Dream Vacation

Posted: April 25, 2011 in Uncategorized
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I think I know now why they call them, “dream vacations”. I just spent the weekend in Houston, Texas. No, not the ocean like I said I would be at. There are reasons for that deception. I’ll get to that in a moment. But now that it is over, it felt so much like a dream.

I would have to say that it was quite difficult for me to keep things under wraps, so to speak. The whole intention of the so-called weekend getaway was to surprise a few people who live in the Houston area.

I had other things going on, but I won’t be so boring getting into them. Besides, who wants to talk “business” when its supposed to be a vacation?? So I’m just going to focus on solely, the “personal”.

During that time though, I got to do what I had only been dreaming of doing for many years now. For one, getting to a SIX MINUTE CENTURY show. But I will blog about all of those experiences in another post. Their lead singer, Chuck Williams was celebrating his birthday and they had a show. My entire plan was to surprise the whole band by traveling the 200 miles to be there. The other, was to finally meet in person, romance author Jessica Trapp.

To be honest, I never would’ve thought in a million years that these dreams would  come true. But they did. I am so grateful for those dreams to turn into a reality. I am above Cloud Nine at this point.

I had never been to Houston before. I had gone through it on the way to Galveston twice in my life and I thought that Houston was scary! Maybe it was just the traffic. So I knew this was going to be quite the experience for me. Nervous, excited, and totally stoked to go. I showed up far too early at the bus depot that it was just totally unnecessary and inhumane to be there that early. The excitement got the best of me for sure.

Three hours on the bus and I was met by one of my dearest friends, Lori. I had known her for about two years and now I was face to face with her. Then later meeting up with her fiancee, Michael. The bassist to SIX MINUTE CENTURY.

I had only been there for about five hours and I remember thinking to myself, that this was a great idea and I was excited for the next day to meet everyone that I had been in communication with over the Internet for so long. All of my worries were carried away. I was able to just chill out and relax and enjoy those who were hosting me for the weekend. Great and awesome people! I knew that the excitement would build.

Its so surreal when you are in non-verbal communication for so long and then you are directly in their face. There’s no turning back. There’s no delete button. No backspace key. It becomes whatever you make it and that’s the way it is.

I have no complaints though. I didn’t have any problems at all with anyone. And I was glad for it.

That same night, I was taken to a recording studio where SIX MINUTE CENTURY is hard at work recording their second album. So thrilling for me because I had never been in one before. I got to meet lead guitarist, Don LaFon later that evening. (See guys? I spelled it right!)

For me to have that opportunity as a fan to get to hear the new material was just so cool! I definitely felt like I was receiving the VIP treatment!! I’m probably one of the band’s biggest fans.

When I begin to like something and feel passionate about it, I go full force. The dedication stays with me until death!

That first day, I was awake for 21 hours before I was able to crash at the hotel. I literally sat there all alone in the hotel room, overwhelmed with positive energy, happiness, and full of emotion that I cried myself to sleep. Getting to see the entire band was going to be so awesome.

The 22nd of April was the big day. The reality was slowly creeping in that at long last I would be in the presence of great colleagues and get to see the band that I admire so much play live.

In the afternoon, I met up with author Jessica Trapp and her son, had lunch and spent the afternoon walking around in the mall and the surrounding shopping centers. 

I was totally nervous. I had so much trouble with being so scared that I would sound like an idiot. After all, she is a writer and it would stand to reason that her vocabulary would be more advanced than mine. I just hoped that I sounded like a decent human being when I engaged in conversation. To me, that was a lot of pressure.

Even with my nervous driving me insane, I still found a way to become relaxed and  comfortable. Even though the first impressions are always the ones that become impressed on the mind and opinions of others.

The world seemed to have stood still. Nothing else mattered. Yet time still melted away and I parted ways from Jessica in the late afternoon. It was a real fun time. I enjoyed her company. And as always, I was appreciative that she took me to lunch, and took the time to come out to see me. Even though I was probably quite a drive from her.

The night of the concert I will be saving for the next post. Yet it was another 19 hours of being awake and crawling into the hotel room at 5:00 AM? Yeah, all I can really say about it is, “that’s rock and roll for you!”. I’d do the entire day all over again and again and again and again if I could.

Saturday was a day of trying to recover. I think I kind of failed. Such the headache and fatigue crept over me like a blanket and I just was fumbling around so much like a goofball. But I was happy about it!

It literally took two days to get over it. But that second day was the day I was to return home on the bus.

I needed to get back to my own life and I needed to let others return to their routine of daily life as well. Not having my own mode of transportation and having to rely on others to get me where I needed to go, does become burdensome. I’m just so glad that I have wonderful friends who didn’t mind so much. I did exactly what I needed to do in order to gain some of the good mental health back into my life and stop worrying about the bullshit drama that actually surrounds me at home every single day.

There was a discussion about the possibility of me returning to Houston for the band’s next show and when that could be. It looks like near the end of the summer. It was also discussed about whether or not things could be done to make it happen on both sides with my wonderful hosts and myself. I think there’s a chance. I discussed my feeling that I would like to have a bit of a longer stay but I knew that it would mean a lot more. And besides, things worked out great this past weekend, having it being Easter. Those around me having the day off and all. If I were to go, I’d probably have a lot more free time on my hands all by myself until people are out of work and able to connect with me.

There was really not a lot of negative stuff happening around me. I lost my cd player in the process, and a favorite writing pen walked off somewhere in the city of Houston. But I have plenty of pens at home, and I was able to replace my cd player while I was there.

I was supposed to depart at 12:30, but things got fouled up when I heard that the 12:30 bus did not have a wheelchair lift. Instead, I had to wait until 3:30 to take the next one that did have a lift. I wasn’t sure what happened. I did what I was supposed to do on my end. So my hosts got to hang out with me at the bus depot.

And then Jessica Trapp came back for one more visit, bringing her entire family with her, on their way through town to celebrate Easter with someone else. She brought a bag full of goodies. Brought a few books that I did not have that she wrote and autographed them. It was a really nice surprise. (I actually came home with A LOT of stuff that was just given to me. I am thankful for everything and everyone.)

After the short visit by her, my hosts departed to be on their way as well to celebrate Easter with family. More pictures were taken. Hugs given. Loving sentiments traded. I just needed to let everyone know how much I appreciated them, and how much they meant to me. Their sacrifices that they made to make this all become a successful trip. Totally overwhelming for me.

And then, wouldn’t you know it? Drama has to set in while sitting outside in the sunshine.

Some bum came up to me and asked me for change and/or a cigarette. I told the guy that I had nothing. So he moved on to the next person standing about four feet away, puffing away on a cigarette.

He asked him for a smoke, and the guy told him to get bent because it was his last one. Just about that time I adjusted myself in my wheelchair and shifted my weight. Right when I did that, all this change came pouring out of my pocket and spilling onto the sidewalk.

That bum heard it, and came running after it. I freaked out. I mean, I had my stick with me. And we all know by now the history of the stick. But it was buried at the bottom of my bag. It would’ve taken me a very long time to dig through to find it, and possibly use it if I needed. I just wouldn’t have had enough time to do that and protect myself. This guy came running so quickly that I started yelling.

So lucky that Houston police was right there when it happened. They yelled at the guy and he tried running away, but the police officer did one of those running tackles from behind. Something that I’ve only seen on “COPS”. He was arrested and hauled away. Not sure what charges were given.

I saw that, and I got to witness a woman getting arrested for shoplifting at the mall on Friday morning. Such sad people. But I was okay. I wasn’t hurt.

I finally boarded the bus around 3:00 and was under the impression that we would be leaving at 3:30. But we pulled away from the bus depot at 3:15. Then being told over the intercom that we would be arriving at 6:45, I thought that the ride home was going to be miserable. It was bad enough that I didn’t want to go in the first place. Lucky for me, we arrived just three hours later. I think I finally entered my apartment at 7:00 on the dot.

So my personal thanks goes out to Michael and Lori, and Jessica… and of course, SIX MINUTE CENTURY. It was worth every ounce of energy planning this for so long, and worth every penny spent to get down there. I hope to have an even better time if I make it down there again in a few months. Now that I know the ropes of riding on the bus to and from Houston. It will get easier and be better each time I do it.

I met so many people and made new friends. It was definitely a wonderful time. I can say it over and over again. Hard to believe that I saw all these wonderful, beautiful people just YESTERDAY!

So I believe its called a dream vacation, because I had such a wonderful time and didn’t want to come home at all. Please Houston, if it was only a dream… NEVER wake me.

Note: SIX MINUTE CENTURY’s MySpace and Facebook pages, along with Jessica Trapp’s new website, “Getting Trapped In A Book”, can be found in the links in the blog roll. I highly suggest you check them all out.

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