We visited family in Texas during the Holidays, and got to see our extended family and friends, and eat our bellies full of Southern comfort food (I had my first ever fried pork chop, who knew you could even get pork chops fried?) and Tex-Mex (Chuy’s and Pappasitos, hello!).
It was a bitter sweet trip.. It was so wonderful to see family, and kids had a chance to see their second cousins shortly, and we saw grandparents and great-grandmother and visited the Presnal family ranch and saw the horses and enjoyed spending time with the family and what Texas is all about. But we couldn’t help but think the upcoming move to Europe, and the missed opportunities in the past and in the future of not spending enough time with the large family we have in Texas. While we love our nomadic lifestyle; the gypsy-style moving around, traveling and experiencing life like not many get to do, it does come with missed opportunities to spend time with family. It especially gets tricky when our families are on the other sides of the world, my husband’s in Texas, and mine in Finland.
For a few days, we enjoyed our family time in Texas and said our farewells to many loved ones as we are once again moving out of the country. Some of the distant family we had seen the last time on a family celebration of us moving back to the US, ten years ago. Time goes fast, and this trip was a grand reminder of that.
To me it doesn’t feel like Christmas without snow and cold, but there still isn’t snow in New York, so it wasn’t like we missed out on an amazing winter wonderland. In fact, we visited Santa’s Wonderland in College Station, and it was cold as New York and the hot cocoa and the outdoor fireplace were spot on.
Kris gave a test ride for a mechanical bull, and we all took the hayride through the Christmas lights galore of the Santa’s Wonderland. I wasn’t too big of a fan of the lights parade and the overpowering amount of Christmas lights seemed too Las Vegas to me, but I loved the Santa’s village, Texas style. Well, I liked the Texan village of cowboy hat stores, S’mores and hot dogs by the outdoor fireplace, country music playing and the true Western experience. To me it had very little to do with Christmas, there were no reindeer sightings nor rice porridge, but it was great to experience Christmas, the Texas way.
The best of it all – to spend time with loved ones, who make even me feel like Texas is home, even though I haven’t lived there for more than a few months.