in a five star restaurant. So… we have amazing food at my house.
- How did your parents change after they retired?
- They haven’t done that yet. Maybe I’ll update this when they do.
- If you could go back to one day in your childhood, which day would that be? Why?
- The day I chose what instrument I’d play. I wish I had gone with the cello.
- How are you most different from your parents and grandparents? How are you the same?
- I have more close friends than my parents and grandparents do/did. They like to keep most people at a safe distance, but I honestly love being around lots of people with different interests so I can learn more. I live a full life that way.
- What did your grandparents do that you didn’t enjoy so much?
- This isn’t the best way to finish a post, but my grandparents were terrible role models for my parents. My mom had to work two part-time jobs when she was twelve, start driving at fourteen, and go to college at 16 to support herself and her siblings. But we’re on good terms now.
Well, that’s that, I suppose. Merry Christmas!
I hear nothing but the hustle and bustle of the city. Cars with flashing lights zip past me. People talk, some loud, some quiet. I whisper to myself. “This is what it’s like to go unnoticed.” I take in a deep breath and inhale the freezing air. It smells like ice here. Ice and cigarettes.
I shove my hands in my pockets, leaning into the sounds of the city. It’s absolutely alive with light. It’s electric with movement. The ground is moving and I am still. This is where I want to be.
I pass a warm coffee shop, closing down for the night. I look above and notice there are no stars. That’s alright, there are stars on the ground here. Bright ones.
The faux fur lining comforts me as I make my trek down the street. It reminds me of home, of warmth. Of happiness and of mother. I don’t miss her then, though, because I am not that girl. I don’t miss people.
I get a weird look from a man across the road. He asks me with his eyes, “Who are you?” I let him wonder. I’ve got a quiet night to go home to.
This photograph was taken by Gerald Macua. Yes, I have his permission to use it. Find him on Instagram, or search his name online. You’ll find more than one hundred beautiful pictures taken by Macua.