Not that I mentioned being on vacation to begin with.
The girls spent the week with their dad; the longest amount of time they've been with him since the divorce became final--he's never bothered exercising these longer periods of visitation before. So while they were with him, I hied myself to the (upper) Texas gulf coast, to spend the week with the Pistolero.
It's a 3oo-mile drive from there to here. It takes five hours. It doesn't take as long to get through Houston going west as it does going east. I don't know why this is; it seems that there's more to it than the small bottleneck where I-10 is down to one lane can account for. I am ready for the drive to be over by the time I get through Houston, but of course there's about an hour left after that.
The Pistolero lives in a small town in the Golden Triangle. It's 1/100th the size of San Antonio, population-wise. And still, the first morning I was there we had to hit two Waffle Houses to find one with seating. I miss Waffle House. When I moved to CT back in the day, Mark and I (he made the drive with me) stumbled upon a Waffle House our first morning out, in Hope, Ark., and didn't eat anywhere else the whole way to Groton!
Small as the town is, it boasts not only an HEB and a Wal-Mart SuperCenter, but also a Kroger and a Market Basket. Even the "big" HEB in Port Arthur is distressingly small and under-equipped to me, though. No on-site bakery. No wonder my guy was so enraptured with Central Market!
Southeast Texas is apparently where they keep all the white folk. I saw exactly two Mexican families while we were there. The first ones, I almost hugged, but that would've been weird even for me.
I have found the target market for Bumpits. Half the women had bleached-blonde hair. Half of those had only about 3/4 of their hair bleached, and it seemed to be on purpose.
The first time I had dinner at Erik's family's place, his mom made shepherd's pie. With two cans of green peas, one of very few vegetables I absolutely cannot eat. When we were there for lunch New Year's Day, Erik's mom told her husband the story about the rather large pile of peas I amassed on the side of my plate. I have the feeling that particular story will live on.
That same visit, Erik's grandmother warned me twice to treat him well. She also tried to get me to convince him to shave. Unfortunately, it was my idea for him to go scruffy. I was also told that if he really liked me, he'd wash his truck. I suspect this has less to do with an accurate measure of his affections and more to do with a desire for him to wash it. It also failed.
His mother also asked me if I could have more kids, and then if Erik wants kids. Being that she is a nurse and therefore has access to all sorts of stuff, I am half-tempted to start checking my food for fertility drugs when next I am there.
I will never share my baby's affection for satellite radio. Maybe if they get a Texas country station I'll change my mind; 'til then I'll stick with KFWR's internet stream.
The Pistolero's dirty little secret? He owns a Tim McGraw CD.
I don't own a TV. Erik has cable. I therefore watched way too much television while I was there. We spent New Year's Eve watching a The First 48 marathon, and found ourselves questioning whether Booby and Little Boobie are related (both were murder suspects in Birmingham--different murders though). I also found out the hard way that I really shouldn't watch The Real Housewives of Orange County, eat Jack in the Box, and then go to bed. Strange, strange dreams.
We made plans to get drunk and watch bull riding. This is actually an incredibly fun pastime; I've done it with Mark more than once. We wound up cuddling in bed and talking all night long instead. I'd rather that, honestly.
He and I made a couple of concrete decisions in all our talking; they will become obvious as time goes on.
The drive back to San Antonio isn't too bad when I start at about 3:30pm. I was mostly awake when I arrived back.
The more time I spend with Erik, the more time I want to spend with him. I can't say that about a single other person.