Last evening Val and I returned from a quick trip to Texas to see Andrew and Natalie and our friends the McIntyres.
The first thing Val said when he drove out of the parking area was...
"Oh, Utah! So glad to be out of Texas and all those lefts."
It's true, the lefts.
There were many interchanges where we kept left.
There were more left exit lanes.
There were weird left merge lanes across oncoming traffic.
There were twice as many left turns we made than right turns.
Even on return trips!
Despite the leftness of our trip, it was a wonderful respite from household woes.
We missed the snow/rain/snow storm.
We missed the cold weather for a few days.
Clarification: We didn't miss the cold weather like we miss our grandchildren. We missed the cold weather like - Whew! Missed that one!
We really, really, really enjoyed our time with Andrew & Natalie in Abilene. It's always nice to know what your loved ones homes look like so as to picture them in your mind.
They have a cute apartment in a nice complex.
Two cute dogs.
And, they are great hosts!
While we were there Andy showed us where he works.
We also saw the base housing where they are contemplating moving.
We did a little home improvement shopping - for our house.
We enjoyed lunch together at a Tex-Mex place - Abuelo's.
We checked out an antique mall.
We saw a movie together - War Horse.
We attended church together. While at church, we met Uncle Frank & Aunt Madalyn Hoopes' daughter -Connie. She lives in Andrew & Natalie's ward! Small world, eh?!
We visited, played games and was able to get to know Natalie better, too.
It was sad to leave... however, I did get three hugs from Natalie!
Sunday afternoon we drove to Double Oak to spend a day and a half with our friends the McIntyres.
Christina and I met and became friends while working at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, California. We started working for Marriott Corporation on the same day, at the same hotel in Salt Lake City but didn't meet each other until 8 years later, in California.
Harold & Christina have five children... Alexa (14), Austin (13), Nicolette (9), Christian (6) and Brigitte (3). It's always fun to spend time with them and enjoy their hospitality. They make fresh bread at their house everyday. In fact, Monday we ran an errand with Christina and when we got home, Nicolette had a batch of dough rising in a bowl. She was making cinnamon rolls. First 9 year-old I've ever met who bakes bread on her own!
Christina has always loved baking and making candies. This last year she started a little cottage business making gift baskets with her handmade candies... caramels, toffee, peanut butter cups, fudge, truffles, etc.
She loves making candies.
We were at their house for a day and a half and she made candies 4 different times... just for the fun of it!
What do you suppose she did with all that candy?
It was too early to begin filling Valentine orders.
She doesn't put her product in stores (on consignment) any more.
She and her family love to eat some of what she makes but that cuts into her profits, so they ration themsleves.
She gave it to us. On the sly.
She packaged up a bag for Val and told him to take it home and give it to me, as a surprise, for Valentine's Day.
She also gave me a bag as a surprise for Val for Valentine's Day!
Oh, and then there was the gift basket she put in our room prior to our arrival.
My sweet friend Christina is so kind and giving. She makes such sweet, delicious treats!
She is very good at her craft and is always sharing!
Now, if I could just be as thin as she is and still enjoy her treats!
It's great to be home, even if things are bigger and better in Teaxas!