I suppose I should remind everyone how I came to have a friend in Texas. Many years ago,boys and girls,when there was no internet, people had things called 'pen pals'. Lisa had become my penpal somewhere in the early 80's,sometime before 1984 probably. We shared several interests,and a sense of humour. Both of us loved Monty Python.In fact, this visit came about because Lisa was going to see John Cleese and wanted me to come and go with her.
Finally,in 1988 I went to visit Lisa and we finally met,and in person our relationship was just as good as through the mail.
|Me, on the left, and Lisa,in 1988.|
I married Ken in 1989. Our first vacation as a married couple was the next summer. We went to my mother's side of the family's reunion,and then traveled on to see Lisa. The next time we saw Lisa, we had three year old Emma with us. That was 1994. After that we had another baby,bought our house,and Ken changed jobs and no longer got paid vacations. We took vacations in the intervening years, but they were usually shorter. It takes a while to drive to Texas from Ohio! With three kids,the cost of flying was out. So consequently I hadn't been back to see Lisa for almost 24 years. Too long.
I arrived in Texas on Saturday evening. I haven't flown by myself since,oddly enough, the first time I went to see Lisa, in 1988! Back then your party could meet you at the gate as you got off the plane. Nowdays they could be anywhere. As I excited the gate it occurred to me that I hadn't arranged where to meet with Lisa once I was there. I wandered down to the gate-free part of the airport and asked somebody where people meet up with their people when exiting the plane. I was directed to the lobby-ish area, or outside where the cars were picking up and dropping off. I stuck my head out the door, but the air was so hot and muggy I decided she wouldn't be waiting out there! I came back in and Lisa spotted me from way down the airport and waved. Thank goodness, because I wasn't sure it was her at first. We had a nice reunion and headed out to get some dinner, once we found our way out of the airport!
Lisa had scolded me in 1988 for wanting sour cream with my Mexican food because 'real Mexicans don't eat sour cream',(I explained that,that may be so, but I'm not Mexican and I like it.),but I noticed that everywhere we had Mexican food this time, they served sour cream with it.
|Tammy World was relieved to get out of the case and relax on Lisa's bed,which was turned over to me for my visit.|
The next day we headed for Boerne,a small town near San Antonio,full of antique and gift shops.
The architecture is definitely different than Ohio.
Of course, that day, during which we did a good deal of walking, the temperature was in the 80's. It was cooler the rest of the week. It figures!
|Tammy World hanging out in Boerne with Wild Bill Hickok.|
|Lisa can't get a reaction from Wild Bill.|
Unfortunately, we were there on a Monday, and a great deal of Boerne is closed on Monday! We couldn't find anywhere we wanted to eat that wasn't closed. except for the ice cream shop! I did do some shopping and bought myself a Christmas ornament, as I like to do on trips.
|My Christmas ornament from Boerne.|
I was looking for a mini rug. I finally found this one.
I finally found an affordable opal ring for Ivy too.I've been looking for one for ages. Emma has a thing about artichokes,so I got her a blown glass artichoke ornament from the store where I bought the accordion and the swan.
Lisa and I ended up leaving Boerne to seek dinner. We ate at Los Palapas,a restaurant up on a tall hill.
The food was good. I had the Garfield High Quesadilla. I have no idea why it's called that.
That evening Lisa's mom gave me these little goodies...
...and Lisa got the idea to take me to the bulk crafts supply/party store to buy miniature things. So the next day we headed for there, and I got these little guys in quantity,in hopes of reselling to help finance part of my trip to Texas.
|I got doubles of some colours. They're slightly smaller than the one Lisa's mom gave me.|
And another set of maracas. These things really rattle when they're shaken.
I got some little cowboy hats for selling. These are dollhouse scale.
And these sombreros are too.
But Tammy World got a couple of sombreros that are just her size. There is this one.
And if she wants to be more dressy, there's this one.
I chose this one because it reminds me of the one Lisa sent Fuzzy for his fourth birthday,when he was going through his Zorro obsession.
|Fuzzy,Ivy, and Emma,years after Lisa sent Fuzz the sombrero and the serape. He really liked them.|
|By the way, the full size blanket Tammy has been posing on here was bought at the same place too. Ivy has an obsession with blankets. She got this purple one. I bought one for Fuzzy too.|
These little guys were kind of irresistible.
There was one stall that had tons of really tiny stuff. Lisa spotted it for me.
We had a good meal at a very colourful restaurant called Mi Tierra,which was right across he courtyard from the market. It was full of very brightly coloured decorations, some of which,upon closer inspection, I realized were Christmas trees! It was very pretty in there though.
While we were there Lisa's mom texted her to say there was a big storm moving in, with hail expected. Lisa was worried about getting home before it hit. However, she spotted a shop in the market that was still open, and she decided I needed to go there. The shopkeeper had the tv on,so we were able to find out more about the storm. Apparently there were tornadoes and flooding in Ohio! The news said it was all south of Columbus, so I knew home and Emma were ok, but Lisa insisted we call Ivy. Ivy was one the couch,ensconced in blankets and under our cat Mow, who was sleeping on her. She said there had been rain, but not even heavy thunderstorms. So at least we could relax. As it turned out, it was a good thing we went to that shop, because, although we got there minutes before it closed, I managed to find these!
Little tiny ceramic tiles! They're about 1" square. I bought a bunch in hopes of selling off my extras. (But I'm definitely keeping some!) So these babies are for sale people!
|These are sharper than they look. My camera didn't focus well.|
Maybe if I do well with the stuff I bought, I can afford to visit Lisa again in less than 24 years!
Wednesday we had some errands to run.
|Tammy hung out in Lisa's cup holder. It was a perfect fit.|
We don't have yucca plants in Ohio,where, by the way, it's STILL snowing on a fairly regular basis. They get HUGE.
|Tammy World showing the amazing size of the yucca plants.|
Lisa is a great friend.When I introduced her to Tammy World,who was to act as my alter ego so I wouldn't have to use pictures of myself in my blog post on my trip,instead of just thinking I had lost it over the years, she joined in! She frequently suggested picture ideas for Tammy and said,"We should have taken a picture of Tammy..." here or there or with blah blah.
|Lisa,taking her own picture of Tammy with the yucca...|
|...and the result.|
|The Wire Dudes do San Antonio.|
Turns out, it's red yucca.
There was also cactus.
This stuff was more recognizable to me.
I've seen this stuff in old Westerns and cartoons,and probably previous trips to Texas,although I don't remember.
What I didn't realize is that it,at least this variety, grows out of what looks like a log.
The older cactus growth is really hard and looks like wood.
After finishing our errands we stopped to eat,again, at Los Palapas. There were more of those evil eyed grackles.
This time they were outside and we were inside, so we couldn't hear their loud voices.
From Los Palapas we went back to Lisa's to change for the big evening out we had planned. Remember,my trip got started in the first place because Lisa wanted me to go with her to this event. So that evening we went to a showing of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, after which there was a question and answer session with John Cleese.
Just about everybody in the audience knew every line of the movie, but we still found it funny. Afterward,John Cleese was accompanied on stage by his daughter Camilla. He answered questions and talked for about an hour and a half and was very funny. Afterward we found out there was a meet and greet! Tickets had to have been purchased prior to the show,so we couldn't do it then. If we had known, we would have gotten meet and greet tickets! Meeting John Cleese together would have been something really fitting and special.
We were wondering if there would be merchandise. I thought there wouldn't be, but there was. It was all expensive because almost all of it was signed.
I wasn't willing to pump out that much money for a signed item. I was pushing it flying to Texas. Besides, I met John Cleese years ago at a radio show in London and got an autograph.
|John Cleese outside the BBC Light Entertainment studios in 1985,after the radio show. But where's my signed ticket?!|
|This one is mine.|
|Like this one I photographed on the wall of the Python office in 1986.|
|I found it! I tried to think where the most logical place for me to have moved it to would be. For a change I did the most logical thing! Look where it was!|
|It was in this book! That actually makes sense!|
|We chased down about a half dozen people,(We were sent from one to the next one to the next one.),trying to see if we could get the poster in the display,only to find out it gets sent back where it came from.|
Lisa bought a signed one though.
|Me with Lisa's poster.|
|Back at Lisa's house, we photographed Tammy with the poster. Lisa got a better shot than I did, so this is hers!|
The next day I had to leave, but not until evening. Luckily I had packed all my stuff the night before. It was a challenge, because I had come with only a small bag, squeezed down even smaller to make it the size of a 'personal item',and an extra bag to be my 'personal item' on the way home, when my original 'personal item' bag would be stretched out into almost 'carry on' size. (Phew!) My stuff still had to be fitted in like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to get it all squeezed in.
|This is Jasper, who wasn't particularly interested in having his photo taken.|
|Lisa,(right),and her mom.|
|The 1990 version.|
|Find a hairdo that works and stick with it...or at least one that's easy. I told you I don't do hairdos.|
I haven't aged a day. (*Ahem...*)
Lisa and I ended the day with a meal at The Olive Garden. I knew Ken would react with,"You went all the way to Texas and ate at the Olive Garden?!" Hey, we ate at Mexican restaurants the rest of the week,plus Lisa's mom made homemade enchiladas one day,(I did really miss the homemade tortillas Lisa's mom used to make. They were delicious!),so it's not like I ate the way I do at home all the time. Besides, I cheated a little and drank Pepsi, which I have given up,(except for the hard to find clear kind),since it was reported that the caramel colouring gives you cancer. Lisa was on a vacation too,since she took the week off work,and she wanted to eat at The Olive Garden and have some pasta,which she doesn't eat much of any more. Besides, I love The Olive Garden!
Lisa took me to the airport and we said goodbye. Who knows how long it will be until we see each other again? I just hope it's not 24 years this time!