[warning: long post ahead]
Well, last week was my much needed spring break. Chris and I left Saturday morning and drove to Laredo to visit his family. It was my first time to Laredo and my first time meeting most of his family. His mom and oldest brother came up to Denton the week before for his first DMA recital, so I met them then, but he has lots of other family: 4 sisters, 2 brothers, 5 nephews and lots and lots of aunts and uncles. It was a little intimidating, to say the least! But of course, all of his family is very nice and we had a lot of fun. And we ate a lot of food. :)
Chris's mom's house wasn't big enough for us to stay there (it's really big but lots of people live there!), so we stayed at his sister Trina's new house. She and her family haven't moved in yet, so it's been sort of a free hotel for various people over the last several months. She has two little boys and lots of video games, which we definitely took advantage of! Chris and I stayed up late every night we were there playing Super Mario Sunshine and Donkey Konga. I love video games. :)
I got to sleep in the master bedroom (yay for being the guest - and a girl!) and this was the view outside my window:
We spent a lot of time touring around Laredo in the Festiva. It's actually really pretty! (I have to admit I wasn't execting that.) The warm warm weather meant there were lots of palm trees and beautiful flowers everywhere, and most of the houses were painted bright colors. This one in particular caught my eye:
I loved the little patio area and all the green with the bright splash of pink! This house was right across the street from the school where Chris's brother James teaches high school English.
We were planning to go into Mexico one morning and spend a bit walking around in the shops, but I woke up one morning feeling sick and yucky so we decided not to go in. We did go right up to the border though!
By the Rio Grande:
Since we didn't go to Mexico and shop, we went instead to the import store where I bought my fam silly souvenirs. They had incredible things there, like 15-ft. tall mariachi men and suits of armor statues.
Chris and I bought some rad rubber sunglasses for ourselves:
Then, on Wednesday morning we packed the Festiva up again and headed off to Odessa, about a 6 and 1/2 hour drive. Two and a half hours in,
we stopped. Or rather, Festiva screeched and clunked and turned off, and we coasted to a stop at the Taco Way in Uvalde, Texas. While Chris exchanged about a million phone calls with his car-smart brother George and his taking-off-work-to-come-pick-us-up brother James, I fretted and worried and took pictures. Finally finally finally after three hours, many calls to mechanics who never showed, one friendly stranger who put in a call to his mechanic friend (who never showed), and two crosswords, Chris decided to try again.
He cautiously turned the Festiva on and pulled out of the parking lot. The terrifying aroma of burning wafted through the open windows. Festiva huffed up a bridge where lo and behold we saw Auto Parts Alley! Four mechanics in a row, waiting for us, to fix our poor car and empty our wallets. Fifteen minutes later, we were on our way with full wallets and a happy Festiva. It turns out that the only thing wrong with Festiva was the compressor. Our friendly mechanic looked at it and told us it had locked up and caught a belt in it, which caused the screeching and clunking and turning off, and then burned the belt off, which caused the burning smell. (duh!) Once all that was taken care of, the car was fine! The only thing we were missing was an air conditioner. No problem - we have windows. So we were on our way. After a long pretty drive through the "mountainous" area of Texas,
we were safely in Odessa. Finally. Odessa was fun, as always, and slow, as always. I loved it.
Chris and I played Hand and Foot and wore red things on our necks with Grannie and Papa. (Except for Papa: "I refuse to wear this thing.") We took the crazy dog for walks:
She quickly realized she couldn't jerk Chris around like she does everyone else. He reined her in pretty fast. I was impressed.
We went to the Sand Hills again - woo!
Here are the other videos we took. "Ramp Gone Wrong" is a funny one. There's also a bonus video of some improv accordion by Chris.
All in all, this was a great spring break. I had a lot of fun meeting all of Chris's family, and it was super relaxing being in Odessa with Grannie and Papa. Now. Only 6 weeks to summer. 6 weeks to summer. 6 weeks to summer.