i left a piece of my heart in Texas

Thursday, March 23, 2017

i have a gut feeling that is a song lyric or title?  it must be, because it is so utterly true.  this being our third and favorite visit to Texas thus far, i know this feeling well.

we visited Chris' aunt, uncle, and grandmother who live in Texas early this march.  they live on the most gorgeous lake a mere hour drive from Houston.  we get such a lovely mix of Texas hillsides covered in wildflowers, serene lakeside sunrises and sets, along with the hustle and bustle and lights of a big city not far away.

we swayed between relaxing days and jam packed ones -- spending as much time at the Houston rodeo as we could, exploring the art district of Houston, eating as much tex-mex and Texas sized fair food as we could muster, while enjoying margaritas and Texas brews to boot!! {pun?}

though spending time with family was the true reason and joy of our trip.  we always feel so loved and doted on when we visit.  morning hugs with endless mugs of coffee and tea, homemade dinners ending with a cocktail on the patio.  filling the hours with endless conversations, stories of travel and advice, silly banter with lots of laughter, quite naps on cozy couches, and always leaving with ideas and "next time" plans.  we're comfortable here, a home away from home sort of feeling -- and yet, vacation.  the best of both worlds, truly.

a few more things i want to remember from our visit:
+ a full saturday at the Houston Rodeo, the day entirely-- from walking and shopping hand in hand - seeing cattle and longhorns and baby piglets - a lunch of Texas bbq, shrimp, and gumbo, evading the rain in the wine tent sipping on our favorite prossecco - the rodeo itself! cattle roping, wagon racing, bull riding!! - cold beer and an Alan Jackson concert -hearing that classic country music, knowing my dad would have loved every moment, made me teary and lucky for the experience.  the whole evening was that of a lifetime.
+ coerced into late night carnival rides by my daring husband -- crossing off bucket list items that hadn't before existed -- thrilling adrenaline indued rides that made me laugh and smile and of course one horrible one that made me cry
+ sunday morning service at one of the painted churches of Texas
+ travel advice and stories of adventures, hearing his aunt and uncles wedding story again, its my forever favorite
+ endless mugfulls of hot tea and coffee; also peanut butter filled pretzels and dates with salted cashews are now a new obsessions of mine
+ pastures filled with cattle and longhorns, dry counties, country roads, and fields of blue bonnets-- Texas wildflower season is a beauty
+ experiencing Texas hills and humidity on a shorter than expected run
+ sunset gazing on the lake, a double date with his aunt and uncle-- it was the sweetest moment
+ the most gorgeous Texas weather paired with leftover carnival tickets and Chris' child-like determination to eat a turkey leg, we headed back to the Houston Rodeo arena for more fun! Shopping with cold beers in hand, his turkey leg+sausage on-a-stick and my giant Texas sized chocolate chip cookie!! the biggest of my life and certainly delicious. more carnival games and one last ride; leaving with promises to return one day
+ a late afternoon walking and train riding around Herman park and gardens, his hand in mine laughing together; simply enjoying every last minute of our day and each other
+ a last night in Texas dinner -- tex-mex+margaritas! ok and Texas beer! possibly the best tex-mex/food of all time? most definitely.
+ trying a cannonball= fried avocado that is magically filled with melty cheese and spicy chicken!! and yes it changed my life

until next time Texas...


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