Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"I think I'll go to Boston..."

I have been a busy woman since last week! A good friend of mine, Alberto, and I started driving to Boston last Tuesday.  We split the drive into three days and had a great timewe talked & talked & talked.  We listened to music and random podcasts.  We read some of my articles for school, which led to many interesting conversations.  It was a great time!  We drove through 13 states total but on Thursday, we passed through 9 statesVirginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.  It was a full day!  We were able to drive through NYCit really just made me sad that I couldn’t stay and made me vow to myself that i will go back very soon.  We drove through the most beautiful part of Connecticutthe trees are AMAZING!  There are so many vibrant colors that you cannot even imaginewhy do I not live there?!?  We made a stop in New Haven to visit Yale University where my friend went to grad school.  We met up with some of his friendsthey were all so niceand ate some great sushi!  Then, we got back in the car and headed to Boston.  After getting lostTWICEwe finally made it to Cambridge.  The trip was short but great!  What a great little city to live inthere is so much life & diversity there!

Photo of beautiful trees as we were driving down the highway

On Saturday morning, I flew out of Boston to El pAso.  After I finally arrived there, we headed to my cousin’s house for a family get together.  It was great to see all my cousinsthere were even some that flew in from Cali!  We went out for drinks that nightthere were quite a few of us cousins and let me say, it was a fun & crazy time! I will post pics at some point.  Then on Sunday, we had a memorial at San Francisco Xavier for my dad.  The mass was beautiful.  We had a reception afterward with pozole that my aunt & uncle madeit was super yummy!  We had a chance to talk to a bunch of our family thereaunts, uncles, cousins, friends of my dad’s.  it was a great way to remember my dad and celebrate his life.  Afterward was also special because we were able to have a tour of the house that my dad grew up in as a child when they lived across the street from that church.  What a treat for me and my mom and sisters!  My dad talked about that house so much and was always trying to explain what it was like in that house.  I remember stories that he told me about that house up until the last couple of weeks of his life.  I’m sure that he was there and grinning ear to ear watching us explore the house that he loved so much.  3719 findley streeta very special place. 

I flew back to dallas on Monday morning just in time for my midterm and think that I actually did pretty well.  :) thank goodness!!! 
Today I restedwhich consisted of laying on my couch in my pj’s for many hours.  It was greatness!  I am actually headed back to boston tomorrowstrange story but to make it short, I bought plane tickets for albert & I for the wrong week.  I am going to stay with albert’s friends that I met while I was there.  I think it will be a fun (& hopefully somewhat relaxing) timeI am glad that I will have more time to explore boston.  It seems like such a cool place.  The only problemit is so easy to get lost!  Say a prayer that I make it back!  Well, that is what I have been up to latelylots of traveling & loving every minute of it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Autumn at the Arboretum

Here are some photos from our day at the Dallas Arboretumapparently I needed to change the setting on my camera because most of the pictures have a glare.  Either way, it was fun and I think I got some great pictures.  Happy Autumn!

My way of coping...stay busy!

These last couple of weeks have been pretty difficult...over a month has passed since Pop passed away and I MISS HIM!  Although I knew that he was going to leave us for a better place and we prepared as much as possible, it is still really hard.  I was silly to think that the worst part was over when he was alive & suffering...boy, I sure was wrong!  I saw my Pops almost everyday for the last several months of his life...helped him with his tube feedings, crushed his pills, walked him to the restroom (usually against his will), slept on his floor several nights a week, etc.  And now, all of a sudden, he is gone.  What now?
So far, I have cried a lot.  And I do mean A LOT.  I think of him constantly, talk to him & ask him for guidance, visit his grave & take him roses (6 rosesone for each of the girls and mom), and talk about him quite a bit.  I have also received small signs that he is still with me and these make me very happy.  One of the signs that I received recently was while I was running in my neighborhood.  I passed a house and got a very strong scent of the scent of his clothes.  I only remember him smelling that way since he was sick from this last time & it was a scent that I loved.  This family must have been doing laundry and the vent must have been near the front of the house because the scent was overwhelming & immediately brought a huge smile to my face and of course, tears to my eyes.  Other signs have included songs that remind me of him coming on at random times & in random places, dreams where I am able to see him & talk to him, and very vivid memories of him to where I almost feel that I can reach out and touch him. These have all been special to me and I pray that they continue.
We have been staying pretty busy in our familythe Gonzalez children had a talent show at Antonio’s school (If I can figure it out, I will post a video of it), I ran a 5k on Saturday in honor of my cousin, Carmen, who is now in remission from breast cancer (and to help me get ready for the 1/2 marathon I’m suppose to run in Decemberyikes!), and we went to the Arboretum on Sunday & took many pictures amidst all the pumpkins (so fun!). Keeping busy helps me to feel better so I welcome any distractions! So, I will share what I have coming up to keep me busy & distracted: road trip to Boston ~ trip to El Paso for Pop’s memorial ~ possibly another trip to Boston (don’t asklong story!) ~ cruise to the Florida Keys & Bahamas with two of my cousins. It is going to be an exciting couple of weeksbut when I return, it will be time to get serious about school & work!
I better pack nowwe leave to Boston tomorrow!  :)

Carmen & I at the Race for the Cure in Dallas

More pics to come!

U2 = 360 tour = Houston rocked!

The concert in Houston was AWESOME!  I’m not sure if it was the better seats, the crazy group of people I was with, or the fact that I felt better (and was drinking) but I thought the Houston show was so much better than Dallas! 
We arrived in Houston just in time to pick up my cousins’ friends at the airport.  We had just enough time to check-in at the hotel and head to Reliant Stadiumthanks to all the traffic!  The show was GREAT and after, we continued to partyit was a great time!
After we rolled out of bed on Thursday, we went to eat Greek food then visit my Tio Pepe & Tia Josie who were in townit was great to see them and catch up.  We dropped our friends off at the airport and headed back to Dallas!  It was a short tripbut it was well worth the drive!
My cousin got much better pictures but he has not sent them to me yet. But here are a couple of pics that I took on my phone:

Overall,, 2009 brought me some great U2 experienceshowever, I do plan on attending at least one more show in 2010.  Stay tuned to find out where!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

U2 = 360 tour = Dallas = My Review

Last night was the U2 concert here in DallasI woke up with my throat hurting yesterday morning but knew that it wasn’t going to stop me!  I went to the doctor.  Upper respiratory infectionyuck!  I got a shot in my booty and a Z-pack so I was ready to go! 
Our seats were not the bestwe were pretty high up and so far to the side of the band that we were pretty much behind them.  BUT this is the U2 360º tour so every seat is suppose to be a good one.  Well, this was my 8th time to see them (yes, I am a fanatic) and I will say that this was my least favorite.  It was goodactually, it was GREATbut for some reason, I just wasn’t feeling “it”whatever “it” is that happens at their shows.  All that being said, I had a great time and I will share with you what I enjoyed most about the show (in no particular order):
1 Muse (the opening band) was pretty good.  I had never heard their music before but the more I listened to them, the more I liked them.  They are kinda funky and it seems like most of their songs have the same sort of sound but I think I could get into them.
2 The new Cowboys Stadium is H-U-G-E!  If you haven’t seen it, check this out:  It was actually pretty easy to find where you were going and the thing that I enjoyed most is that there were people everywhere selling beerno lines! 
3 U2’s stage was absolutely amazing!!! This will give you an idea of what it is like but it is also HUGE!  The 360º screen was so coolat times it would expand down and look almost like mesh but you could still see the picture on it.  It was really cool!
4 Finally, U2 played some great songs!  Here is the setlist:
Get on Your Boots
Mysterious Ways
Beautiful Day
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Stuck In A Moment
No Line on the Horizon
Until The End of the World
Unforgettable Fire
City of Blinding Lights
I'll Go Crazy - Remix
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walk On

First encore:
Where The Streets Have No Name 

Second encore:
With or Without You
Moment of Surrender

My favorites? 
Until the End of the World Unforgettable Fire
MLK Walk On
City of Blinding Lights Ultraviolet
But to me, the one song that makes a U2 concert the best show on earth is
Where the Streets Have No Name!
What a great nightI’m headed to Houston tomorrow to see them again!  I’ll let you know what I think!

By the way, I didn't have my camera so no pics.  :(  Also, I would love to hear what you thought if you were there...please share!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Girls' Weekend Trip to Spring, TX

We decided to take a much needed girls' weekend trip to Spring, TX...we had a great time but wish that Kiki could have been there! Here are some of the pictures I took...

The sisters at dinner the night we arrived

My pretty mom and the yummy sopapillas we quickly devoured!

Sandi and Mama sportin' the same hairdo

 my mama and me

Leaving the hotel and going shopping in Old Spring Town

 Isn't my mom gorgeous?

 Pati and Viji

 Tyler favorite!  Thank you, Megan, for introducing me to them!

 In honor of our Pop...he loved garlic!

 Relaxing after a delicious lunch...poor Sandi was sick during this whole trip!

They had the cutest baby stuff at this shop!

Looks like we did more resting than anything! 

 Breakfast on Sunday morning - Black Walnut Cafe in The Woodlands, TX

We had a very special breakfast with our sweet cousin, Hector!  (We all agreed it was the highlight of the trip.) Unfortunately, Sandi was sick and stayed back to sleep in the hotel.