Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Sunday Side of a Road Trip Weekend

Right now I'm wrapped in a blanket, computer propped up on my knees, in a state of the sheerest of exhaustion. The first thing I did when I got home from work today was brew an entire pot of coffee. I'm pausing every three typed words or so to take a swig of the liquid anti-sleep in hopes of a boost, but it's like trying to light a match rescued from a puddle. 

I really can't complain too much. My grandfather used to say 80% of our problems are self-induced, and, in this case, it's definitely my own damn fault.

Last weekend I flew to Dallas for Easter. My Dad, older brother and my (new!) sister-in-law all live in the DFW area and my mom, her parents and my younger brother (who is somehow now 21 years old...?) are a few hours drive over in Louisiana. Everyone, including my sister-in-law's parents and grandfather, planned to meet for a big Easter shindig on Saturday in Dallas and I was really excited to see them all.

The trouble is, Dallas isn't just where my family lives. I graduated from Southern Methodist last May, and so it's also home to a lot of my friends I went to school with there who happen to be absolutely amazing and some of my very favorite people in life.

So, basically, I had a whole lot of catching up to do with many, many people and three and a half days to do it in. In such situations, sacrifices must be made. Mine was sleep.

My flight got in at 11 Thursday night. The drive to Dad's house took about 20 minutes. There I dropped off my suitcase,  threw on some makeup and hopped in the car with my brother Haydon. We made it to Ozona's around midnight-- 2 hours before the bars close in Dallas.

Thirsty Thursdays. That's what we called Thursday night when I went to SMU. I rarely go out Thursday nights anymore (I'm old and work is early). I found that most of my friends who graduated with me last May had also given up Thirsty Thursdays, but the ones still in school were out in full force, God bless 'em, ready for a fun time before their day off for Good Friday.

We stuck around Ozona's for a couple of drinks until somebody reminded me that on Thursday night, everybody goes to Home Bar. Home Bar is a bar that's really called The Green Elephant; it used to be called Home Bar, and everyone refuses to use the new name. 

Home Bar's a big deal because it's basically impossible to get into with a fake ID. They scan them and shine blue lights over the holograms and sprinkle magic fairy dust that turns green and causes everyone around you to point and laugh mercilessly if it isn't yours. In other words, it's exclusive. This is where all of the seniors (and juniors who turn 21 spring semester) go out because they can and before they could not... a right of passage of sorts.

It's packed every Thursday night. Any other time of the week the bar is dead and, with it's half broken couches and sticky floors, empty it looks downright seedy. But Thursday nights you can't walk from the front to the back of the bar without spilling half your drink bumping into dancing bodies. I like to go to the back of the patio outside where they sell beer for a dollar cheaper if you pay cash to a guy standing in what looks like a converted lemonade stand.

Hanging out there again on yet another Thursday really brought back memories... But then, so did most of this trip.

Haydon and I stayed until they kicked everyone out. By the time we got home it was close to three and we were tired, but happy. Another theme on this trip.

The next few days were filled with fun, awesome, and exhausting activities. 

First of all, love is in the air. Two of my closest friends were recently engaged and I, being in New York, missed all the juicy details. I accosted Meg at dinner for the story first-hand and a chance to ogle her ring. Jake has great taste in both rings and women. He makes terrible punch though... three solo-cups of that and you never know where the night will take you. You may well end up playing Wii Mario Brothers and Sonic until 5:30 in the morning... The cooler should really have a warning label.

AND another great friend of mine got engaged on Friday. Because I was in town, I got to be a part of the whole thing and go to a surprise engagement party set up by her boyfriend and close family members. 

Never mind that I scored the invitation by nearly ruining everything when I kept asking Emily to hang out with me this weekend not knowing about her boyfriend's plans for the evening. He sent me a frantic facebook message last week to the effect of "Dear Leigh, please stop making plans with Emily the night I want to propose to her!

They both looked so happy and so cute together at the party her parents threw at Reunion Tower after he proposed. Very excited for you guys! Way to go Derek!

Then the next day another friend of mine had a surprise birthday party (her 3rd 21st, we're calling it). It was Mexican themed-- her amazing roommate (another one of my closest friends) threw it for her and equipped it with plenty of mini-maracas, streamers with dangling sombreros, mardi gras beads, chips and delish salsa queso and guac. Basically, all the ingredients of awesome. We went out afterward in uptown until the bar closed. Then we went for coffee.

On Sunday I met up with everyone who could make it to Black Friar for farewell drinks. It was hard to say goodbye. I knew I had to be up early in the morning and I was running on about 9 hours of sleep collective for the entire trip, but I didn't want the night to end and stayed out with a friend just shooting the shit until they closed. (Starting to notice a pattern...)

And those were just the nights.

Saturday my entire family came in town for Easter. Big Daddy, my grandfather on my mom's side, once said to Haydon and me, "you can't fly with the night owls and expect to soar with the eagles the next day." Well, maybe I wasn't soaring but I did manage to thoroughly enjoy flapping gracelessly through the day. From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. we talked over delicious home-cooked food and mimosas until, upon running out of orange juice, some switched to straight champagne. We ended the day playing our annual epic Monopoly tournament complete with Texas Weekly Grand scratch-off tickets (put in the center for whenever anyone lands on free parking).

It was beyond wonderful to see everybody. I've missed everyone so much. It was just so great to be able to catch up with my mom, grandmother and grandfather, sister-in-law, brothers, and Dad and Taka face-to-face. Over the cell phone just isn't the same (especially with the constant wail of ambulances and taxi horns in your ears).

My mom and grandparents drove back to Shreveport that afternoon, but with Sunday came another round of family-- this time from my dad's side. His nephews and their wives went with Dad, Taka, Haydon, me and a couple of Dad's former SMU Law students to Dim Sum at Royal Court in Richardson.

I just discovered Dim Sum with Taka a couple of years ago. It's a kind of Chinese brunch with lots of little dishes you share around the table, like dumplings, sticky rolls filled with pork, shrimp balls, and all manner of greasy, scrumptiousness. That day it was exactly what the doctor ordered.

They were also gone too soon. They drove back to Oklahoma early that evening. This weekend time seemed to just run. Sprint, really.

I flew out Monday afternoon, after waking up early to get my haircut by Sharin, the most freaking amazing hairstylist on the face of the planet and the only person I'll go to no matter how many months I have to wait to get back down to see her. She's just fun and sweet and very genuine. And excellent at cutting hair.

Back in New York I'm glad she took off a few inches. For some reason the weather's hotter than in Dallas, and I'm feeling more than a little disoriented by the whole thing.

I'm thinking what I really need is to do that whole sleep thing everyone's been talking about. I hear it's popular in some circles... 

Headed to bed now to make my eyes stop burning... They've been doing it for so many days now I'm beginning to feel like this is their natural state.

To any of my friends and family who happen to be reading this blog (and who have made it all the way to the end of this LONG post), thanks for such an amazing weekend! I'm so lucky to have you all in my life!


Weekly question of utmost importance: When exhausted to the point of near mental breakdown, what's your caffeinated drug of choice? As always, if you don't see your pick in the poll options on the right, leave it in a comment!


  1. When I am really fucking tired- a red eye (or is it black eye?)- brewed coffee with espresso shots mixed in. Packs quite a punch.

  2. Lizbeth, that's genius. Mix coffee with STRONGER coffee. :) I heart you.

  3. I am currently drinking one, and it may be burning a hole in my stomach. But I was up till 4 last night writing a biology lab manuscript and woke up at 7 to finish it before class, so I pretty much cannot function without it.

  4. I love that I got a shout out for my Birthday! Oh and coffee btw he hours of 10pm-10am, and lots and lots of tea.. hot, iced, fresh or bottled but never sweet. keep it coming!