Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Anthony Bourdain

As many of you know, we (especially Adam) are HUGE fans of Anthony Bourdain. His honest and sarcastic approach to life, food, and travel is something that we understand, embrace, and admire. He has two shows on the Travel Channel (No Reservations and The Layover) that we readily watch and gain travel and food insights from...and honestly, he has guided many of our travel decisions over the years. So what is this all premising? He was coming to Baltimore to do his live show 'Guts and Glory' at the Hippodrome! So of course tickets were purchased and a wonderful evening was had.

The beautiful Hippodrome Theater

I simply must recommend that everyone try to attend this show, it was hysterically funny, and so much more than I expected it to be...and I had pretty high expectations! He addressed everything from the show, traveling, maturity, the media war with Paula Dean (almost DIED laughing), to his transition to CNN this coming year and appreciation for how life has played out.

We had really great seats for not being the front row and he stayed on our side of the stage most of the show, so it was really up-close and personal. Unfortunately, the way they did the lighting it was REALLY hard (i.e. impossible) to get a good picture of him, and I am sure that this was intentional.

The best picture I could get

At the end he did a 45 minute Q&A with the audience, which I have never seen a live show do before, and it was awesome...just candid and honest answers that really illuminated who he was. My favorite question came from a local student: "In all of your travels you try to capture the local tradition of cooking and eat a meal with a family, if the tables were turned and you were the one being visited to capture this local tradition, what would you prepare to serve?". It was the most thought provoking, stimulating, and well worded question of the entire night. I honestly was so caught up with the brilliance of the question that I have forgotten the answer, I just know that it was something from his childhood that his grandmother and mother would make.
I would recommend that you get tickets to his show and have a wonderful evening out if you have the opportunity, you will not be disappointed. Honestly, we are looking at trying to catch the show again!

Friday, November 30, 2012

New Blog & Texas Trip: Round 2

So, as you may be able to tell....I ran out of storage space on the old blog. I didn't feel like paying for more, so you get a new one! If you are looking for the old one it can be found here:

Yes, we repeated a trip this year, something that we NEVER do...it's actually on a list somewhere...to not travel somewhere we have traveled before again before we accomplish our travel list (yeah, yeah...I am a crazy list maker). This is the exception though, as it was to visit family, so it really doesn't count. The bonus of this trip was that I was able to convince my parents to come with us and it was their first trip back (like it was mine back in May) since we moved away 20+ years ago.
My mom was born and raised in Ballinger, met my dad when he was cruising through town (he was in the Army at Fort Hood in TX and driving around with friends, when he saw my mom and knew it was game over)...so it is one of my favorite places because it is the birth of my ultimate love story (ok, besides my own, but it did lead to me so...) and it is a pretty wonderful place.

Landing in San Angelo

I lived there, we have traveled over it a few times, we were here in March, but I am always surprised with how completely flat this part of the state is. The only reason you stop seeing land in the distance is because of the curve of the earth, it's amazing to see this in all directions.

View from the plane...I always forget how flat TX is

Keep in mind that I haven't seen my parents since August or my aunt and cousins since May, so I was VERY excited to get off of this plane! The taxing to the gate and seat belt sign remaining on was KILLING me! I am blessed to have a husband that loves me for the exuberant crazy that I can be, he is
definitely the calm to my whirlwind.


There use to be grape vines here...

One of our first stops into town was the vineyard that my dad built. I talked about it before in the previous blog, but it was really interesting to hear it from his perspective now that I am adult. I remember all of it from when I was little, but it was with the childlike perspective that I carried my memories.

My dad built this over 20 years ago

My maternal grandparents

This was a stop that we did not have time to make on our first trip here and I had regretted in, so it was the second stop into town. I unfortunately never got to meet my mom's parents, but my parents have done a very wonderful job of keeping their spirits strong with their stories. I am also very touched by the fact that my grandfather was not able to live a full year without my grandmother. That is the hopeless romantic in my soul...

One of the greatest uncles in the world...still miss him so very much!

This was my Uncle Michael...he passed away when I was 8 and I still remember him as vividly as if I saw him yesterday. He was a huge bear of a man (6'5") to little ole me and he was always around with a pack of gum in his pocket to share.

Turkeys just strutting around the neighborhood eating pecans

Me and my tree, I planted this as a 12" sapling

My cousin JJ, Carrie, and baby Mollie

My parents were married here 33 years ago!

Haliburton Girls: Aunt Elaine and Mom

My little Miss Mollie, Adam lent her his sunglasses (shock, I know!)

Mom and her cousin Robert, his wife Kim, and dad

Mom and her childhood friend Kay

You will see in the background that there is a lot of people around...we happened into town the weekend of the annual Rowena Festival which is a HUGE Thanksgiving dinner (and auction and bingo) fundraiser for the Catholic church...if you are in a 50 miles radius, this is what you do on this day, every year. WOW did we run into every person that my parents ever knew when they lived there, so it worked out really well for them to touch base with people from the past!

She has him wrapped so tight around her little finer!

Cutest kiddo ever!

Ok, maybe he is....my cousins really make it tough!

Momma's girl

Dad and Francisco...they built the vineyard together

JJ, me, and Terry...they make me look like a ghost!

Literally the best picture I could get him to take

Shelby and Cayden...cousin love!

Only the best cousins let all the blood go to your brain!

Boys will be boys!

More cousin love

Mom and her cousin Jane, husband Rex, and dad

This is suppose to be a lake, everything that isn't water is suppose to be...wicked draught

Yes, this is Texas and it is October, and it is FREEZING!

The Haliburton Girls

Where the cotton grows

My cousin Terry and his kiddos, Shane and Shelby

The Entire Family!
My and my Mollie Girl

Overall it was THE MOST AMAZINGLY AWESOME trip and a fantastic time was had by all. I am already looking forward to going back! I am honestly blessed with the family that I have in my life.