Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Tornado Central, this is Hannah speaking..."

Generally I don't write about my childhood. No particular reason why I just don’t. But as I reflect back on my evening last night I am reminded of a day roughly 22 years ago.

As I was sitting in my bathtub covered up with pillows, blankets and the dogs, I listened to the tornado sirens going off. It made me think back about the last time I was in this same situation. 1989 a huge tornado came through Somerville County. I was about 6 years old and mom had my brother and I safe and secure in the middle bathroom of our old ranch house. The news blaring and mom yelling at my father for running back and forth from each side of the house on "look out." I remember mom letting my brother and I peak our head out once just so we could see what a tornado looked like in person. By the grace of God the tornado missed our house. However the hay barn and our blue mini plastic swimming pool were not so lucky. The tornado moved the hay barn a couple pastures away and demolished it. As for the pool, it's still MIA. Come to think of it mom and dad never got us another one to replace it either. I digress. So the more things change the more they stay the same, right? Last night I was still camped out in the middle of the house in a windowless room just like before except this time I was alone. No TV blaring because the cable had gone out but watching the storm come in via WFAA’s interactive radar while talking to my mother on my cellphone and Facebooking. Ahh, technology!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

cinco de mayo de graduaciĆ³n

On cinco de mayo my youngest, coolest, favorite and only brother graduated college!!!! Ben has been living in San Antonio for a couple of years while going to school at the University of Texas at San Antonio. It hasn't always been easy and it hasn't always been fun but his dedication and hard work paid off. It was so great to be down in San Antonio with my family to watch Ben graduate. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. This was by far the coolest graduation I have ever attended. The ceremony ended with music by the UTSA Mariachi Band. Very impressive!

It brought back memories of my own college graduation-minus the mariachi band. What a fun and fearful time that was in my life. So excited to finally say I’m finished with school, but at the same time having no clue what the future holds for you as a "big kid." I don't know what the future has in store for my brother. What I do know is that it will be great. He's got amazing talent, a great attitude and has never met a stranger. He's one of those guys that when you meet him; you immediately want to be his friend, which is handy because he already considers you one. I'm so proud of him for all he has done and for what is to come. Best wishes Bubba!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

“Hello California! Sure is strange to be here today.”

For those of you that actually read this, I apologize for being gone for so long. Life gets busy and our ambitious goal of documenting it gets overlooked. I won’t even try to recap, there’s just been too much. We’ll start this blog off with one of my all-time favorite vacations with my favorite person.

Jordan’s job has him travelling all the time these days. Luckily most of it is in state. However for the month of March he was based in Bakersfield, California. I would be joining him there for a little mini-vacation halfway through his stay.

I flew out late on a Thursday night; two flights and a different time zone later I arrived. Friday we spent the day around Bakersfield seeing the sites (which didn’t take long) and looking at all the places Jordan had been working on. We ended up in Los Padres National Forest. Below are a few photos from that brief visit. At dinner that evening we decided that the next morning we would venture towards San Francisco. Neither one of has had been there before, in fact this was my first trip to California, and we wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge while we were so close.

Now, San Francisco is about four hours north of Bakersfield.With map in hand we took off. No plan, no reservations, and a lot of anxiety. First, stop, the Golden Gate Bridge for some great photo opts…..we thought. See it started raining that morning on our drive in and only stopped during part of our Fisherman’s Wharf visit Sunday before we left. We went to the bridge in the pouring cold rain and wind. Snapped a few bad photos and loaded up in the truck onward to our next stop.

Muir Woods National Monument is located a little outside of San Fran in Mill Valley. This was one of our favorite stops on the trip. This Redwood forest is amazing and my photos cannot even begin to do it justice.

After our trip to the forest we went back to the hotel. Once we were dry and had thawed out we headed out to a local restaurant that was on the San Fran Bay and only a few miles down the road. I would highly recommend The Spinnaker to anyone, and I mean anyone. Good service, great food, glorious view. Fruity drinks to celebrate a great trip? Yes, please!

We had great intentions of roaming around Mill Valley some more but the crazy storm that blew in that evening changed our plans.

The next morning, thanks to the hotels recommendation, we got up early to watch the sunrise at the Golden Gate Bridge. Feeling adventurous and having some time to kill we tried a different road. Doing so lead us to the top of this cliff where we parked and ate our dry cheerios watched the bridge from a different angle and without any other spectators.

Though it was cloudy and the sun never really came out we did get to see the moon (largest it had been in 20 years). It was an amazing site to see the city so still and quite. Of course once it started to be daylight the boats moved in and the traffic picked back up….ahh, San Francisco.

We finished our San Fran visit at the Fisherman’s Wharf. Walking around the Bay, staring at THE BRIDGE, and eating a lot of seafood. Yum!

This was one of those trips “luck trips”. You know, where you just stay lucky the entire time. We met the nicest lady at the first hotel we stopped at that pretty much helped us lay out our entire trip. The Spinnaker required reservations, which of course we did not have, but we walked right in and they had an amazing table there with no wait. Now it could have been a little luck but I have no doubt that God had his hands in this trip. He was definitely helping make the memories of this trip special for Jordan and me.

Jordan Smith, thank you so much for an unforgettable and wonderful trip. And I promise, I will always get up early to watch a sunrise with you.