(It's bluebonnet season)
We've been wanting to take a fabu family vacation for about a year now. We realize that the time we have with our boys is just about over. Yeah, yeah, they'll be home for visits, but in a year or so we won't be living together as a family anymore.
So, get this. Over dinner last year we asked them if there was someplace in the world they'd like to see. Anywhere! Name it. This could be our last family trip and we were feeling generous. They both barely mumbled, "I don't know. No place. Whatever." See what fools teenagers are? When pressed, we finally got them to admit there was no place in the world they wanted to go, "with their parents."
I haven't completely ruled out some great get-away in the next year, but for now, we've been making the same old trips we've always made. This Spring Break was no exception.
Let's just get this out of the way. My husband's a hunter. I hate hunting and have been waiting these past twenty-some-odd years for him to get it out of his system. We used to fight about it, but it's no use. He's a careful, smart hunter and only kills what he plans to eat, so I gave up long ago.
There's something primal about his desire to hunt. I'm not kidding. He fills the freezer with deer meat, fish and turkey and announces, "That'll get us through the winter." Meanwhile, you can find me using the "Little House on the Prairie" books for recipe ideas. (My apologies to anyone who has heard me tell that joke before. I like it.)
My husband took (kidnapped?) me and my son, Jamie, out to his deer lease for a couple of days last week. (A deer lease is a piece of land you kind of "rent" from the land owner for the privilege of hunting there) Don't worry, we weren't going there to kill anything except a case of beer. (ba-dum-pum!) We keep a camper on the lease, so at least we wouldn't be sleeping in tents.
The camp in the middle of the land owner's ranch is a five hour drive west from Houston, past San Antonio, down a paved road, through a locked gate and down a winding dirt road in the middle of nowhere:
Boy, was I bummed.
Enjoying the great outdoors is all well and good as long as there's a Starbucks nearby. I was miserable. Maybe I was tired. Maybe it was hormones. Or maybe it was the fact that before I put our dog, Henry, on his leash my husband said, "Watch out for rattlesnakes!" All I could think was what the heck am I doing here?
Later, as we sat around the fire, my husband shared stories about the other guys who go out there to hunt. "Some of them drink A LOT when we come in at night," he said. I thought to myself, "Of course they do-it's because this SUCKS!" That night I decided to take up drinking.
I felt better about the place in the morning. The camper is very comfortable (and bug-free), it has electricity and running water. The guys let me sleep in while they went fishing and when they came back...wait for it...here it comes...my husband cooked breakfast! *angels singing*
Some interesting facts about the deer lease:
1. It's stocked with exotic animals (in addition to the local deer) like Oryx,
axis deer, sika deer, fallow deer, black buck antelope, aoudad sheep, muflan sheep and red stag.
2. It's 30 miles from the Mexican border. I wanted to go to Mexico for lunch, but everyone else preferred to avoid a gastrointestinal episode.
3. There's a deer blind nicknamed "The Hotel" because many illegal aliens have used it to sleep in on their way into the US. No one knows how they found it.
(This is just an example of a deer blind)
4. It used to have a runway for private jets to land on until drug smugglers started to use it. Now there are railroad ties on it so no one can land.
(This is just an example of a runway)
5. It is five miles from an active movie set. "No way!" you say. Way! A replica of The Alamo was built there for John Wayne's movie oddly titled, "The Alamo". There's also an old western town built nearby. These sets have been used for movies, documentaries, commercials and music videos.
Saturday morning after a fabulous meal of breakfast tacos (egg and potato in a flour tortilla), we took off for civilization to check out Alamo Village (the afore mentioned movie set):
Oh no! My son has fallen in a well!
(He's a good sport.)
That afternoon, we took a drive to look at the exotic animals:
We also saw a few Reyes (I'll have to check the spelling later, folks, I'm in a hurry! In fact, there are all sorts of errors that will surely drive Julie crazy. ha!),