Tuesday, July 6th 2010
Texas Road Trip, Part One

Mmmmkay. Back from brief trip to Austin. Saw Willie.

I’ll start from the beginning, even though the ending is far more interesting and incriminating. But when do I ever do anything as interesting (to me) as a 3 day trip? Like, never!  Let’s drag it out and make it last a post or two.

The night before we left, I butchered the grapevines. I was thrilled with the outcome. They are orderly and trained in horizontal rows along wires I afixed to the fence. It took me hours. Normally I do not talk to myself. I talk to myself a LOT while working with grapes.  Mike was… not exactly pleased with my efforts but tried to hide it and didn’t hide it at all but at least he was polite.

Then he asked if I was packed and he tried not to react when of course I was not. Then he asked if I was excited. I tried forever to come up with a way of answering him without my answer sounding like I knew it was probably gonna sound. (don’t you HATE that? You know if you answer it’s going to just sound awful and you stand there and try to come up with something diplomatic and just… can’t?) And then I gave up, said it anyway, and he laughed at me when I finally told him I was very nervous that the children would forget me and I’d come back and they’d like him better.*

After he laughed at me, Mike helped me pack. Because I hate it. And because he’s nice. He worried I was never returning, based on the huge stack of things I threw into the “Pack” pile.  I knew I wouldn’t WEAR six different swimwear combinations. I just didn’t know which ones I would want  to wear ahead of time. What is so confusing about that?

If you ever need to go on a road trip with anyone – I recommend taking my mom. She’s just funny.  That makes the hours so much more enjoyable. Really. The rain poured down on us while we drove. Cars and trucks slipped off roads all around us. We got pretty frustrated with the GPS lady in Mom’s car. She sounds like a chain smoker, and she kept suggesting really mean, needless detours and wrong turns and we just really didn’t get along well.

Despite that lady’s bad directions, we  finally got to where we were going and stayed the night in Marble Falls, Texas. If you are EVER there, please go to the Blue Bonnet Cafe and have some pie. (I totally object to the space between “Blue” and “Bonnet”, because any Texan will tell you it’s just wrong, and it even stopped me from getting a cute pie t-shirt, but still. The pie is highly recommended. I don’t even really like pie. Unless it’s chocolate.) My mom had lemon meringue and the meringue was HUGELY tall. I had breakfast, then some of her pie.

Bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas. Blue Bonnets are floppy old fashioned lady hats in the color blue. And the cafe is about the flower, not about an outdated hat, and grrr. It bothers me. That space between the e and the b –or lack therof — is VITALLY important and changes EVERYTHING.

Regardless, YUM. Go, and thank me later, but don’t say I didn’t warn you about that infuriating, unnecessary space.

Saturday morning, Mom and I ‘antiqued.’ I’m not a natural at this at all, and do not want to be, but we had a nice time. Then we went to a Pier 1. As soon as Mom and I went our separate ways, someone in the store broke something. I thought, GREAT. Mom is going to think it was me. And she did. Because…? Well, I’m me. And since she’s my MOTHER, she knows me, and that was a totally reasonable conclusion, but this time it actually wasn’t me and I was not the breaker of the Pier 1 ish things. Ha!  I asked Mom later if she thought it was me and she laughed and said, “yes! I turned to the woman next to me and wondered aloud if that had been my child who had done that. Then I told her how old ‘my child’ is.”

Then we met up with LaLa, my sister, at the hotel in Austin. We sat on beds and ate some amazing little square pecan-y things she baked. Mmmm. For some reason we were trying to mimic a laugh we had all heard and I thought it sounded very giraffe-like. LaLa could do the super loud, giraffe laugh VERY well, although in order to do it, her left eyelid had to flutter open and shut in a really creepy way. My efforts were more horse-like. And then we started snorting like pigs because OUR laugh can be very pig-like and not giraffe or horse-like at all – and that’s somehow WAY better of course – and my stomach totally ached and hurt and made me feel so sick from all those pig-snorty laugh muscles that only get used when she’s around and they were out of practice but it was worth it. I had to be still and not laugh at anything Mom or LaLa said until the sick feeling went away and that is WAY HARD to do with those two.

The three of us went to a Nordstrom Rack. Not because we meant to, but because it was right there next to Whole Foods where we were headed and ooohygoodness were we supposed to not go in and buy shoes? ‘Course not. So we did. (Realized today though, that I came home with LaLa’s shoes and she went home with mine. Quite by mistake, and we don’t wear the same size so it’s not even fun.)

Sunday. Mmm. Sunday was the Willie Nelson concert. I kinda hurt just thinking about it. No. I REALLY hurt just thinking about it. I’ll write about it tomorrow or the next day. I’m SO glad we went. Really. But we were there for 14 hours. And I’m not quite over those 14 hours yet.  I’m still a bit in awe that the three of us survived that particular day as well as we did. Mom and LaLa survived a bit more gracefully than I did, if you really want to know. But whatever.  We did it. And we are also so glad that we will never do it again.

Even though we love Willie, this was our final meeting. Kinda sad.

*My kids did not forget me. If they decided to like Mike better  - or if they did already and never told me because they’re smart – I can’t tell.  Also, I think maybe I should go away more often.


2 Comments on “Texas Road Trip, Part One”

Holy Mama! » Texas Road Trip, Part Two
July 9th, 2010
10:57 pm

[...] TxRdTrip, Part 1 [...]

July 28th, 2010
11:55 am

“Go, and thank me later, but don’t say I didn’t warn you about that infuriating, unnecessary space.”

I’ve been lurking on your site forever (or at least for the last 3 yrs or so) but have never commented before. I have 5 kids and found your site researching Total Transformation for my oldest son who is mine from a previous marriage. He lives with my wife and me and our other two girls and boys, and he sees his mom every other weekend.

Our situation isn’t anywhere near what yours is with Kim, but things have been difficult (and quite frosty) and unwieldy on each side at times. Reading about your problems and the steps your family has taken to remain safe and sane has been a great way to maintain some perspective and get some ideas.

So, I’m guessing that’s enough background. But more may come eventually regardless. Now I feel compelled to dive into why I finally broke radio silence. And it’s because of the space and your completely fanatically fantastic reaction to it.

I have similar feelings about particular issues concerning punctuation, spelling, grammar, and spacing, and so I was reading your blue (wait for it) bonnet rant with a friendly eye. “Ah,” I thought, “what wonderful shirt-buying and shirt-wearing times Kelsey could have had if only …” but I wasn’t at all emotionally invested.

I was able to chuckle from a distance as you rode the wave of your righteous indignation until you referred to it as “that infuriating, unnecessary space” at which point I completely lost all composure and burst out laughing. Oh, to be INFURIATED over spacing — a fellow traveler indeed!

I’m sure you can see that I HAD to comment at that point. It was all but required. Love the blog. Love your writing. More to come — eventually. – jrw

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