1st day in Texas

4th of July in TEXAS

 

Today I am headed to see my cool cousin Evelyn who moved to Highland Village, TX. I grab a really early flight from Dayton, Ohio and take #united to Dallas Fort Worth Airport. Funny enough Texas is hotter than Ohio. But humidity in Ohio has all place beat so far. Not too long after I arrive Evy Shows up with the girls tightly secure in the back car seats. Ava a witty and clear spoken 6yr old, and Naomi a shining and silly 4yr old. “ Hi kids I’m back. I give Evy a giant hug and we pile into her Dark SUV with the beautiful AC pumping out,  it is welcomed gladly. The last time I saw Evelyn was in Chicago where we both lived for a spell I could only do 2 years she was there like 7 years and reality soaked it up over there. She was ready to move to Texas and now she is a big fan of the BIG State.

 

As we arrive she shows me her BIG village and how well it is put together. I am actually taken back cause this Highland Village makes me want to be real grown up and get the hell out of the Tiny apartment in SF. People are golfing, Tennis, jogging and there is healthy lifestyle smacking me in the eyeballs. Settled into her new home the girls and all tired and ready for naps watch a bit of TV before konking out. Evy does the same and I bang out a blog or two to catch up. About a couple hours we try to figure out where we should go. “ I wanna see big cowboy hats and colorful people covered in the RED WHITE and BLUE, I’m expecting some Texas stereotypical visual explosion. But guess what, it is nowhere to be found. My cousin tells me what I think Texas is will not be seen anywhere. At first I’m bummed but the I adjust and say “ Hey I”m here let’s figure it out” .

 

We decide on Flourmound, TX grass field Independence day Event. Grabbin’ the girls with their dolls, stroker and blankets we drive not too far to a parking to and shuttle service. Stepping out of the AC filled SUV I again feel the reality of the weather. It just sits on ya. Old and new Yellow School buses line several parking lots to take the locals to the party. I photograph the girls and my cousin trying to capture the innocence. Giggly and slightly sweaty the girls and so excited and I am just happy to be with another clique of family on this very cool day we are about to have,

 

Dropped of We are hit with doe hair band soaring cries from a stage. I do an immediate Rock n Roll kick. “ Alright, yeah, alight” I channel some David Le roth ro get me in the mood. I let the Texas take hold. as the girls and Evy laugh. I am totally into this moment. I photograph BBQ on a checkered plate, some corn dog action, Sweet tea coming out from everywhere. And you want fried? This place has it. there is now way I will dow that gluten soaked road. We get a hodge podge of bites that the girls and we all agree to eat up. I get a few more shots and we walk to the Grass and We are hit with some ‘Merica. ‘ Excuse me are you guys Amercian?” I am to ally stopped in my tracks. A big round Latino with a southern Texas drawl asks me again “ hi I am have this paper we do it every year and we like to give to celebrate this day, I’m an America, Are you?” “ Slghtly annoyed and caught off guard by the question I answer “ Well we come from Immigrants but yes we are Americans.” Evy is frozen and can’t say a word. “ well my wife is not from here but she is now an American. It;s good to be an American and not less”. I chimes in sheepishly”  You mean different” So not to be taken seriously and stick out after I just get. I but my liberal compassionate tongue and I then see I hit some Republican heat wave. Well I’m here now is not the time to wave my Cali flag. I just am an observer and I am just visiting. NO hipster’s allowed.

 

Flourmound, TX 4th of July event is packed. I photograph and eat my pickle and Spicy Brat on a stick, Consume my Sweet Tea and t’s time to follow the girls to the kids section. with The sweetest Margarita you ever had. We follow and watch the girls shoot from one slide to the other. MY camera is full force. I took so many photos of the girls. I was just taken by them. so close and protective of one another. I was proud to capture these moments, I’m still doing double duty with my iPhone and #canon but this time I decide to switch to multiple shot setting and wail out a few photos of the girls on the rotating swings. Happiness is evident with every go around I feel pretty lucky to be here and get these.

 

Well sweaty and tired from running after and watching the girls we head back to our blanket. Nothing touched I feel so  odd how you have to watch every item in California or it will be stolen. No one touches the stroller or blanket or food we left. Bewildered. “ Ladies and Gentlemen, Kansas!” #kansasband “ what?!” I can’t believe. Flashback city, every tune is a hit I can almost the hear it on my mom’s A.M. Radio shooting out of the White VW Rabbit she used to have.

 

The Sun glows and it sets here in Texas. I grabbed a few shots on my iPhone and Instagramed them. Too much to not share. Fireworks blasting as I photograph my cousin and her daughters from behind backlit silhouetted from colorful Americana light show. Every Song you can imagine that represents America was played and you know what it fit. It felt right, you can really feel the pride of being Here in the good ol’ US of A.

 

So that was fun right?, right. We one funny crazy thing happened as we left. The shuttle buses to get all of the great American loving people out of the event went to hell. Hordes of people rushed the buses demanding to be taking back to the cars. The peaceful night of families and fun went to the wayside. It was apocalypse at it best. Grabbing the girls we tried to maneuver through the mess. Plus it was damn hot. As we sit in line, no one knows what bus goes to what parking lot. It was a cluster you know what. After a bit I had the great idea of going to Run to get the car. Well it did help cause as I jogged dripping sweat to the end I could see that everyone else had the same idea. Walk out of there. I then jogged back and Evy called me and and we agree to meet and just hustle it. We got lost a couple times and we ended up getting a lift from one of the Remaining shuttles. A nice lady who took us to the car. The girls were champs through it all. Not one peep. I had a craving for something the Texan Event food could’t fil. gluten free PB and J with a giant glass of almond milk. Guzzle guzzle we got home ands took a snack down and pass the hell out. First day in Texas well earned on to number two.