Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Little Texas Vacation

Our Christmas started in Santa Monica this year a day early. Since we were headed to see friends and family on Christmas day we opened our gifts at home on Christmas eve. This was a day that was truly about Darian. She was able to get some practical things (sewing machine, book on how to make custom t-shirts) to some fun things that she wasn't expecting (ragady anne vinyl, and tiger army picture disc)

You can see from her expression in the picture how truly excited she was :-)

Our journey started bright and early in euro taxi based in Santa Monica. What is a euro taxi you ask? Well it is a crappy mercedes disguised as a taxi. Still nicer than your typical taxi, but they are stretching in saying you will ride in the luxury of a mercedes.

We got to the airport around 6am with plenty of time to spare for our boarding time around 7am. This was probably the last family trip where we get to use the Delta Crown Room, since next year they are imposing a fee even for platinum travelers.

We arrived at Bush Intercontinental shortly after noon and immediately found Pappa's Bar-B-Q in the terminal. Instead of taking a chance of finding food on the road we decided to eat at the airport. After plates of brisket, sausage, ribs, and a meaty potato we headed down to see Jacki's family in Port Lavaca.

The road trip down to Port Lavaca was uneventful, other than us picking up vanilla cokes from Sonic for the road. It has been close to a year since I have had a non-diet coke so this was a sadly a great treat.

We were at Jacki's family from Monday evening through midday on Friday. Lots of food, lots of visiting with family and a great time to spend with everyone. And Gary was even nice enough to get me some Shiner Bock which I hadn't had in over a year. Jacki and I went to the YMCA in order to offset the holiday comfort food that was at every meal. I think I alone consumed 2/3rds of a chocolate cake on my own.

The interesting comment about this trip is I now work at a company that everyone can understand what we are trying to do. This was probably my first trip to see family where people really understood what my company does and what I do at that company.

On Friday we headed to see my family in Houston. We were able to see most everyone on Friday night. Jeff and Lisa came to mom's and mom and Marvin were there as well. A few pictures around the tree, some more wine and shiner and the opening of Christmas presents.

Saturday we made it to my favorite restaurant, Pappasito's, that is also part of the Pappa's chain. Afterwards Jacki, Darian and I went to see our good friend Dean. He has been in Houston for the majority of December due to his mom's health. It was good to see him back in our "hometown" even though both of us live in the LA area now. We met at Starbucks of all places and had a great visit with him.

Sunday was our last full day in Texas. Being both New Year's eve, and our anniversary it was an occasion to celebrate. I treated the three of us to a fantastic dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Houston. Jacki and I went for her birthday this past August in Beverly Hills and had such a great time. I thought since Darian is usually left out of the nice dinners that it would be good to let her get a nice night out. The food was excellent as was the service.

On our way home we took a chance and dropped by my Dad's new house. We hadn't been able to get a hold of him all weekend. I knew I'd regret not making the effort to see him and fortunately he and Rose were home. It turns out he hadn't forwarded his old phone number to his new house. We had a late night New Year's Eve visit and got a tour of his new home. It was great to see it finished. The first time we saw it being built was on our christmas trip in 2005.

On the way home midnight hit and the New Year's fireworks were shooting from all the suburban neighborhoods. Driving on the freeway we had a great view over Jersey Village, and Copperfield. We watched fireworks outside briefly at my Mom's. In the backyard I heard something hit the ground and we ended up finding a used firework on her deck. At that point we knew it was time to call it a night.

Monday we spent flying back to LA, going from what we grew up calling home to our new home. Another Christmas vacation that will be saved in our memories.

You can see more pictures from our Christmas at

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