If you’re going to take a road trip, you could do a lot worse than travel through Texas in the springtime.
Robin Hood and I began planning a Texas adventure back in March, partly for practical reasons and partly for whimsy. I needed to get together with his mom for the final fitting of my wedding dress (she’s making it), and he wanted to take me to a big Renaissance festival called Scarborough Faire.
Those two plans begat others, and just like that, our Tour of Texas took shape. Our itinerary was:
• Drive to Lubbock on Wednesday. Spend the night there.
• Drive to Austin on Thursday. Spend Thursday evening and all of Friday in Austin.
• Drive to Waxahachie for Scarborough Faire on Saturday.
• Drive to Ft. Worth after the Faire. Spend Saturday evening and all of Sunday in Ft. Worth.
• Return to Albuquerque on Monday.
Sound ambitious? It was. Sound like a scheme to temporarily escape a house that’s rapidly filling with wedding paraphernalia? Well, maybe.
But as soon as I stepped outside to go for a run in Lubbock, I knew there was more to it. Something in the warmth and humidity said, You needed this.
What was “this”? I don’t know, but it was in the not-home-but-still-familiar feel of our friend Brian’s house in Lubbock. It was in the rolling, blossoming scenery of the hill country that led us to Austin. Most people bemoan long car rides through Texas (and New Mexico), but I love them. Something about being surrounded by all that open space, that just seems to open up more and more with every mile, gives me the feeling that my soul is getting a much-needed stretch.
It was in the welcoming arms of my aunt Paula, one of the best women in the world. It was in every bite of every meal we ate while we were in Austin. I swear, you cannot throw a rock in that town without hitting a terrific eatery.
It was even in my rainy run on Friday – complete with huge puddles; ducking under one saturated tree limb only to get face-swatted by a bigger one; and a comically tangled ponytail (not to worry, I had plenty of conditioner!).
It was at Scarborough Faire, and in seeing Robin Hood’s wonderful parents. It was in my introduction to this fun event that’s been a tradition of their family for years. I already want to go back, and who knows? I might even wear a costume next time.
It was in Ft. Worth, and getting to meet some of my fiancé’s extended family for the first time. It was in being surrounded again (this seems to be a theme of mine this year) by incredible women at a shower/brunch on Sunday. I was touched and humbled at what a warm, generous, awesome group of people I’m marrying into.
It was in putting on my wedding dress…and not wanting to take it off.
And it was in my last run of the trip, pumping my arms as I ran in the cool, damp morning through quiet, tree-lined, hilly neighborhoods, feeling my skin soak up the moisture, the warmth, and…that.
Whatever it was, I needed it, and Texas gave it to me.
Safe and happy travels to anyone taking a trip this weekend!