Sorry for the delay, folks. Yesterday, I took the day off to recuperate from my weekend, and by "recuperate" I mean run 5 million errands while the Geej was in school. My day off freakin' wore me out. Oh well, here we go...
Mom, Geej and I left for Dallas around 10am. I hate packing, so I waited to pack myself and Geej until the morning of. And guess what I managed to forget: my entire bag of toiletries. Yep. Toothbrush. Razor. Deodorant. All of it. I did grab my makeup bag, but still, I forgot everything else. Thank God for Walgreen's "travel size" section is all I can say. Got to my aunt and uncle's house ("Nanny and Papa" to the Geej) at around 2pm. Got Mom and Geej all settled with Papa, then took off for Mr. Wonderful's mom's house. Nanny and Papa live in the northeast Dallas suburbs, Mr. Wonderful's mom and stepdad (Dixie and Jim) live the the northwest Dallas/Ft. Worth suburbs. In other words, it was a 45 mile drive from one house to the other, and I was still in D/FW. Fucking crazy sprawl... Anyhoo, got to Dixie's house with little difficulty. They live in a restored farm house in (what was once) the country on five beautiful acres. They're surrounded by large homes on large chunks of lovely land and lots and lots of horses. Mr. W. and his boys greeted me, and Dixie and Jim were awesome hosts. We all had dinner together and just hung out. It was laid back and nice. Mr. W. and I spent some time with our senior annual, refreshing ourselves with the names and faces of the people in our class and ended up crashing pretty early.
Got up and got on the road at around 10:30. We decided to take the "back roads" to Longview--through Greenville and McKinney and a bunch of tiny towns. The highlight of the trip, had to be lunch. We had looked on the map, and hoped to find something decent in either Lone Oak or Emory (both super tiny blips on the map). When I saw a little dinner with a parking lot full of what looked like work trucks in Emory, I made a quick turn in. We'd both been talking about how we were hoping to have some good catfish while we were in East Texas, and when we walked in to the Y'all Come Back Cafe, the first thing I saw was a picture of a catfish on the front of the menus. BINGO! And then the 50 yr. old waitress with the dyed jet black pony tail and painted on eyebrows asked us "Sweet or Unsweet?" after we both ordered iced tea. JACKPOT! This was one of those places where everyone knows each other and warmly chats with one another. The guy with his back to us here is Mr. Harlan. Pretty much everyone in the restaurant stopped by to chat with him at some point. The Friday special? Catfish, of course.
We continued on our journey, and rolled into Longview later that afternoon. After a couple of stops to visit Mr. W.'s brother and my friend Lisa, her husband, and her sweet new baby boy, Henry, we headed to Mr. W's dad's house on the lake outside of town. Rested for a bit, then got ready for the evening's activities. Headed back into town and met friends at a Tex-Mex restaurant for dinner and drinks. Of course, I was the only woman there NOT wearing a "Pine Tree High School, 1987" tank top and sporting a blue and gold boa (no, I'm not kidding), but somehow I didn't feel too bad about it. I told them they were about one step away from being in the Red Hat Society, but really, they all looked pretty cute (because they've all got rockin' bods).
After supper, we went to the tailgate party at the game. The weather was perfect, and seeing old friends and attending a football game was pretty nostalgic. NOTHING about the whole experience has changed...except for maybe the majorette and flag corps uniforms are more Vegas-y than they used to be and all of the high school kids look like freakin' babies. This was a Big Game for the mighty Pirates. And when the school you're rooting for is Pine Tree High School, you get into the spirit by decorating your vehicle with...well, pine trees. Sadly, the Pirates didn't prevail, but we had fun nonetheless.
After halftime, most of my classmates who'd been at the game, made their way to the Oil Bowl bowling alley. The lanes we had reserved were, conveniently, right in front of the SMOKY bar. Not much bowling actually happened, but lots of drinking and chatting did. It was pretty damn fun. We ended up staying until about 1am before heading back out to Mr. W's dad's house. By the time we left, the temperature outside had dropped to 62 degrees. It was a perfect hint of fall.
Woke up to a BEAUTIFUL day. Still nice and cool outside. Sunny and not humid. So we took a ride around the lake in this: Mr. Wonderful's dad's new convertible. SO much fun. It really is gorgeous up there, and the lake is surrounded by curvy, hilly roads bordered by tall trees. So pretty. After that, we headed in to town for lunch. We took our "dress clothes" with us because we were planning on sneaking in to the fancy shmancy reunion party that night (even though we hadn't paid). Ended up going to Mr. Wonderful's sister-in-law's parent's house (are you still with me?) for the afternoon. They were having a big family get-together/cook out thing complete with plenty of cold beer, washer tossing, domino playing, and football watching. It was really fun. After we left there, we went to the brother/sister-in-law's house and had sandwiches. This was about the time we really needed to start getting ready if we were actually going to go to the fancy shmancy thing, but we just couldn't rally. We were tired and knew we had a long day staring us in the face on Sunday, so we ended up just hanging out with the family and then heading back to the dad's lakehouse at around 11:30pm. Lame? Yeah, pretty much.
Got up early, and got on the road to Dallas by 9:15am. Drove back to Nanny and Papa's house. Not only were my mom, aunt and uncle, and The Geej there, but also my cousin, her husband, and her daughter, and my OTHER cousin and her husband. Poor Mr. Wonderful, being thrown in to the family fire like that. Got Mom and The Geej loaded up in the car with us, then headed to Dixie and Jim's house. Got there, and loaded everyone in to two cars, and headed to lunch--all eight of us. Had catfish (again...come ON! I was on vacation!), and then said our goodbyes and Mom, The Geej and I headed back to Austin while Mr. W and his boys headed back to Dixie and Jim's to spend one more night and day before heading back to Colorado.
Whew. I think I put about a jillion miles on my car this weekend. But I had a lot of fun. Some items of note:
- For the most part, my female classmates are looking a lot better than the males. Lots of hair loss and puffiness going on among the men.
- No one seemed surprised in the least that Mr. W. and I are a couple.
- There's a skanky area between Longview and the lake where Mr. W's dad lives called "Whisky Bend." It's literally a bend in the highway that's chock full of liquor stores and skeezy clubs on both sides of the road. I happened to notice in our travels to and fro that there is a club called "Streakers Gentleman's Club" and next door to it, "Club B.J." I wish I were kidding.
- I saw "Meth Watch" signs on the city limits signs going into an east Texas town. It was hanging there like it's a point of civic pride or something. Wow.
- Longview has a really high number of pimped out "Fast and Furious" type vehicles per capita.
- Mr. W's stepdad Jim is a super nice guy. He's one of those great older Texan dudes with a substantial belly on him. So of course the Geej asked him, "Do you have a baby in your tummy? Can I touch it?" after we had just lunched with them. God, I wanted to fall through the asphalt.
Okay, that's all I got. I'm sorry there wasn't more drama, scandal, and gossip than that. All in all, it was a pretty tame weekend with LOTS of time spent in the car.