Lucy, I’m home! It’s been a perfect year thus far. Husband and I started it off with our first New Year’s party at our very own house, which was a special and warm-fuzzy first for the both of us. We immediately started off our next night of 2011 by heading on vacation to his parents house and later driving over to Louisiana. Starting the year off with a mini road trip and a new state to check off my list, among other things, feels pretty good. I had such a good time and made so many nice memories that I had to take out a notebook to remember all of them, this already starting off a resolution for the year to journal more. But resolutions are for our next session. For now, I’d like to share all of the lovely little treasures I accumulated in my first few days of my 2011:
- -Before heading to the new state,we had a late Christmas with the husband’s parents. I’ve come to note and appreciate the fact that they really spoil me. Among my presents was a slew of name-brand things: A Pandora bracelet, Marc Jacobs perfume, Banana Republic pj’s, etc. All things I would never buy myself, because I’m quite the cheap-ass, but still get super giddy and thankful receiving. Not only that, I am also pretty spoiled by the affection I receive from his parents. They’re always hugging on me and telling me they love me. I honestly couldn’t have picked better in-laws if I tried and that in itself is a wonderful Christmas present to me. Though I suppose the other stuff doesn’t hurt.
- -We stayed with the in-laws in their humble and adorable abode in Port Neches,Texas. This is a very small-town where my dude grew up and it was neat having him tour me around town. He was glowing as he showed me his old high-school, neighborhood, and various other places he grew up. He had me shrieking in terror when he slowed down on “Sarah Jane Road” late at night, an old ghost legend in his town. His mom showed me pictures and awards he received in preschool and I smiled realizing he looks pretty much the same; Still with that huge boyish grin and happy-go-lucky look about him. By the end of the vacation, I felt even more connected with my husband than I ever have before. If at all possible, I think I may even love him a little more.
- -Small towns are crazy. It’s interesting to me how much one may not know or see in their own state. Austin is a total different world than small-town Texas. Austin is hip and weird and urban. Small-town Texas is peaceful,thrives on high-school football teams, and has drive-thru liquor stores. DRIVE-THRU MARGARITAS! They get away with this by putting it into a plastic bag so it’s not considered an open container. Husband surprised me with this and I felt I had been introduced to something so foreign and exciting I may pee my pants. Not really. But I was very excited.
- Having the chance to catch up on leisurely reading and sleeping in/cuddling with my boy, is always a plus. I loved waking up at his parents. I’d lounge around, make myself a strong brew of coffee, and lounge around some more. No cleaning or cooking or responsibilities for three days and it was heavenly. School starts back on Monday and I made sure to savor every last bit of blissful laziness that I possibly could.
- -Early Monday, the dude and I headed to Louisiana; A short hour drive from his parent’s house. This was pretty cool to me as it takes hours and hours to get to any other state from Austin. Here,we drove for a little bit, and boom! Louisiana. This made me happy. And excited. If you don’t already know, it doesn’t take much to excite me. I am like a five year old with spaz attacks when it comes to new life experiences. We started off at the L’Aurberge Casino Resort, a place just as fancy and luxurious as it sounds. It stood out like an exotic eyesore among all of the oil refineries and little businesses. After pigging out on buffet food, husband and I gambled an eensy bit. I almost forgot I wasn’t in Vegas, it was so much the same upon walking inside the casino. Lights and noises and a sense of exhilaration in the air. I love the environment, but am not much of a gambler. I don’t like machines eating my money. I feel personally offended that they could so easily take without giving me something back. I see that it may be a serious problem that I am developing emotional responses to inanimate objects, but no matter. ‘Twas still a fun time at The L’Aurberge.
- The food in Louisiana was something notable. The buffet at the casino was ‘Meh’ until we reached the desserts, apparently what they are known for. The tiramisu was pretty tasty but what really took the cake (get it?!) was the peanut-butter pie. Husband and I couldn’t stop eating and/or raving over that light and fluffy goodness. For dinner (buffet was simply lunch,you see) we ate at Steamboat Bill’s, a true Cajun gem. Husband’s last name (and now mine, too!) is Boudreaux, and he is a true Cajun gem as well. It would only be right for him to take me here. We pigged out on yummy fried seafood and I enjoyed the decor; Hanging Christmas lights and a sink made from a barrel. I was happy to see that this place had been featured in the magazine “Southern Living”; I like to see little-known and very adorable places get the recognition they deserve. Also, it secretly makes me feel cool going to a place that’s in a well-known magazine.
- -I fell in love with Louisiana for a few reasons, but one part definitely stands out the most. After the hotel casino, we drove around and ended up in downtown Lake Charles. There were a few historical things to look at, such as a military tank and helicopter and memorials from different wars. After we got done ooh-ing and ahh-ing, we walked over to the pier. The air was a perfect chilly, the birds were chirping,and the water looked a dazzling color mixed with the setting sun. My breath was all but taken away and my boy was right by my side. It was just perfect and I was perfectly content. I stood a timer up on the nearby bench to capture on film our happiness in that moment. Here’s what I got:
- Sigh. I love him a lot. Okay,back on track to keep you from gagging. We ended a perfect trip today heading to an old park hang-out of his. Our doggies,who had joined us on the trip but were baby-sitted by their ‘grandparents’ for the most part, came along. We all sat and enjoyed the peaceful looking river while husband and I also enjoyed some donuts. Now, back at home, I’m feeling happy and bubbly after a couple of beers. I missed home after a few short days. I love the small town tranquility and stillness, but coming back today I felt in my element. Seeing my husband so proud of Port Neches really made me thankful for Austin. This, my friends, is my hometown. My stomping ground. My unique,strange, hip, friend-filled, never boring city. As much as I love traveling, I’ve come to realize I could never leave this place for too long. Everything about Austin feels like home to me. Still, what I think says home to me the most is the life I’ve found with my boy, no matter where we go. Yesterday, as we drove around his old town, A country song came on. I thought for sure he’d change it immediately, as he hates most country music. But he left it and said something like: “Remember? This is my song to you.” I had forgotten for only a moment, and as if to remind me, he began to sing along with parts of the chorus. The chorus lyrics?
“Just to see you smile,I’d do anything, That you wanted me to. When all is said and done, I’d never count the cost; It’s worth all that’s lost, Just to see you smile.”
I smile to myself right now,because I know for certain when it comes to my husband, that every word he sang of that silly song is completely true. Monday night, We had left Louisiana and been back in Texas for miles when I realized I didn’t buy a coffee mug. I have a collection from traveling and had forgotten to buy one here. Dude went back to Louisiana and to two gas stations to get me that silly coffee cup. Just to see me smile. And so I smile, writing this. I smile because he spoils me and he travels with me. I smile because I’m so loved. I smile because he is my dude and my lover and my best friend. I smile because he sings cute songs to me. I smile because I have the chance to spend another year with the man with the boyish smile and the beautiful heart.