Saturday, August 17, 2013

Houston in August: my favorite place to be

Last week was the annual summer pilgrimage home to Houston, and I cracked up at this text exchange with a friend of mine back in Arkansas:

Friend: Hey Amanda! Are you swimming this week? I can go on Friday.
Me: Hey Friend!! I'm in Houston on vacation, back tomorrow night. Maybe Friday lunch?
Friend: Amanda, you may be the only person ever who had visited / could visit Houston in August and call it a vacation.

Yep. Heat, humidity, mosquitos the size of small birds - paradise, I tell you.

The kids look forward to the trip home all summer long, with the promise of seeing Grandmommy and Granddaddy a source of sheer excitement. Throw in new cousin Claire and the mandatory trip to Splashtown, it's no wonder they were counting down the days!!

I love the trip home too, for the more obvious, grown up reasons. I get to see my parents; my kids get to spend time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins; I get to see old friends who still live in the area; I get to eat Mexican food until I have to be rolled out the door of the restaurant. More than anything else, though, I love the trip home because it's HOME. It's Texas. And like every other Texan you've ever met, there is no place on Earth I'd rather be.

I can't really explain what that feeling is. I honestly think you just kind of have to be a Texan to have that feeling, that deep down, in your gut, visceral love. It isn't really the geography; the climate; the friendly people; the millions of things to do. It's... well, it's Texas. And if you don't get it, I can't really explain it.

So for the six days we were there, I soaked up as much of that as I could get. We went and did, and we sat and stayed. And we loved every. single. minute.

We had a ton of fun hanging out with my high school friends:

We went to church with my mom on Sunday and got to hear her play a special piece for the offertory:

We hung out at my sister's new home, grilled an amazing steak dinner, and celebrated the three August birthdays in our family:

We spent six hours at Splashtown in the Texas sun, loving every minute of it, riding almost every ride in the park:

And we hung out in the neighborhood, playing in the backyard and swimming at a neighbor's house:

We all would've loved to have stayed much longer, but I figure no matter how long we stay, it's always hard to leave. So we're back home now, enjoying the last few days before school starts. We have the memories, and we have the pictures. Thanks to my mom, those pictures include the latest family photo.

Gig 'em!

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