Alright, took me some time, but with limited computer access, and time being shortened to 24 hours in a day--when did this happen?-I think I am doing well to get it done first day back in the UK. And if you don't, tough. ;-)
So the day after Christmas, we went shopping. Big let down as far as deals go, but I didn't need anything other than the two sweaters I got, so it was fine. Found a good new pizza joint in SA, but they had pretty bad service. Typical SA. No worries, we were headed back over to Eric and Nina's that evening for more merriment.
Before going that direction, I detoured to meet up with Karla, who is in the wedding planning process. It was nice to see her, and I hope I was able to help her by being a sounding baord/venting plate. Hope things are going smoother K! On to Eric and Nina's...got into a movie discussion, so I felt lost not knowing squat about movies. Wait, thats's wrong. I know a little something. Basically just snacked, sipped, and listed favorite all time movies in different genres. Good times.
Sunday came, and I was realy looking forward to a full day and I was on the last third of my trip. Another one of those happy/sad moments I despise. Clear cut emotions are what I need! Started the day off at River City Community Church (http://www.reallife.org/) Try to go here when I am in SA, and since half of the church is the Powers Family, I feel comfortable. Big treat this time as Jason was preaching. Little info here. Jason is Aaron's older brother, and Aaron and I have been best friends for a long time. We looked up to Jason since he was older and a baseball stud, and he was mean to us since he was older and a baseball stud. Think Bill Paxton, Weird Science, just not so whiny. Got it? Well now he is the associate pastor, and wow! I really enjoyed his message. It kinda reminded me, in a way, of the conversations we had with him earlier in life, except about God. It felt like he was just talking with me, and it was 100% Jason. Loved it man. Oh and he gave me some advice, more on that later.
After church, lunch plans got cancelled due to sickness (sorry Jessica!) so it meant on to Aunt Jammer's for the day/night. FYI, Jennifer B. is Aunt Jammer, so named by Rian before she could pronounce Jennifer. Easy to see that was going to stick. Since we hadmore time and no plans, we headed to her mom's house (Madre) for a nice visit before going to Best Buy where the girls, not me, the girls bought Jenn a matching case for her camera. From there to El Chapparal for some tasty Mexican food; another type that is sorely lacking over here. Then a quick beverage stop at HEB before going back to her place to watch football and then The Holiday. How appropriate. I crashed there for the night, and woke up for some Mythbusters and coffee. All in all, as expected, a great, relaxing time with Jenn. I love you, hon!
Now I had golf ahead. So I stopped by Mom and Dad's to change and Skype the girls before heading out to face my destruction. PLaying with Jeff's old clubs, unfamiliar course, and I hadn't beaten Jeff before. Oh well, at least it was golf. But wait! What's this? I hit 12 fairways! I putted decent. I chipped well. We won't talk about the approaches. I won. Wait, let me try that again. I WON! Ok, that feels better. Sorry Jeff, I know you are better, so I have to rub it in. Jeff dropped me off so I could shower and meet back up for dinner with him and his lovely wife, Jennifer. Dinner, then a tour of the new(ish) office, and back to their place for more chatting. A long day, but a memorable one. I enjoyed it, and can't wait to do it again, brother. Love you guys
I needed a rest, but there was one more box to tick before leaving. The Conways. We had a lunch date, at Carino's of all places. Imagine Tim and I at a Carino's? P'shaw. Anyhow, it took Avery a little while to warm up to Uncle Chris, but after the bread started flowing, she was fine. What a cutie. It was a really nice, laid back visit. I was glad we made it work, especially since I missed Tim's 30th, and will miss Little Mr Conway's birth in March/April. Boo me! Sucks living only through pictures, but it'll have to do for now. Love you all, Conway Fam!
Whew. A rest. Back to spend the last evening in SA with the parents relaxing. But there was thing I had to do still. That bit of advice Jason had given me? He likes Fatty's Burgers better that Chris Madrid's. Wow. I had to find out fo rmyself, and there was no disappointment whatsoever. Super delicious grub. I will say however, that they are two distinctly different burger styles, so I will refrain from comparing them. Too hard to compare a griddle burger to a grilled burger, just has to do with what I'm in the mood for.
Leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back...delayed...again. Nothing bad, but of course I was. Poker that night after getting back to SS, and not as lucky as the first night back, cuz I lost, but ended up in the black for the trip, so good times. NYE had me playing Wii across the street at Matt's, and feeling old, but content. Sure wasn't just sitting around in 1999. Lucky to have survived those times. And to think, in 10 years, I'll have a kid in college. Shudder.
Day before I left, and I hung out with Candice, Rick and the kids, and Dennis and Glenda came over for dinner. Was good to be able to relax before I had to go, and the kids are old enough now where they remembered me without too much prodding. Really enjoyed my day, guys, thanks again, love you!
So, here I am, Monday morning, UK time. Took us a long time to get back here with delays arriving/leaving Chicago, and delays getting into Heathrow. Christmas was nice, and we had a nice dinner. Rian was the most excited to see me she has ever been, but that wore off pretty quickly. Ah well. Lace still isn't well, so she is off to the doctor today, and Baylie is still in bed at 8:30. I woke up at 4:30 with Kels, and now I have a long day of re-adjustment ahead of me.
Thanks a million once again to all those who helped make my Holidays so wonderful despite being apart from my family. I wish I could have seen more of you, or spent more time together, but again, someone shortened the hours in a day. Guess that is life. Wouldn't change it for the world.
All my love