I could not be more thrilled (well, if my sinuses weren't so congested I may be able to manage a bit more excitement, but part of me irrationally feels like as soon as we step glamorously off that plain, my head cold is going to just dry up and Poof!).
I have never been to Texas, except when we had a layover there last year on our way to our Caribbean honeymoon. And we didn't even get to go outside--I just felt bursts of humid heat when we got on and off that big tram thing they have at the airport. I wonder how my skin and hair are going to react to the humidity..?
Eli, on the other hand, is well versed in the Texas-ness.
He grew up there and the majority of his extended family still lives there, and we'll be staying with them.
I absolutely love his Texas family--they've been visiting us in Utah quite a lot lately and this spring we went with them on that trip to Zion (remember, when I cut off the top of my finger in that town so small it didn't have a hospital?).
His aunt is soooooo Texan and larger than life, and her son is a sweet little chunk that loves to flirt with me. And she is also larger than life generous. When a dear family member recently died, she fought the courts and won, and was able to adopt the new baby that said family member died giving birth to.
His name is Logan (they, in true Texas fashion of giving everyone a nickname) call him Lo-Lo and already he is a curly-haired hellian! Adorable though.
And then there are the cousins and the uncles and of course, my love, Charlene, Eli's grandma.
She is a true Southern belle and we have had many a memory together, from giggling over martinis in Vegas to baking Christmas pies together to hanging out in the hospital when she got stuck here with pneumonia that she somehow, despite her frail state, powered through. She is a tough cookie that loves the color purple and calls everyone "honey." But with her heavy accent, it comes out "huun--aaaaaay."
We will be going to a Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday.
I have been rooting for this team (on behalf of Eli, of course...unspoken rule) for years, and now I finally get to see them play! It will also be my first official NFL football game.
Other plans for the trip are going to the little city on the outskirts of Fort Worth where Eli grew up.
He had a sugary sweet childhood in a development known as Pecan Plantation, that (wait for it)
really was full of pecan trees!
His dad used to make his famous pecan pie from the fruits of those trees,
and there was a park (and apparently still is a park) across from their house, and a river running next to it that they used to play in, water moccasins be damned.
Ever since I saw Lonesome Dove I have been deathly fearful of water moccasins. And he grew up swimming with them! Ye Gawds.
Also, I may have spent 20 minutes yesterday looking at photos of the poisonous snakes of Texas. Call me paranoid, call me preventative. Okay, that is kind of nuts.
But, I must confess, I am most looking forward to this trip because I can finally visit Dealey Plaza.
Hopefully when I say "Dealey Plaza" you know what the hell I am talking about.
If not, please, in my absence, smack yourself across the face with a modern history book.
Dealey Plaza is where President Kennedy was assassinated.
You know, the Grassy Knoll and Texas School Book Depository and all that.
I have spent years (literally! YEARS!) of my life researching the Kennedys, particularly Jack and Bobby, and I wrote my history dissertation on them. I am fascinated by JFK's assassination and the blatant cover-up, and I never cease to wonder when (if ever) we will glean some shard of the truth about it. E. Howard Hunt confessed on his deathbed that he was involved, but he didn't say HOW or WHY. I still tend to think WHY is the military industrial complex and the fact that he was pulling America out of the Vietnam War. But that's just me!
Anyway, we'll be there a few days before the 49th anniversary of the shooting and I know I am just going to have a meltdown, running through the plaza and seeing the museum in the Book Depository (but, suspiciously, they will not let visitors look out of the window that Oswald SUPPOSEDLY shot Kennedy from. Because any numbskull could see that it's an impossible shot. Especially when you're a bad marksman, like Oswald, using a Carcano rifle, with the sights not set accurately, etc. But I won't go into that).
After spending so much of my life poring over maps of the plaza, and watching documentaries about the Grassy Knoll, I may or may not have had the foresight to buy waterproof mascara for that day.
(Hint: I did buy it, I'm a crybaby).
I only regret that my bestie, Torie, can't be there with me. She too is a JFK lover and understands the tragedy and history of the assassination.
I will let you know how it goes.