Back in December, I went to San Antonio for a week to visit with friends and family. It was the first time since we moved to the Boston area in early August, and it was lovely to see everyone again. I didn’t think I’d be heading back again so soon, but then two things happened. First, I realized the Run 4 Hope 5K – an event I’ve participated in the last few years, to benefit the Rape Crisis Center – was happening the last weekend in March, and I really wanted to participate again. Second, I’d earned enough points for a free Southwest flight again. Woot!
My trip this time was shorter, only five days not including travel days. Whereas in December, I stuffed every possible visit (chiropractor, Spark-dinner, visiting every restaurant/store I missed…) into a week, this time, I took it easy and relaxed. The first two days were spent with my dad, stepmom, and half-sister. Lauren (my stepmom) took me walking down by the river in a newly-developed natural area, and the second day took me out for a long walk on the trail. All of it was so beautiful! Plus, super cute duck family with nine little squeaking ducklings! The change from cold-and-snowy to green-and-beautiful-out was amazing. (Not amazing was the oak pollen, which had me coughing/throat-sore, boo.)
From my dad’s house, I met up with my friend Stephanie to pick up our packages for the 5K, and went back to her house for the next 24ish hours. That night, we made dinner together and played a frickin’ awesome storyboard game called Story War, and the next morning, we met up with some friends (Sarah and Zach) for the 5K. The four of us walked it together last year, and did the same this year. We only broke out of our comfortable pace at the end, where we jogged across the finish line in superman poses. (Because the 5K theme was superheroes, as in being heroes for those who use the Center. I was representing a 34-year-old female this year.)
Stephanie took me shopping in the afternoon for my personal April project, which I’ve been colloquially calling “Operation Girly Girl.” It’s well-known that I do not like or wear dresses/skirts or makeup. Until this project, I’d only worn makeup twice in the previous decade – once at a wedding, and once for Halloween. Yeah. I vowed to “dress like a traditionally-gendered girl” for every day in April (difficult for me, since I’m agender – without gender – and do not feel any connection to traditional girly stuff at all). I put on makeup that afternoon (the pic I featured in that week’s Sunday Coffee), and have worn it every day since, despite my irritation with it.
I went to my cousin Jen’s house that evening and spent the next day with her. I will not say much about this part, because it involves Super Secret Stuff (okay, maybe just stuff I can’t mention yet). Before all the SSS, however, we went for a long walk/hike at our traditional spot. (And yes, I got in more exercise on this vacation than I’d been getting in awhile!) After all the SSS, we went out with extended family to look at a few houses that my great-aunt is potentially looking to buy, because she wants to move closer to the family (yay!). And after that, a whole bunch of my family went out to eat, and I had fish and chips and Guinness, mmm…
My last 1.5 days in town were spent with my mom. That included some additional shopping, mostly for stuff for the boys, and some fun things like chasing a rooster out of the yard so he wouldn’t attack my mom’s chickens, and gathering the chickens’ eggs for that day. Oh, and Intense Chocolate ice cream (not my pic), the very best ice cream on the planet, and can only be purchased in southern Texas…
My flight home was WAY too early (as in, get up at 4:45 kind of early), and I had three frickin’ flights that day. It might have been a horrible day, except that it turned out that my Aunt Lenny – one family member I hadn’t seen on either trip – just happened to be on that first leg, and we sat together and chatted the whole way. Totally made my day. Well, that and arriving in the Boston airport to see Jason approaching with a beautiful bouquet of roses. Bliss.