Post Final Summer Vacation Update

I’m back again. This time, for the “rest” of the summer. We have 2 more weeks before we start leadership camp then all the kiddos come back for summer band on August 1st. I feel a bit bummed that my summer is coming to an end but it’s been such an eventful summer, I have no regrets of not spending this time “wisely” this year.

This last bit away was spent in the Rio Grande Valley with Len, friends & family. Just to let you know now, Len took most/all the pictures this run with his “new” camera & borrowed lenses from Nino (thanks man!!!) so there are only a few photos and a video or two to show off. So, I flew in on Sunday to Harlingen. It was a quick flight with a longer layover in Houston than I spent in the air! Luckily, I had a great book to dig into so the travels really didn’t exhaust me as they normally would. We went straight from the airport to McAllen to Anita’s new house to have some barbeque and see some of Len’s family from Linares, Mexico. Good food, good conversation (what I understood and what was translated) and good company! Anita has a beautiful house, too!

Monday was the 4th so we headed out to meet all the local folks for a day of sun, drink and fireworks. Turns out, all the local friends either didn’t want to deal with the tourist crowds (which weren’t that bad) or had other things come up so we hung out with Connie & Frank Miller and “their” kids. I say “their” because only Sami is their daughter. The two other girls are friends of Sami’s so they’re “adopted” by the Millers.

We were in and out of the warm waters (86 degrees waters!!) and kicking back in the wonderful sunshine. It was a great day. From there, we cleaned up and headed to South Padre Brewing Company for dinner and a good view of the fireworks. The girls kept putting money in the jukebox but it wouldn’t play what they had requested. Sami decided to get even by playing some Celine Dion songs (get even at whom, we’re still not sure) so all during the fireworks, Celine Dion kept wailing from the speakers everytime someone opened the door. So, if/when you hear “Sami, you suck” on the video, that’s what I’m talking about.
http://bigbenford.com/MOV01382-1.wmv

On the 5th, we celebrated Len’s 35th birthday. We met his friends Aaron & Vanessa for lunch. We didn’t quite make it up early enough for the fishing the guys wanted to do. Then, we hung out around McAllen & Weslaco before we headed out for some dinner with Kelly, Kumar & Lakshmi (sorry if I spelled that wrong). We went to Bennigans for dessert and drinks and there was a band playing in the bar that was TERRIBLE!!! It wasn’t amateur night, either. Regardless, we all still had fun.

On Wendesday, we went out to the University (UT-Pan Am) and visited with the wonderful people Len used to work with. We went to see Mr. & Mrs. Smith since Len hadn’t seen it yet and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time.
Therapist: How long have you been married?
John Smith: Five years
Jane Smith: Six years.
John Smith: [chastened] Five or six years.
My favorite quote from the movie. I think Len liked this movie as well.

We had dinner again at Anita’s house. This time, with different family members. More wonderful conversation (again, what I understood…or was translated), food and company. Len got a Hostess Cupcake as his cake and we all sang him Happy Birthday. Good stuff. Since we were leaving quite early the next morning, we headed back to his mom’s house to pack and get a good night’s sleep. Mission accomplished.

We got up, loaded the car and the four of us headed to San Antonio. Len’s mom & Aunt Chita joined us on this leg of the trip. Who’d have thought that two little ladies would weigh down the car so much. With his mom headed on a 3 month trip and his aunt headed home after extended time in the RGV and all my shoes, there was a lot of luggage to weigh things down. The drive was only about 4 hours and immigration didn’t stop us at the check point so the trip was quite smooth. Our San Antonio destination was Len’s brother Gilbert’s house. I’ve now met 6 of 7 siblings and all the grandkids! We had a wonderful lunch at a little neighborhood Italian restaraunt and visited for quite some time with Len’s niece Adriana & nephew Anthony.

We then headed to St. Mary’s to watch a Revolution DBC rehearsal and surprise my students that are marching with them this summer. I sure do miss working with this activity. Maybe someday, I can go back to it somehow.

OH, on the drive back to Austin, there was some beautiful lightening we saw between San Marcos & South Austin. I tried to get pics on my phone (only camera I could reach) but to no avail. I did get some nice pics of the rainy skies. The colors that came out are pretty cool. You can see them on my phone photo blog. There are pics of fireworks there, too. We had dinner with my family then came back to my place to crash. Quite the funfilled adventure we had this past week.

Hopefully, next week will be a smidge calmer while I get back to work. The adventures we’ve had this summer have been a lot of fun but I’m ready to kick back for a few days.

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One thought on “Post Final Summer Vacation Update”

  1. That was the best Beach Week ever! Thanks for coming to hang out with The Millers! I can’t get your video to play…boo! But, Frank took video, too, so maybe we’ll still hear you say, “Sami! You suck!”
    Hope your sunburn has gone away. SPF 30 really works, hint hint.

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