Faaaaaaamily Comes to Visit

We recently had 2 separate groups of family come out from Florida to visit us in North Texas. Back to back. It was awesome 🙂

First, Mike’s mom came to visit. She arrived on a Sunday and left the following Wednesday. We had a grand ole time. We went out to dinner, we had beers at the bus, she got pooped on. It was great.

When Mike and I lived here a few years she was the only family member, on either side, that came out to visit us (well, to visit Mike, I had suddenly moved halfway across the country and in with him like a week before her already scheduled visit). We mostly did Fort Worth while she was here that time- I distinctly remember going to the Stockyards. So this time, we decided to “do” Dallas. Not that you can really do Dallas in a day. There’s just too much.

Mike ended up having to work for a lot of the time that she was here so it was just us ladies during the day.

One of the most interesting things we did was go to the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. It’s at the Texas Book Depository in Dealy Plaza which is were Lee Harvey Oswald had his little sniper nest that he shot Kennedy out of. The sixth floor is where he was located and they turned that whole floor into a museum for Kennedy. It focuses a lot on him (duh) and the political and social climate of the sixties. They also discuss the ramifications of his assassination, how the nation and people in other parts of the world reacted, and the legacy of his death. It was a very well thought out and put together museum. It’s an audio led tour so you don’t just wander around at your own pace which I dislike in a museum. There are parts that I wanted to linger and at parts I wanted to skip that didn’t match up to the audio. Additionally, it was BUSY. We went at noon on a Monday. And it was about an hour wait to get in (it’s on a timed system so our group was allowed in at 1:30, each half hour a new group is allowed to enter) and they really shove as many people in as they can. It bottle-necked all over the place and I very much dislike being in small spaces with a lot of strangers so I felt distinctly uncomfortable for a lot of the time I was there. Mike’s mom really enjoyed it. She remembers when it happened and so it was more emotional for her that it was for me. But it is moving and it is a little unsettling to drive right where he was shot- the road is marked with an X and it’s the route to I-30 from the museum.

Afterwards we walked around and got a very late lunch at a place called Ellen’s which was good but our server did this odd thing where he would start talking as he approached our table and never actually look at us. It took us a little bit to figure out that yes, he was in fact talking to us.

We also took a Zumba class. I had never gone to one before and WOW. It was a lot of squats. I thought it would be super easy and kind of dancy. Oh no, it was a serious cardio workout. Weight, squats, and more squats. Seriously, so many squats.

We had the tornado sirens go off in the middle of the night while she was here so that was exciting (I had a meltdown since we were stuck in the bus) and she got herded to the main lobby of the hotel where no one from the hotel staff was there to tell all of the assembled guests what the hell to do. She had other hotel issues but that one is just dangerous and irresponsible. So Wingate by Wyndham in Arlington may not be a great choice (also, it’s apparently no longer owned by Wyndham but they haven’t changed any of their signage) if you’re looking for hotels in the area.

Mike’s mom left early Wednesday morning and the next day my dad and his girlfriend arrived.

My dad’s girlfriend, Sandy, had planned an awesome surprise trip for my dad to celebrate his retirement. He literally left work on his last day, got surprise taken to the airport and flown to Dallas, where Sandy had arranged for all 4 of us to see one of his favorite bands. Mike and I were waiting at the theater for them and got to surprise my dad who didn’t know he was going to see me at all. It was awesome. We saw Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at the Kessler in Dallas and they were awesome. The Kessler is a super cute, old theater with a nice bar and decent food items. Sandy had gotten VIP seats (it was either that or standing room only tickets and might as well go big!) so were, quite literally, right next to the stage. Front and center. Like seriously, we right there. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is swing, in case you are unfamiliar with them, and it was so cool to see everything that goes into a song up close- drums, piano, cello, trumpets, saxophones, trombone, mandolin, guitar, banjo and vocals. They didn’t blow our ears out and it was fabulous.

Funnily enough, my dad had noticed they were on tour and the week after Dallas they were in Florida and he so wanted to go. Sandy couldn’t blow the secret and there was no other good reason to not buy the local tickets so they saw them again a week later with my sister and her husband.

The next day we went to the Stockyards in Fort Worth which I think my dad was a little disappointed with- it really is more of a cattle stroll than a cattle drive- but the longhorns are gorgeous. After we checked out that area we did a little shopping and got an afternoon beer in Fort Worth and then parted ways.

The following day, Saturday, was their last day here (they flew out early Sunday morning) and we had planned on going to Dallas and going to the farmer’s market and some other stuff but, really unfortunately, Sandy came down with a very nasty stomach bug. So that was the end.

Other than Sandy getting sick, it was great having some visitors out here. My dad had never seen the bus so I got to show him around and reassure him that I’m not living like a bus hobo lol. Got some good tips on projects we’re working on (ie: we’ve already fucked the bathroom by not using green board but he gave us some tips to prevent moisture damage to the underlying plywood).

It was a lot of fun. Mike’s mom and I feel really comfortable with each other now, it was great to see my dad and Sandy, and it was just really nice to have our family come all the way out here. It felt like we did so much more but typing it all out and it seems so brief now.

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