Hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach

posted on: Friday, August 30, 2013

Last week one of my all time faves was in town from ATL. We'd made a firm agreement to hang out all day Saturday and sure enough, around 8:30 am (!!) I received a text from her to start planning the day. She'd told me a day or two before of some potential plans to go hit the beach, which of course I'm always down to do. We dillied and we dallied about and finally some lovely friends picked us up and we headed out to Rockaway Beach.

This trip was a bit more successful than my last trip there with the hubs. We went to the 86th Street beach to grab a snack at Rippers before hitting the sand. Last time we'd tried the 106th Street beach, which is still being restored post-Sandy. The weather was a bit cool for me to do much swimming (I'm sorry! I'm from Texas! If it's under 90, it's too cold to hit the water!) but it was PERFECT for lounging on the beach all day long. Yeah! Good day, for sure.

Around the old homestead, down at the river front...

posted on: Saturday, August 24, 2013

Still not done with Texas! Mainly because I've been super busy doing things like trying Umami Burger (tasty! but I won't get the original again, beef was a little so so. I'll get the ahi tuna burger instead because wowwwwwww yum) and staying at work late, so on and so forth. So here goes something awesome, something great, something that's going to make me homesick as all get out...

Here's a little background: The town I grew up in is known for being near the headwaters of the Guadalupe and for it's summer camps. It's beautiful (but rather boring for a teenager...) and far from everything. My mom's family started going out there somewhere in the nineteen teens to get away from the summertime hell of Houston and never stopped. Before I was born my parents decided to move out there to their little bit of land and live full time. What a marvelous place to roam while I was a kid! Although I may have spent a bit too much time alone, which has definitely had an affect on my social skills as an adult... But anyway, family time consists of going down the hill from the house and hanging out at the river. And let me tell you, it's absolutely wonderful. Fishing, paddle boating, lazing about on a noodle. Our bit isn't more than waist deep at the deepest but that's pretty perfect for little kids to enjoy and pretend they're being free and independent of adults! I'll just let the completely unedited photos speak for themselves and go into my room and have a little homesick cry.

Around the old homestead

posted on: Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I find myself sitting here, sort of halfheartedly watching Burn Notice on Netflix and finally getting around to getting some photos from our trip to Texas together. Yay! This trip was really fantastic, hands down. My niece came down from where she lives, my brother and his family came to stay in their RV and craziest of all, Alan's parents came from Arizona! Confession time... We got married after a really short period of dating, here in NYC with none of our family. Over four years later we still haven't gotten around to having that vow renewal celebration so there just hasn't really been a good time for, well, our families to meet. Crazy, right?? His mom had spent an evening at my folks' house while driving a house load of stuff from Florida to Arizona but that's it. When my mom and I bought the plane tickets for this trip (Southwest Airlines, great service as always) my mom suggested we invite them to come too. Heck yeah! And guess what... It went smashingly. So, basically, a whole load of the people I love spent 5 days hanging out around the house, chatting and laughing, swimming and fishing and just generally hitting it off and having a blast. It was great. So great. Can't wait to do it again.

Traveling crazy early is crazy, y'all. We left our house around 5 or so? Which of course required waking up at 4:30 or so. We hopped on our plane to rush to St. Louis for a three hour layover. Yay! This is the face I made right after this gentleman behind me backed up real hard into my chair. At Chili's. Breakfast at an airport Chili's. Pure class.

So this guy bought an iPad just so he wouldn't have to deal with his laptop while on the road. He started out skeptical and within a day or so was completely obsessed. I still haven't played with it, so I'm still a bit skeptical. Just sayin'. (Check out that sweet Salt Surf bag! Perfect size for carrying all the clothes one needs for a long weekend in Texas.)

It was seriously so special to see my niece. The first time I spent a significant length of time with her was when she was nine months old and even at that age she was a bad ass. Now that she's about to turn FIFTEEN she's even more amazing. We just click. Love that gal. We had a blast going for jogs together, going on a little shopping trip after fueling up on breakfast tacos from Tacos to Go in Kerrville (seriously, their tacos may be the best in the entire state of Texas), almost getting kicked out of H-E-B for taking photos of the Whataburger ketchup and just generally hanging out as much as possible. She also whooped my butt at Sorry.

Husband was so super happy when his parents arrived. He immediately lit off down the hill with his pop. Oh, and just FYI, I've never worried about Alan not aging well because he's a carbon copy of his dad.

The big event Friday night was the family excursion to Crider's for their summer Fridays catfish fry. YUM. So super good. Even my mother in law who does not like fish loved hers. Yeah!

Don't forget to check everything for scorpions. Mom found this when she pulled out her food processor to make breakfast. The next afternoon she found a centipede in her shoe. Texas, y'all... Creepy crawlies abound.

Seeing my brother's kids playing with his old toys is pretty cool. The paint job might not be holding up so well but those old 1970s toys were made to last!

Also super cool: my almost five year old nephew has mad photography skills. Super impressive! And when your photographer is 3 feet tall and cute as a button and so small he can barely hold up the SLR, it's super easy to relax.

Down an alleyway..

posted on: Sunday, August 18, 2013

So, here's a little something real quick while I finish going through the photos from our trip home to Texas. (I took well over a thousand photos which means I need to sort through and discard the bad ones and the duplicates, and then once I've done that I have to sort through to see which ones can go here and which ones are for family only, and then I have to send to family, and then I have to sort through a few more times and really edit down to the ones that absolutely HAVE to go here - this is actually the step I'm working on right now - and then I have to spruce those photos up and write copy and you know... It just takes a while y'all.) Our flight Tuesday night got in around midnight so I've been wiped and lazy. Taking my sweet ass time, know what I mean?

Anyway, that being said... This morning my husband decided to be ultra sweet and suggested going into the city to have brunch at Peels, on him! Yeah! Not turning that offer down! After we both went for our respective runs and took our showers and grabbed our coffees and a snack because Sunday brunch at Peels is always a lengthy wait, we hopped on the L and walked down to Joey Ramone Place and the Bowery. We put our names in (hubs got flirted with a little - thanks to the host for the tiny ego boost!) and went for a walk around the block. Around the corner at 2nd Ave I saw an open gate down an alley that sparked my interest.

As it turns out, we had stumbled on the New York Marble Cemetery, one of New York's oldest cemeteries. I definitely recommend reading the history of the place as it was super interesting and if you're ever in NYC on one of the rare occasions when it's open go check it out! So lovely and quiet. I could have hung out for a while longer but as it was we arrived back at the restaurant just in time to hear the hostess call out of our names. And then we stuffed our faces. The end.

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