Sunday, June 5, 2011

Time in Texas!

I didn't anticipate a second trip to Texas during our 3 years abroad...One time, for one very good friend of mine's wedding, and that was going to be it! I made that one trip in October, seeing all of my family and as many of my friends as I could fit into 4 weeks. I said my goodbye's to the Great State for what I thought would be at least 2.5 years! Little did I know, I would be back so soon...

Oh Tejas how I missed you!
Nothing says Texas like cowboy boots and the Lonestar flag!
Or delicious Tex Mex...
The name says it all! If ever in Austin, Texas, do yourself a favor and stop by this famous dive for some of the best breakfast tacos you can put in your stomach! (Of course salsa and guac are to be consumed while there as well!)
Though the food is what my taste-buds miss the most, Texas wouldn't be so dear to me if it weren't for my amazing family that ALL reside there!

There's one family member in particular whom I was the most excited to see…my PRECIOUS niece, Miss Sloane Alyce! (She’s getting so big!)

Here's Miss Sloane in her Japanese pj's from her Auntie Britty (including the Hello Kitty clips I sent as an accessory, a girl needs to look good even when she sleeps, right???), and playing with (chewing) the toys I sent her for her birthday from Japan!
Everybody loves Anpanman! (Anpanman is the most popular fictional character in Japan for children....a man who's head is made out of bread...or Anpan = a bean-jam filled pastry! His face is seen on everything from clothing to snack foods all throughout Japan. Naturally, I just had to send Miss Sloane some Anpanman toys too! Good thing, cause she seems to like them!)
After a few days in Texas, I decided to head North to Oklahoma for a quick visit to my alma mater...OU!

Had to take a snapshot of the "Spoon Holder" where Nick of OU's sentimental traditions and one that my sweet husband made into one of my very favorite memories!
And of course, I stopped by my sorority house...Oh how I love KKG!


While I was in Oklahoma, I stayed with my favorite Norman family....the Bells! Hudson and Garner, the two kids I nannied for during college are growing up so fast!


I made it back to Texas just in time for Easter with the family!
For some strange reason, I only have pictures of Sloane on Easter, and no one else in my family! :)
First Easter egg hunt...she kept wanting to stop and look at what was inside!

It wouldn't be a trip home to Austin without a night out on 6th street with my brother and best friend Sarah!

Most of my time in the States was spent traveling....from Japan to California, Cali to Hawaii, Hawaii to Texas, Texas to Oklahoma, back to Texas and all around The Great State I went!

I took a VERY brief (as in a little over 24 hours) road trip to Houston... love!
While there, I got to see 3 of my very best friends (and bridesmaids) plus 12 members of my might've been a quick trip, but I took care of business!

I just so happened to make it to Houston for my cousin's 1st birthday party! So fun!

Most importantly, I was able to see one of my childhood friend's baby boy! Miss Amber (whom I have known since I was 4) and I have been planning the day we would be moms since around the age of 6. Amber called me right after I moved to Japan to tell me she was pregnant and I was heartbroken because I was certain that I wouldn't get to meet her 1st baby until he was almost 3! However, I got to meet handsome little Luke, making one more reason why my evacuation to the States was well worth it!

While in Houston I got my Southern fried food fix! Mmmm! A yummy little place in Katy called, Texas Traditions....delicious! Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, fried okra, Texas Toast and of course, sweet Dixie tea!!!! A Southern favorite meal!

After Houston my mom, sister, neice and I took another road trip to Dallas, Fort Worth and then Canton...It was my last weekend in Texas, a full-on girl's trip!

(Sloane actually learned to walk while I was in the States...being so far away means I miss a lot of firsts, but I felt very fortunate to get to witness her learn to walk! Of course, by the time I left Texas, she was a full on speed demon....moving from one end of the house to another! Watch out mamma Shae!)

During our girl trip to North Texas, we got to see my grandparents and more of my cousins....girls, girls, girls!
When people say they are going to "Canton" (in Canton, Texas), it's more than likely for one go shopping at the famous, world's largest flea market! Canton's, First Monday Trade Days, is just that, a wide selection of vendors selling trades on the first monday of every month. It's been around since the 1850's (though the trades have changed, the idea hasn't)!

We ate our fare share of fried foods (because of course, Texas is also known for their fried goodness)....Trade Days had everything from fried pickles (my absolute favorite) to funnel cake!

After Canton it was back to Austin for a few more nights before heading back to Japan....

Movie night with my sister, followed by appetizers and Baby Acapulco's famous "Purple Margaritas" out, their special ingredient makes these frozen favorites delicious but strong!
I fit in as much "dress up" and shopping with Sloane as I could before I left!

It was super sad saying goodbye, especially to my favorite blue eyed girl! But as I have said from the beginning, it was a bonus trip home and therefore, I am nothing but grateful.

I've been back almost 2 months now.... I am so happy to be back in Japan; this is my home, even if it's only temporary. But no matter how much I love Japan, I will always be a Texas girl!

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