August 23, 2011

Lone Star Love...

Last year I had the opportunity to travel to Texas for the first time.  It was love at first sight.  I stepped off the plane, got in a rental car, turned on the radio, heard my husband’s voice singing through the speakers, took in the hot air, ate good food, and fell head over heels.  I feel just as much at home there as I do here on my own Tennessee soil.  (I’m not announcing a move.  As much as I love Texas, I love being within driving distance of family even more.)  BUT, since that first visit, I travel to Texas as much as I can. So last week when I had the opportunity to hop on a plane and spend another 3 days in in the Lone Star State, I jumped on it.

Thursday morning, I woke up and packed a backpack with jeans, t-shirts, one dress, and a pair of cowboy boots.  Oh Texas, how I love your laid back ways.  My good friend, KP, took me to the airport.  I was excited but jittery.  I’m not the best flyer…but I’m working on it.  KP reassured me that my flight would go well.  I took a deep breath, let her reassurance sink-in, put my game-face on, and walked into the airport like a pro.

Sure enough, my flight was great, my bag was only searched once (apparently I had an unusual amount of change in my wallet… what??) and my friend Danielle, booked me in the best seat on the plane.  I was by a window AND I was in a row with only one seat.  This was perfect for me as half of my fear of flying is having strangers invade my personal bubble.  (I once had a guy fall asleep on my shoulder. Yuck. YES I woke him up and made him move, but it was disgusting.)  Point is, this flight was amazing.  I listened to my IPOD and looked out the window for 2 straight hours. As we reached 30,000 feet and began soaring above the clouds, I pictured aiming the plane towards the horizon and flying until I reached my children. As I watched the clouds pass, I began to relax, sink into the seat and take it all in. I was reminded of the world's fierce beauty, God's power, and the fact that I’m NOT. IN. CONTROL.  and THAT. IS. OKAY.  The experience was a well-needed shift in perspective and I stepped off the flight totally (and surprisingly) rejuvenated.

When I walked out of the airport, Danielle, my good friend from Houston, met me right outside the airport doors. We hugged, caught up, and headed towards Sean’s gig at Dosey Doe’s.  This venue is unbelievable.  It is in a 150 year old barn. The sound is incredible, the food is fantastic, and the audience is always quiet, attentive, and totally engaged.  This particular show turned out to be one of my all-time favorites.  There was something in the air, and it was amazing.

After the show, the night was just beginning.  Jessica, Danielle, and I drove 30 minutes to Danielle’s lake house while the guys packed up.  (Having my friend Jessica around was another perk of the trip.  She’s Sean’s drummer’s girlfriend, and she's just plain awesome.)

After a while the guys met us there and we swam in the pool, listened to music, jumped in the lake, and finally went to bed around 2 am.  It was a good day.

The next day we woke up and drove 4 hours to Ft. Worth. We had a flat tire on the way, but the guys jumped out of the van, put up caution triangles, lined the road, and got the new tire on in approximately 12 minutes.  I was impressed.

We arrived at Billy Bob’s around 1:45.  The guys had sound check and afterwards we walked to one of my favorite restaurants in the whole wide world:  Cooper’s BBQ. 

I wish you could see the cobbler that is in that container, but I was eating my prime rib too quickly to bother taking a good photo. 

At 9:30 we went back to Billy Bob’s and sat backstage until the show began. If you are unfamiliar with Billy Bob’s, just know that it’s a big deal and we were so honored to be there. It was an unbelievable experience seeing Sean play on that stage and I feel so blessed that I was actually there and not just hearing about it later. Here I am with Jessica and Danielle, as we took our seats before the show.

By the time they took the stage, the place was packed and the crowd was on fire. 

The show was incredible and we left the concert that night feeling blessed, excited, and so fortunate to have had such an amazing experience.

The next day, we were back on the road to New Braunfels, TX.  As the guys took care of a bunch of pre-show stuff, Jessica’s friends picked us up from the venue and took us to get a good meal and a hot shower.  With full bellies and clean bodies we headed back to the venue around 8:00.  My good friends from college, Alice and Garrett, met me at the show. It was so great getting to see them.  They have been so gracious over the years to house the guys when they’re in the area and we absolutely love them. Here we are after the show.

The show was great and by 2:30 am we were back on the road, starting the 15 hour drive back home.

It was a great trip.  While I’m sad I didn’t get to see all of my friends from TX,  (J.M.W. I’m talking ‘bout you J) I am so happy I was able to make it down there for three days of good food, great friends, and awesome music.

Signing Off,
Mae Mae

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