Monday, October 31, 2016

State Side Volume 1: Guns, Booze, and Stereotypes

Powered Parachute, Flight, Texas, Fly, plane
Joe flying me around in his Powered Parachute - AMAZING!
It's hard to Belize I've been back a month already.  It seems like just yesterday I was enjoying the company of my friends, feeling the nip of the cool Colorado air, driving a car, and by the end of it feeling like I did miss the simple life here.  I'm glad to be back, even gladder I went, and truly feel like I've found a good balance these days (in most areas of my life - guessing the pan of brownies for lunch wasn't a good "balance" decision; but chill out mom that didn't really happen...or did it?).

Texas BBQ Briskett Sweet Tea Pecan Pie
First Dinner Home - Best Rolls EVER

So you want highlights?!  You want low-lights?!  I know you do!  I mean heck, the first section of my Cousin Jennifer's yearly Holiday letter that I read is always her "vital statistics" section...but that will come at the end.  Oh yeah...and this is only volume one of a yet to be determined number of releases. Lots of stories, and many may not reach the light of day.  But the sooner we get started the sooner we can go back to our drinks.

My Texas 'whip' - BMW 52?something

My window of time to see my main man Mark was incredibly tight.  I flew in on the 4th, and he left the 5th at 3pm for training in some other part of the US...trick is he was located about 340 miles away from my port of entry (the Bush International Airport - which had a lot of trees...but I really didn't see any bushes).  So after some yummy BBQ at Spring Creek, the BEST ROLLS EVER (like if Casa Picasso put their lobster sliders on this bread people would start WW3 for the rights to it) and a good nights rest I blazed a trail from Houston to Weatherford (just outside Fort Worth) in my parents sweet BMW 5 Series...that's right I haven't driven in 2 years and my parents were like "sure take our car on a 700 mile journey"...I keep telling you they're nice people.

Short Farm, Home Brew, BBQ, Texas,
Rita, Kristy, Joe - eating BBQ and sipping home brew

I truly cannot explain the what a relaxaing and joyous feeling it is to pull up on the Short Farm.  I met Joe and Rita (Mark's Aunt and Uncle) at Mark and Kristy's wedding many years back, and they are two of the most hospitable people I know (which runs like wild fire in Mark's family - and those they pick as spouses).  So much so that I stopped at their place when I was moving to Belize, originally for a night, and stayed 2...or maybe 3!  Joe crafts his own beers, which are on tap in the pool house, grills some great meat, and both he and Rita are such relaxing and calm spirits (which is odd since Joe is has an outwardly wild and exuberant persona) that you can't help but never want to leave.  Interestingly enough I'm pretty sure Joe will also be the neighborhood cat "lady" at some point...unless Rita can save him.

Glock, beer, shooting, Texas
Joe, Kristy, Mark - all packing heat...that target is gonna get it
For our day on the Short Farm we did what you do in Texas...shoot guns, grilled meat, drank beer, flew around in a flying machine, and played some pool volleyball.  Joe and I dominated at volleyball (Mark had already got his car service to the airport - a great story here, but will remain untold)...even when his neighbor (who's name escaped me) went onto the girls team; didn't matter, we cleaned house! Truly an amazing first day back - seeing so many great friends, sharing beer and food, and flying in Joe's Powered Parachute; which is basically a go-kart with a big fan strapped to the back - kudos to Joe for wanting to try a third time when the first two takeoff attempts didn't go so well...but these things are very safe.

Me and my Aunt Dorothy

After a night on the farm it was off the next day; I drove back to Houston, with a stop in Huntsville to see my Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Kermit.  YEP!!  Kermit is my uncle.  Now you know why I can jump so high...and like thick women - for 'reals' though he's like a super famous author, check out his world famous book by click right HERE!!! For now we travel by air to Phoenix where my buddy Andrew and his lovely lady Amber live.  Two nights visiting his clan on tap.

Andrew is a friend from the old hotel days.  When I worked at Stonebridge Companies I was in charge of all Best Western and Wyndham branded hotels for them (that was 2 tiny hotels total...) and I went through Wyndham training with Andrew who worked for a company in Phoenix (at one point we were both SBC employees as well...and we're both NAU Lumberjacks!).

Glazed Donut, grilled cheese, food porn
The Glazed Donut Gilled Cheese
Had a great time just relaxing, family dinners, chillin' each night in the pool with a HUGE PBR - it was 36 glorious ounces of PBR, and after being stuck with Belikin for 2 years it tasted like liquid gold; not as hot or melty as gold would be...okay that's a terrible analogy but I think you get my point. Amber made an amazing creation night one that she was nice enough to share, and I duplicated the next day...a grilled cheese on a glazed donut (Google just WILL NOT let me use "donut" without the "s" on the it THAT inconceivable that I only had ONE donut?!).  No joke - so simple and yet one of the best things I've put in my mouth.  You need a good amount of butter, gotta basically get the glaze melting again and then have it recrystallize into an almost hard shell coating. I can't imagine what would've happened had I tried to put some bacon in there - I'd likely still be standing in their kitchen in a comatose state.  In fact I see bacon with a butter/sugar glaze coming to a charter in the near future.

sharks, soap, hotel, amenities, toiletries
All my hotelier friends will appreciate what Andrew did here!
One of Andrews adorable kids made a couple uber cute comments.  Night one I get there and he's telling me how I'll be using his bed with the sharks on it - and I need to be careful and "don't let the sharks bite you."  Then later he was asking if Andrew was sleeping in the bed with me, I said I doubted it.  He asked if Andrew would us the top bunk, I again said I doubted it and that he'd likely sleep in his room with Amber.  He looked at me and said "but you're here only two nights, why doesn't he sleep with you?"  I love the innocence of youth, that humans can live free of the negative connotation and thoughts that something must be abnormal.  Don't get me wrong - I'm happy to have slept alone, but I loved witnessing the pure innocence of youth - something we rob far too often and early these days.

Kitty Cat Time

Beer is not hard to get in Belize, but it is in the states for minors.  At a gas station one night there may or may not (but definitely WAS) an offer for a blow job in exchange for buying this under age girl some beer...we left the gas station and she was still beer less.  The next day driving through town in a rather large F-350 a lady in another very large truck hit our mirror with her mirror.  After agreeing to a quick cash exchange for repair she asked us to follow her to work so she can get the money.  She was an attractive Asian woman, looked Vietnamese, very well put together, nice clothes, boobs too large to missed by a passing satellite.  Andrew looks at me and says "not to be stereotyping...but I bet we're headed to a nail salon."  After a few blocks we round the corner, pull in a strip mall and see a huge Pho restaurant...which we drove right past stopping at the nail salon on the other side.

The next morning I boarded a flight bound for Colorado.  The bulk of my time, the bulk of my previous life...well...same life but my previous self I suppose.  I had a lot of very interesting revelations about a number of things during my time in Colorado.  Some you'll hear about, some I'll keep for me, and still others I've likely forgotten already.  

Time to go see what the tide has brought in today.  I've been on a real winning streak the past 37 years or so.

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