As you can tell from my absence, I just spent 6 glorious days in my home state of Texas with my family. I try to get back every year, but this was the first time since Jensen was a baby that I’ve been able to bring the offspring. And let me just say that Jensen as a baby on a jet plane is a far different cry from Jensen as a wiggly 7 year old on a jet plane.
Which is why I volunteered to sit with my girls while Fiddledaddy had Jensen patrol. The experience aged my husband. And made him long for the open bar that is first class.
My dad and step-mother live in Helotes, which is a small town on the outskirts of San Antonio. Only it doesn’t seem so small any longer. We moved there in 1975 and at that time there were no grocery stores, or red lights. But what we did have was a honkytonk called Floore’s Country Store where I spent a good deal of my teenage years and beyond.
I no longer recognize Helotes at all, what with ALL THE MALLS and TRAFFIC LIGHTS. Seriously, any store that I can think of is now within a 4 mile radius from our house. But the one constant is that I can rely on Floore’s Country Store to remain the same. This brings me comfort.
The restaurant selection in Helotes has also greatly improved. But my folk’s favorite breakfast haunt is the Golden Corral. Which Emme has deemed her most favorite restaurant IN THE WORLD. When asked why, she said THE SELECTION. Basically, it’s all you can eat featuring most anything you can think of.
I’m pretty sure the chocolate fountain is what caught her favor.
I know it turned my head.
In order to ensure that my folk’s got in their daily nap and that my children did not drive them to the brink of insanity, we made sure to get out most every day and do something different. On one particular day, we hit The Bass Pro Shop. This is a hunter’s paradise. Not that we hunt. But we appreciate weaponry.
There was a good deal for the children to do inside, including the shooting of aforementioned weaponry and wall climbing. Because you just never know when you’re going to have to scale the face of a cliff to find your prey.
Jensen even found something he could relate to.
I have to say that Jensen’s dog fetish may have reached its blissful conclusion when my brother was visiting with his large English Bulldog. Jensen was as usual down on all fours, while barking and pawing at the ground. The Bulldog took a sudden “liking” to Jensen and, well, I had to step in and save my son. Who was justifiably mortified.
Not one woof has he uttered since.
Another highlight of the trip was a family ride in my dad’s 1932 Packard. He has owned this car since 1968, and has completely restored it. I was a little nervous about the 1/2 mile ride to the local CVS. Which really had nothing to do with the fact that the car has no seatbelts, but more to do with the driver, who was my 81 year old legally blind father. It was awfully fun to have come full circle in the Packard, since the first time I rode in it was when I was about my children’s age.
The entire visit, my children stuck to my dad like white on rice. In fact, after the first couple of hours, Jensen just announced to him, “Grandpa, I’m going to be your shadow all week.” And he was. After much laughter, revelry, Mexican food, and good times with dear friends, the visit ended all too soon.
At one point during the trip we went to a thrift store in old downtown Helotes. Emme found a snazzy boogie board which had been marked down to a cool $2.50. Everyone knows that San Antonio, being situated right smack dab in the middle of the state, is a beach lovers paradise.
I suspect the lack of, well, beach, made this magnificent board such a bargain. She decided to take her chances and see if we could stash it on the plane for the ride home. At the last minute she lost her nerve, and her daring sister made certain that it landed back in Florida safely.
I miss Texas terribly, but it is good to be home.