The Weekend Away

Last weekend was a crazy one. Both me and Billy decided to fly to opposite sides of the country at the same time. He flew to New York where he auditioned at Manhattan School of Music and Julliard, and I flew to good-old Southeast Texas.

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My niece!

It’s pretty easy to understand why so many people in the south are overweight. You get down there and everyone shows their love through food. My sister picks me up from the airport and she takes me to Johnny Carino’s. It was delicious and it was great getting to see my niece again. She’s getting so big!

The next morning I had my interview for Lamar University. This is the whole reason I came down. I love Lamar’s audiology program. It’s a tight-knit, four year program that’s cheaper than anywhere else you can imagine. And it’s great because if Billy gets into Rice, we would only have to (quasi) live apart for one year.

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I felt like a million bucks at my interview day. I bought all these clothes from H&M the day before I flew out and it was all worth it. They had scheduled for us to be there for six hours, but luckily they cut it short. The whole day was a lot of fun. When we all got there we had an opening information session with the parents if we brought any. Then we split into groups led by First Years that are already in the program. Our group headed out for a tour of campus and then we did a tour of the clinic. After that I had a fairly short interview; it only took 15 minutes. They asked the standard questions- “Tell me about yourself,” “Why do you want to come to Lamar,” “What are your strengths?” I knew beforehand that I get really nervous at interviews, so I prepared really well and I feel like I gave a good impression. The reason the interview was so short is because the professors were more interested to see how we interacted with each other. So here’s to hoping that out of the 25 interviewees, I’m one of the 10 that get picked. (If not I’m going to go party in New York with Billy.)

A couple days before I got to Texas, my sister had texted me and asked if I would be interested in going to a crawfish boil. A couple days before that, I had texted my mom and my best friend Julia to beg them to find a crawfish boil that I could go to while I was down there.

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I was incredibly happy. I ate way too much, but that’s what these things are for.

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Sunday morning we went to church and then, as always, we went to my Gramma’s house. And, of course, as a way to show her love for me, she made my favorite meal.

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I’ll just leave this picture nice and big.

My Gramma makes the best dirty rice I’ve ever eaten. I love gravy and I feel like I never get enough of it in my life. And I love corn, which is sad because Billy hates it. And my Gramma makes it like I never could because she uses so much butter it’s a sin. But man was I happy!

That night I spent the night at Julia’s. It was a great night. One month after Billy and I married, Julia got married to her best friend Roman. I’ve been really good friends with them for a long time now, so we had way too much fun. We went and got Whataburger, came home and watched a scary movie, and then laughed for an hour over fart jokes. I can’t remember the last time I’ve laughed so hard. I was so happy I got the chance to stay the night while I was down there.

The next day was Monday and I had some important business I had to attend to. When I was six I had my tonsils taken out and PE tubes surgically placed on my tympanic membranes to drain the fluid from my ears. Because of this surgery, I had two major events happen in my life. My mother gave me a stuffed dog to take into surgery with me (I still have him to this day) and, after the surgery, my mom let me get a pet turtle. I’ve had this pet turtle since I was six years old. That means I’ve had him for 15 years now. I’m not sure where I got this name from, but I bequeathed the title “Richie” to him. Anyway, my mom has been taking care of him while I’ve been away at college and she’d been noticing that he hadn’t really eaten for the past couple months. He had also been really lethargic and hadn’t been getting into the water. So on Monday (after my aunt took me to eat at a yummy Vietnamese place) I took him to the vet. A few important things happened.

  1. They told me I had been lied to my whole life. When I got him from the pet store they told me he was a red-eared slider. The nice vet lady informed me that he was actually a map turtle.
  2. Because he is a map turtle, his diet should have been pretty different than what we had been feeding him these past fifteen years. He got some much-needed vitamin shots, an antibacterial shot, and a re-hydration bath. He looked so much healthier on the way home!
  3. Now this is the most upsetting part. They gently broke the news that the pet store people that sold Richie to me had double lied. He not only wasn’t a box turtle, but he also wasn’t a boy.

I’m having a severe identity crisis. I have been lied to for the past fifteen years now! The worst part is that a few years ago a had a pet rabbit that I’d named Lilly (because the pet store told me it was a girl) to later find out that it was actually a boy.

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Here’s poor Richie before he was feeling better.

I’m still not sure whether to call him a boy or a girl. One thing I do know, though, is that even if he is a girl he’s still going to be called Richie. Maybe sometimes I’ll call him Richita. We’ll see how that develops.

After I dropped Richie off at home, I went with my parents to visit my brother Devin. It was great seeing him.

That night my mom made one of my favorite meals, beef international.

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It was amazing.

That night I had planned on staying at Julia’s again, but I’d actually developed a fever at her house the night before and I was still dealing with it, so I decided to stay at home. The problem was that I’d left all my stuff at her house. Yet another little quirk about Southeast Texas is that people. don’t. walk. It’s practically unheard of to walk anywhere. Part of that is completely understandable. It gets so hot down there in the summer that nobody in their right mind would walk anywhere. (Another reason nobody thinks to walk is that everything is so spread apart down there. It’s not like Provo where you can walk and be wherever you need in five minutes.)

But here’s the thing; when Julia got married she moved literally around the corner of the next street. It doesn’t take a whole five minutes to walk to her house from mine.

So I announced that I was walking and had to fight down several arguments about taking the car or letting someone drive me. But my dad made me wear a reflective vest since it was nighttime. I didn’t even fight it because I thought it was too funny.

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I got there and back safely.I stayed there longer than I had expected because I didn’t ever want to leave them. We finally said our goodbyes and I got home and went to sleep.

The next morning I had more business to attend to. I desperately needed to get the name on my license changed and I wanted to get it done down in Texas in case we ended up going to school down there. So on Tuesday (my last day there) morning my mom took me to the DMV. It was a great time. This was the third day now I’d had a fever. And we all know how slow the DMV is. So we waited in line for a thousand years and I felt like death. After an interminable amount of time, I was called up and in less than five minutes I was walking out with a new paper license.

By the time we got home it was time to eat lunch and head on to the airport in Houston. My mom asked me where I wanted to eat so I quickly said Mexican. We stopped at La Suprema and I had a glorious Sending Off gift.

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Who doesn’t love chips and hot sauce? I’m salivating just looking at this picture.

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That queso was divine.

I love coming home. It’s crazy how every time I come back in it feels like I’ve never left. It’s always shocking when little things are different. Like when did you change the faucet in the bathroom? Or how could you get a new rug for the living room?

I’m glad I got a chance to get home. It was an amazing weekend full of fun and productivity. I’m excited to see where we end up.

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