Two extended delays, a ripped coat lining, 210 crabby fellow fliers and an exhausted couple of kids later, we got back Monday evening. The wall started building itself back up almost upon entry to the house so I took a couple of blog free days off. You wouldn't have liked me much those days anyway so trust me when I say it is no big loss.
The children had a great time. They both had cameras and all of the pictures I will post over the next few days will be from their viewpoint. We found out that James is quite the budding photographer, with a real eye for composition.
Leonard's cousin has a really great home in Houston. A lot of home can be had for a very little amount of money. It gets one's head spinning with ideas while one sits in the balmy air, drinking coffee and contemplating the 12 degree temps back home. But Texas and I wouldn't get along very well and it would end up being a nasty split. So, here we are.
We did not do much of anything really. A short side trip to San Antonio (stay at the Drury Plaza Hotel if you go...what an amazing view from the jacuzzi on the roof) and the Riverwalk. I was able to block out Leonard thoughts here and there until we hit the Alamo. Leonard would have loved the Alamo, the Riverwalk, walking around town. Grief got to me and I was not expecting it while viewing a movie in the Alamo longhouse. Hearing the tales of the women of the Alamo (amazing how not much is said about them in our history books, eh?) watching their husband's die...children losing their daddies... and I became breathless and overwhelmed with it all again. There are so often the times when I think that this can't possibly be real. It still doesn't, and probably never will, feel real.
We took the boat ride (the guided tour) down the river. You can almost forget you are in America and mentally transport yourself to some of the side canals in Venice. Not that I've been to Venice but it felt like how it might be like. We stopped at La Villeta, a village of artisans along the riverwalk, and I bought a pair of peridot earrings, and a peridot ring for Nik. I was going to keep it for her birthday, but I am not good at keeping things a secret.
It was, most of all, good to see James with a real smile on his face. He loves his cousin M. and she is the only girl type person that he actively seeks out for play. They had a great time together and the visit itself was all too short for them.
I get the feeling that this post is rather disjointed and I'm really not feeling like myself so I'll leave you for now with a few pictures.
James and Nik attempt to take a photograph of themselves in the H.E.B. parking lot because they are crazy like that.
Goofing off at Pappacito's, a cabana type restaurant. Everyone got a rose for Valentine's day and this is what the kids did with theirs. Okay, well, everyone did it. It made me awfully glad that Leonard and I did not celebrate Valentine's day as a "romantic" holiday. It was always family oriented.
Nicole and her cousin N. sleeping in the back of the car on the way to San Antonio. N. has, since birth, adored her. It's amazing the things she can get him to do (like sleep) when others have failed miserably.
Right outside our hotel entrance on the Riverwalk. If one goes to San Antonio, and the Riverwalk, one should stay right on the Riverwalk. I would like, someday, to stay at La Mansion, with its beautiful balconies overlooking the river. Of course, this was the day where the reality of my aloneness hit and the rest of the visit was rather melancholy.
We plan on driving down again over spring break, as my aunt and uncle were gone from San Antonio and I was not able to visit them. I ache for warmth. At least one thing to be pretty or perfect, or at least tolerable these days.