Thoughts and Randomness

So here we are, Turkey Day is less than twelve hours away and I haven’t a clue what we are doing for dinner.¬†Let me clarify – I have no idea what we are doing for dinner tonight, much less any idea what we are doing for Thanksgiving dinner.

And I love it.

With the posse away and Mom/Dad vetoing the idea of a Texas-style Thanksgiving, it’s going to be just J and I. It’s kind of funny when you have every possible option open for dinner, you find yourself… stuck and unable to make a decision.

Do you take the traditional route and have turkey, stuffing, gravy? Or, throw caution to the wind and have a smoked barbecue brisket?

It could happen, you know. 

In the interim, our house looks like a war zone. J and I have several fun projects in the works which I hopefully will be able to document for future reference.

Stay tuned……

Thoughts and Randomness

Eight days post birthday, back home in Austin, and I feel like a million bucks.

1.25 million, actually.

Seriously, spending time with my family in Vegas was the BEST, and it’s hard to believe it’s over. We cooked, ate, drank, laughed, ate, drank, shared, reminisced, laughed some more, ate, drank (sense a theme here?) and had an amazing time. Family is everything, and the way all of us come together is always an event. Five Type A personalities, combined with one Type L (L for laid-back) and there was no shortage of conversation, energy, or commotion.

My mother (aka The Queen Mother) loved it. She even played hostess with the mostess for J’s sister, who was in town for a few days. She (J’s sister) came over for dinner Friday night, and quickly came to the conclusion that in this family, you have two choices: either jump into the conversation….. or get left out. Happily, she joined in and had no trouble keeping up with everyone, and even regaled us with stories of J in his younger years, much to his chagrin ;)

And although I said I was going to cook and bake for my birthday, we ended up going out for dinner at T-Bones. The food and ambiance were outstanding, always top-notch. Secretly, between us,¬†it really was nice to have a “night off” from cooking and cleaning up.

But I’ll never admit it out loud.

I think I just did. 

Anyway, Wednesday is October 1 – is anyone else completely stupefied by that fact? The year has simply flown by….. and I’m reminded of what John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”.

And what a beautiful life indeed :)

Some thoughts about a birthday…

So here we are.¬†It’s September 1.¬†And my birthday is in 19 days.

I can’t believe it. Of course, I also can’t believe that one year ago, we were in the midst of embarking on our epic trip to Italy.

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sigh…..

Life changing, in so many ways. Today, I was reading a few of my blog posts from last September, and it’s mind boggling to me, really, how much has transpired¬†in just one year. From conversations with my parents two weeks before the trip, the actual trip itself, to meeting J two weeks after the trip, and moving to Austin, Texas, six months after that.

whoa.

In retrospect, at the time, everything just seemed to happen in a natural progression. As it should have.¬†And aside from missing my parents living 4 miles away, and being able to see them whenever I wanted to (read: every day), ¬†I can honestly say I wouldn’t have done anything differently.

However, let’s not overlook one very important fact here:

Alexander is now taller than Sabrina and I.

Proof to follow…..

The best laid plans….

A. Don’t always work out the way we want them to.

B. See “A”.

I had the best of intentions. I really did. But due to circumstances beyond my control, I wasn’t able to pull off my spur-of-the-moment plan. It doesn’t matter what it was, what matters is that I tried.

Do I get credit for trying? I hope so…..

Seriously though, sometimes you have to wonder why things happen the way the do. I mean, you plan a trip and something goes awry. Is it divine intervention? Or is it because it just wasn’t meant to be?

Alas, I know certain people are disappointed that I couldn’t be where they wanted me to be. And that really bothers me, because I would never try and hurt them. Ever. But I’ve learned that sometimes plans fall apart so better ones can come together.

And that’s what I’m planning on. A better plan.

Scenes from New York City, Part 2

The great J & M NYC adventure isn’t over just yet.

Well, the New York City portion is rapidly coming to a close (considering we are at Newark Airport), but lo and behold, our adventure is continuing. Now, I can’t/won’t reveal all the details yet, but¬†sometimes, the best plans come from a spur-of-the-moment idea which turns into a plan.

Am I making sense? Maybe I should wait until my second coffee kicks in…

Anyhoo, I decided that instead of simply telling you what we’re are doing, I think it will be more fun to play a little game called, “guess my location”.

I’ll post the first picture tonight….. stay tuned.….

Scenes from New York City

It all started with a phone call from my beloved J… “Honey, I have to go to New York for a meeting, would you like to come out and spend a few days in the city with me?”

I do believe it took me exactly .2 nanoseconds to answer yes. 

J has been traveling extensively over the past 5 weeks. I calculated that over a 45 day period, he was home for exactly 5 days, 4 of them concurrent. The 5th day shouldn’t even count as a day, because he was in the house for less that 12 hours.

And then back on the road. Well, an airplane, really…

Anyway, I jumped onto a flight out of Austin early Wednesday morning, and¬†landed at Newark a few hours later. Getting¬†into a cab felt strangely familiar… like I’d done in several (dozen) times before. Gee…..probably because I have…. about 15 years ago, to be exact, when I lived in this great city my father not-so-affectionately refers to as a toilet bowl.

Yeah, he really loves the city. ** insert eye roll **

As the driver cruised through the Holland Tunnel, my mind starting running through all the great places to go, things to see, and most importantly, where to eat.

Hey, I have my priorities in order.

First order of business though, was to call my mom and let her know that I had arrived safely. After assuring her that I was fine, her next statement¬†made me laugh out loud …she said, “You might go back to Austin a changed woman – you may decide that Green Acres (that’s her name for our new ranch) isn’t the place to be.”

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Well Mom, I can tell you one thing, you can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl…. I may be moving to a 10 acre ranch, but my sophisticated style of dress, platform pumps and trusty Transformer (that’s the name I gave my little car) will do juuuuuust fine out there.

Even though the aforementioned items do tend to make me stand out a little bit amongst the locals. Somehow, they know I’m not from around there. Can’t imagine why…..

I checked into the hotel and settled in while waiting for J to finish up his meeting. When I opened the shade in the room, I was momentarily taken aback by the view..

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If you look closely, in the far right corner, you can see the Chrysler Building. When I lived here many moons ago, I could see that same building from my apartment. I loved to see it all lit up at night, and since Alexander (who was born in the city) never slept, I spent numerous evenings comforting him and standing by the window, looking at the city lights.

sigh

Thursday morning, J left¬†early for another meeting, and after I indulged in an overpriced soda in the hotel¬†($5 for a diet coke – really?!),¬†¬†I set off to explore Soho and the surrounding areas. I’m still not exactly sure what areas I was in, but I covered a lot of territory – I passed City Hall, Washington Square, Wall Street, Chinatown, Little Italy, and a nifty section of town where all the shops sell kitchen/restaurant equipment. I had to exercise a lot of self control there, since our house isn’t even built yet, so the last thing I should be doing is buying anything for it.

The car park lots always make me laugh:

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Armed with a double latte, I kept walking. And walking.

Of course, a trip to the Harley Davidson store was mandatory:

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And all of a sudden, my phone buzzed with a text from J:

“Where are you? It’s 5:00!”

I stopped, looked around, and laughed, because I had no idea where I was! Oh, and to make it even better, my phone battery was now at 11%. I grabbed a pretzel (all that walking required sustenance of some sort, don’t you agree?), and put the hotel address into my map app – it said I was 1.7 miles away – a cake walk for me. By now, the city was alive with everyone leaving work, so taking a cab back was out of the question. I hustled my Converse into high gear and made it back in 30 minutes.

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It was a great day – I felt so energized by the vibrancy of the city – and realized that it’s a great place to visit, but I don’t think I could ever live here again. We are just about to take off for another adventurous day, I definitely would like to head to midtown and visit my old stomping grounds, complete with the asphalt playgrounds that Sabrina used to play on. (Dad, you know exactly what I’m talking about!)¬†

Oh, and check out this neat-o case J bought for my computer:

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Now I just have to think about upgrading my phone, since apparently it doesn’t want to hold a charge anymore….

Sabrina’s first solo flight

She made it. She really made it!

By a very small margin, mind you….. very small.

I’ll tell you, it was close – there were a few moments when I thought, “This isn’t going to happen”. Which I seriously would have been fine with. There are some things in life you just.can’t.force. Or is it that there are some people you just can’t force?

I think it’s both.

No matter, she made it onto that airplane by herself, and survived the 2.25 hour flight from Austin to Las Vegas.

Alone.

Truth be told, Southwest Airlines was a joy to deal with. They gave me a Non Passenger Escort card, so I could go through security and wait at the gate with her until she boarded the plane. I mean, I know she’s not 5, but considering it was her first time flying alone and in an unfamiliar airport, they were very considerate and kind.

At no additional charge, thankfully…..

We tried taking a few selfies while waiting to board, but let’s be honest here – neither one of us looked our best at 4:45 this morning.

Especially me.

Oh, and she informed me that upon her return next week, I  might want to consider waiting awhile to pick her up, since she will most likely be partaking in the barbecue joints located into the airport.

Great……