Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Traveling to Texas - 2015

Having not been to Texas in eight months, it was still a shock and surprise how many things had changed in my absence.

Friends have moved, but did leave a forwarding address.  Life certainly is all about change isn't it?

My main purpose in going up at this time was threefold.  One was to be at my daughter's house when she
had some eye surgery to help out in any way I could.  Two was to be at my oldest granddaughter's graduation from college as well as my daughter's graduation from another college and third was to spend time with my grandson as the anniversary of my daughter's passing was May 19th.

All of the above, along with visiting family and friends was accomplished.  It was a hectic time.

As I mentioned in the last post, the weather cooperated for the first five or so days.  During that time, we, Sue, Vandy and I were in Galveston eating outside every chance we had.  Seafood, oh my.  Shrimp and crabmeat and snapper.  YUM.  However, my left food began to swell and it was so painful that it was
difficult to walk on it.  What the heck?  It never occurred to me that it had anything to do with seafood until this past Monday when someone said they have gout and when they eat seafood the same thing happens to them. I need to read up on gout and figure out why I now that to think about.  Me, who loves seafood!  Oy vey.

 Here are Sue, Vandy and I on the Seabrook Channel with my first meal of stuffed shrimp and a Capt. Morgan's.  woo hoo.
 The Galveston Home Tour is always around Mother's Day.  I've never been but this year I did get to go to
see Cedar Lawn, a lovely area of Galveston where Sue and Vandy used to live.  The above photo is of Sam
Macio's house that was designed by the same architect who designed Frank Sinatra's home in California.  They, the story goes, were big buddies.  It's a long and intriguing story.  Sam Macio is a relative of Tillman Fertitta who owns many restaurants, hotels and casinos.

 This house was lovely with a lovely back garden full of all kinds of beautiful flowers.  Since
we don't have lawns here in San Miguel, I take great pleasure in seeing the expanse of green grass.
Especially since I no longer have to maintain that kind of a lawn.
 One of the highlights of the trip was spending time with Christopher, Jennifer's son and my grandson.
He is 16 and such a delight to sit and have a conversation with.  He didn't want his photo taken but
then I finally asked the waiter to do so and he did let this photo happen!  What a wonderful thing to
watch him grow into a young man with dreams and aspirations.  I know Jennifer is so proud of him as are all of us.
 This is one of the Galveston Cemeteries.  The ones on the island, because of the water table I presume, are above ground,  but this one is on an absolutely beautiful piece of land on the mainland, as they say.  I'm not exactly sure what town it is near as I was driven here, without knowing where I was going, so I didn't pay attention.
 This allee' of moss draped trees reminds me of where I grew up in South Louisiana.  It gave me instant peace to drive through.
 And, here, much to my surprise was the grave site of Sam Macio and his brother!  How ironic that I had just been to his home a few days before this.
 When I was last in Houston, this little dude was just a baby.  Now he is a full fledged little person with a huge personality.  This is Austin, son of Ryan and Lacey, my nephew and his wife.  He had my bracelet
and was having so much fun by not giving it back.  What a darling little guy.  I was SO SO happy to get to see him again. 

 More little people happened at lunch with dear friends Deidre, Jamie and Hannah.  While I was gone, Deidre had Ava, her daughter and Jamie got married. Now Deidre and Jamie are sisters-in-law. Hannah I had met a couple of years ago as she is Deidre's sister. How great to see all of them.  
 Baby Ava never awakened so I didn't even get to hold her.  Darn!  I love babies.  Well, I love kids, period.
 The grandparents of Austin, are my brother Bill and sister-in-law Annette.  I spent almost a week with them.  They have been waiting for grandchildren forever and in the last two years have had two little grandsons.  Now, another baby is on the way!  And, they are loving every single minute of it!
Another dear, dear friend who I haven't seen in at least eleven years and I got together for lunch in Galveston.  Our history is long.  Sherra Aguirre is one of those people who just amaze me and other people on a continual basis.  I have to share the story.  Sherra and I met in about 1980.  She was starting a janitorial/maintenance business.  I signed her first contract to maintain our warehouse and office quarters for a company I worked for named Ameron.  Sherra always came to our meetings in a business suit looking elegant, always. We had an immediate connection.  Unbeknownst to me, Sherra at night, would come and clean the offices and warehouse herself!  Today she has over 700 employees all over the USA and maintains parts of UTMB in Galveston, refineries, office buildings, etc. Her company Aztec Maintenance Services is honored often.  What an amazing person and woman.  I treasure her friendship.

The story continues, because in a way, Sherra, is responsible for my business success.  At some point, she asked me to serve on the Board of Directors of her firm.  I did.  She and her husband were investing in a new restaurant that was going to open called Cyclone Anaya's on Richmond.  They asked if I would go and look at the building as a possible decor package.  It ended up that it became more then that and was my first restaurant project that lead to work all over the USA with El Chico and Rio Bravo among others!

Sherra had forgotten all about that until I reminded her at our luncheon.  We laughed about the fact that neither of us could or would have believed at our paths or successes back at the beginning.

 My daughter Julie graduated from Stephen F Austin in Nacogdoches, Texas via the internet and many trips to the campus which is about three hours away.  She had gone there right out of high school but didn't graduate.  Her persistence and drive to get a degree so she can teach and coach is also a wonderful example of women with determination.  Unfortunately, her graduation day was the same as that of her oldest daughter, Jessica who graduated from Texas A&M University.  The decision was made to go to A&M. for Jessica's graduation.

One of Julie's friends surprised her by putting these balloons on the front doorstep for her.  What a nice surprise.
 We trooped off to College Station for Jessica's graduation.  What fun to see this and to meet her friends.  Many of the kids decorate the top of their caps as they get to keep them.  Below is Jessica's.
I could write volumes about Jessica.  She has the same persistence and determination as her Mom.  She is the grandchild that I got to spend the most time with as she grew up and she is the only one who has been to
Mexico, so far.  I'm so so proud of her and the way she thinks and conducts her life.

This is just some of the activities on the monthly excursion to Texas.  In addition, of course, there was shopping, seeing other friends and other stories.  All can wait for another day.

None of the above would have happened if Sue and Vandy, Amanada and Patrick, Bill and Annette and my daughter Julie and son-in-law Rich had not had me staying with them.  Thanks to all for another Month of Memories.


living.boondockingmexico said...

I think good looking is in your family genes! The whole bunch. The seafood sound wonderful!

Babs said...

Awww, thanks so much. Are ya'll coming down to SMA any time soon? Hope to meet some day.

Peter Kouwenhoven said...

What a great time! Super looking family pictures!

Calypso said...

A wonderful family you have there Babs...and of course you would have that - making it happen!

Retired Teacher said...

What a great looking bunch of family and friends! Looks like you had a wonderful time!
Sorry to hear about your reaction to all the seafood. Did the pain go away afterwards, and have you experimented with any seafood since your return?

Babs said...

Thanks Peter.........I'm blessed to have a wonderful family.

Thanks Calypso..........It was a rough road to raise the kids, but
I wouldn't change any of it and now I have the joy of spending time
with them.

Bill, thanks. Yes, the pain went away when I stopped eating the seafood
but I didn't realize the connection at the time. My foot was swollen a lot.
I have NOT eaten any seafood since returning home. I'm concentrating on
just eating healthy. When I go down to sea level I retain fluid as well so
now that I'm back at 6400 ft., I'm losing all that swelling, thankfully.

Life's a Beach! said...

Beautiful family and friends! Gout? Hmmmmmm. When I was lying in bed the other night with a couple of toes throbbing, I wondered if it could be gout. I noticed my ankle was swollen the next day, but figured the swelling is traveling downstream from my knee after being on it all day. Glad you're back home, and hope none of your Texas family members are flooded.

Babs said...

Beck, no family or friends flooded in Houston. Thankfully, just inconvenienced by the inability to be able to get places because of flooded streets.

Go online and read about gout. I have been eating only what the three sites I read said would help me. Especially fresh squeezed orange juice. I'm amazed how the pain is going away as well as the swelling. No food is worth the pain..........even if it is shrimp and crabmeat. C'est la vie.

Hope you've feeling better...........

BTW, when you go to Isla, do you rent? Any suggestions? I have Dec/Jan and Feb to
head toward beaches. Was thinking of Isla, Puerto Escondido and my usual, Melaque.

Droelma said...

After having seen some of the pictures on CNN Intl. of those poor people who had to deal with yet another slew of floods, I am especially glad that you are safe.
I am also glad you got control over your bout with gout so quickly. My neighbor's husband suffered terribly with it and for long periods of time was literally recliner bound due to the pain.
I agree with everyone here; not only are you very " guapa ", but your whole family is.... I really enjoyed looking at all the pictures.
Too many people, especially those who are older, nowadays even though they have families do not function as a family and often also have no friends. You set a good example !
Take good care of yourself. There is lots of other delicious food around and mariscos can easily be avoided.

Babs said...

Thanks Droelma for your comments. I have been very blessed to have a wonderful family and the greatest friends anyone could hope for.........many, many have been friends for well over 30 years.

I am behaving as far as what I am eating. Slowly but surely, the pain has subsided somewhat. Drinking fresh squeezed orange juice, which was one of the recommendations has been amazing. It's not all over but much better then a week ago when I needed a wheelchair at the airport!

The floods have been hard to believe. I have had many friends affected by all of this but not my family, anywhere, that I know of.........A true tragedy in many many ways......