I’m back after a few days or should I say weeks of relaxation, fun and of course family time. It’s been quite a summer thus far and we normally try and get a little time schedule for us to go away. Well, that’s what we’ve been doing here lately, and I gotta tell you, it was great. Now mind you, business is great and there is a time for it, but at the end of the day, you really need to think about who you’re doing it for. Got it? Yes sir, FAMILY.
They are all that really matter and we always are looking out for what’s in the best interest of them. I have been blessed to have wonderful kids and grandkids and they keep you moving. I don’t mind it though (sometimes) because I know they are young and full of energy and always need to be doing something. It’s cool!
What did we do and where did we go? Well, just let me say this. It was fantastic. Well almost fantastic, because not every one of the kids got to go with us. But it was cool. All of them are adults now with the exception of my seventeen year old and they have their own kids now. Whew! Tell me about it. They grow up so fast these days and it aint no slowing em’ down.
For starters, we knew wanted to fly. You see typically, we’ll take a road trip to San Antonio to visit Sea World, Fiesta Texas, or Schlitterbahn Water Park, but they were kinda burnt out on those. So, we all agreed, flying it was. But where? Can somebody say, CALIFORNIA?
Oh yeah buddy. Let’s roll!
I’ve got some friends out in Cali and they have been asking us to come out for quite some time. I remember telling him that I was going to come out there, so being a person of my word, we made it happen.
It was my youngest daughter as well as my two grandkids first flight. Wow, just to see the look in their eyes just beholding those big massive airplanes was a sight to see. They were literally on cloud nine and I was enjoying every moment of it. You see, these are the kind of moments that you live for. To see your offspring be able to enjoy life on a level that when you were a kid wasn’t able to do that. If you know any thing about me, you should know that we struggled big time when I was coming up as a kid.
Remember, I was one of eight children being raised by a single parent who was doing her best to hold down two jobs to take care of us. It makes me very grateful for where I am today and what my kids are able to enjoy because of the sacrifices my mom made. I’m really, really grateful and that’s all I could think about when we were about to board that plane. I was thinking, wow, look at me. I’m actually able to afford to buy tickets as well as my daughter being able to buy tickets for her two kids and we are flying across the country to California.
That may not mean a whole lot to you, but it very much did to me. It was priceless.
Anyway…..back on point.
We’re now headed to San Diego California to hook up with my friends who’s now stationed there due to his military service to our country. Our flight were not without a couple of challenges as our little precious babies started having some “elevation” issues. Their little ears started bothering them and it was a little uncomfortable for a little piece of the way.
They were little troopers and they ultimately faired pretty well.
We finally get to San Diego, give our big hugs and kisses and greet all of our long lost friends from the piney woods of East Texas. It was awesome. I mean just seeing how their kids had grown up and now being productive members in society made you think you were getting a little old to say the least. But, as a side note, “you’re only as old as you think” and I think I’m in my twenties….LOL!
Ok. So what are we going to do while were here? First off, I gotta tell you the weather is absolutely gorgeous. I mean coming from the sweltering heat and humidity of Texas, you would have thought you’d died and went to Heaven. It was just no comparison.
So, on day one, now that we have somewhat of an idea as to what we’re going to do, we head off to Los Angeles. Yep, I know we’re in San Diego, but we decided to take the two hour drive up Interstate 5 to the 405 and get a little taste of the beach. Good ol’ Venice Beach. At first I didn’t recognize the significance of this beach until my daughter told me that this is where they filmed the movie “White Men Can’t Jump” with Wesley Snipes.
One of the most shocking things to me while strolling up and down the boardwalk, was that there were some guys there in green smocks and I bet you can’t get why? Well, just think, California and you should have somewhat of a clue. Ok. You’re thinking too hard. WEED! There I said it. They were actually evaluating people right there on the beach to see if they would qualify for a medicinal prescription for weed. To be honest I think a lot of them qualified because you could literally smell it all over the boardwalk.
See, I’m not kidding. They were filing in a few at a time to get their chance at a little of the green stuff. Coming from Texas, this was all a little weird for us, but nevertheless, we’re not the ones to pass judgement.
Well after we spent a little time on the beach after giving the kiddos a little splash time, we headed off to get a little bite to eat. Now this wasn’t just any old restaurant, this was “Roscoes Chicken and Waffles”! Unh….just typing this is making me hungry. This was one of the famous restaurants that I’d heard about several years ago and now that I had it in my sights and within reaching distance, we pounced on it and oh my, wasn’t it good. I believe Snoop Dog said it best about this little place, cause it was finger licking good.
By then it was time to head out and get back to San Diego. We had driven about two and a half hours to get to L.A. and maybe a little longer because the traffic was horrendous. It was late and the kiddos were tired, so we retired for the night. But by the next day or so, we were well rested and decided to take jump on over to the San Diego Zoo and see the wildlife or should I say domesticated life (poor animals). It was one of the largest zoos I had ever seen. I believe the tour guide told us it was about 15 acres total and there was no way on God’s green earth that I was going to walk that thing.
So we hopped on the bus and away we went checking out the sights and sounds of this awesome place. It wasn’t the typical little zoo that I was used to, but definitely afforded us an opportunity to see some rare animals. I gotta admit though, a part of you really feel sorry for them that the are caged up like that, but another side of you says “hey, at least I don’t have to fly to Africa to see them”. Oh well, on a brighter note, at least you know they are being well fed and cared for and on top of that, the don’t have to fend for their lives every day.
ON A SIDE NOTE: I realize this post is getting longer, so let me just skip through one of the biggest parts of our trip. There is more to share, so I guess I’ll let the pictures do the talking. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
My wife and I at local restaurant in San Diego where that had a live Jazz Band. I love good ol’ jazz music for sure and it really made my night.
My oldest daughter embracing Dallas Cowboys star receiver Dez Bryant at the Cowboys Training Camp in Oxnard, California. That’s my little grandson in her arms and to her right is my youngest daughter in black. We had a time at the camp and got to see and meet a lot of wonderful people. My daughter is actually classmates with Dez Bryant and therefore was give a little special privilege at camp.
Hanging out on Coronada Island at the beach (downtown San Diego in background) with some good friends of ours (Charles and Carla) who is stationed in San Diego in the Navy.
Downtown Los Angeles on Hollywood Blvd walking the stars. We just so happen to find Michael Jackson’s star along with some others that we felt would be a good photo op. Pretty cool stuff.
Beautiful beach on Coronado Island and nice setting for a little romance. My wife and I really enjoyed the weather compared to the brutal Texas heat and humidity. Priceless!
All in all we had a wonderful time and there are more photos that I can show you. The biggest thing was we were able to hang out with the kids and grandkids for a few days and they thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. We are so looking forward to going back real soon and picking back up on where we left off.
At the end of the day, I believe we all should realize why we do what we do in business. It’s not at all about the money, cars, homes and prestige that one can acquire, but it’s about those who depend on you and look to you everyday. The key word I would say is having “balance”. Sometimes it’s a little hard to do that, but with the right discipline, it’s possible. I love my family and wouldn’t trade them for the world. My goals are to continue doing the best that I can as a father, husband, grandfather, friend or mentor to all who look to me for inspiration, guidance, protection or what have you. We were sent here to fulfill a purpose, and sometimes we just need to understand that the purpose can and more than likely will be much bigger than you can handle. Therefore we must depend on a greater power to help us fulfill it.
Be encouraged my friends and keep your head up til next time.