07 January 2009

Christmas in America

I was lucky to spend three weeks back in the US visiting colleagues, friends, and family. It was a fantastic time! I made it to Dallas, Austin, Lake Brownwood State Park for an good old friend's wedding, Amarillo, Albuquerque, Santa Fe for my annual Hearts Game (Webb lost), back to Amarillo and then back to Dallas. Along the way, I saw friends from high school, college, and post-college days. I went to a Cowboy game and bought two pairs of cowboy boots (I have no idea when I will wear them in Singapore). I hung out in the Driskill Hotel in Austin, the rim of the Palo Duro Canyon, and all kinds of places in between. I enjoyed weather from sunny 70 degrees to snowy (and blowy) 25 degrees, sometimes within just a day or two of each other (in the same place!). I listed to a ton of great Texas music. And I got to eat good ol' American food: cheese fries at Snuffer's in Dallas AND Southlake, CFS at Porch in Dallas, Babe's in Roanoke, and the Stockyards Cafe in Amarillo, burgers at Hut's in Austin, Coyote Bluff, Wendy's and Sonic in Amarillo (don't laugh - we don't have those over here) and Del's in Tucumcari, biscuits and gravy at the Wagon Wheel in Goldthwaite, Lucky's and Original Market Diner in Dallas, and Alex's house (with my homemade gravy) in Amarillo, pizza at Louie's and Fireside Pies in Dallas and Luigi's in Amarillo, steaks at Bull Ring in Santa Fe and (my favorite) Bob's in Dallas, and - of course - Mexican food! Mi Cocina in Southlake, Abuelo's and Leal's in Amarillo, tamales on the Square and Los Potrillos in Santa Fe. No wonder I gained 10 pounds!

Of course, the best thing about being back was seeing my family. I spent time with them in Amarillo, and we wen to spend some time with my cousins in Albuquerque before making our first visit to Aunt Beverly's gravesite since her death in September. She is interred with Uncle Bill in the beautiful setting of Santa Fe National Cemetery.

It was a great three weeks.

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