Y'all, if Fayette Mall were like the Houston Galleria, I would get nothing done. For sure. In my thirty years, I had never set foot in a Neiman Marcus. I made up for it in Houston. Because some members of my party were a little discouraged when they saw the prices of the items, we didn't spend much time there. There are two regrets I have of this whole trip, and they both involve shopping. (While out of town, this is my normal mantra: Buy in haste, repent in leisure. I borrow it from the late, great Erma Bombeck.)
I am utterly devastated, crestfallen, heartsick there is no photograph to document the $1,000 hat I tried on at Neiman Marcus. If you have ever seen my classroom on Kentucky Oaks day, or seen me on Easter, you know I have no problem prancing around in a big 'ol hat. I tried on a hat in NM that would have made the perfect Derby hat, except that outrageous price, and no one took my picture. I think they were the slightest bit intimidated by the four digit numbers? Meanwhile, I am in my Mecca of big hats, but alas and alack, there is no physical proof that I tried on those hats.
And our wonderful hostess, Emily, lived in a neighborhood with three, yep I wrote three, Starbucks within walking distance. One night, we walked to Starbucks and got coffee and sat out in the humid Texas air and talked and talked. It is one of the fondest memories I have of this trip.
They say to not focus on the things you can't do on on a trip, but the things you can do. Therefore, I will focus on all the stuff I did manage to purchase and try hard to not mourn the loss of a perfectly good Derby hat.
Odds and Ends
We came. We saw. We conquered Bracket Town.
For the uneducated, it is not enough to host the Final Four. You must have something to do in the largest city in the state for your visitors on the off days. Enter Bracket Town.
If you're athletic, this was your cup of tea. If you count yourself fortunate to walk to and from your car without spraining your ankle, you might have been underwhelmed-like me. Except for one booth that allowed you choose one of the Final Four teams, suit up in their jersey and photoshop you in their team pic. Awesome! And then they were looking for people to upload their photo on facebook to show how easy and simple it was. Because I
Another Saturday Night and I Ain't Got Nobody
All jokes aside, other than funerals or September 11th and the immmediate aftermath, the saddest crowd I've ever witness was the slow cattle herd out of Reliant Stadium that Saturday after they lost. It was awful. However, we did see one Butler college couple who atleast had the decorum to walk a steady pace behind, giving us room to mourn. One soul looked up and saw them and yelled, "Butler!" He gave a solemn nod, raised his fist, and we all understood they would defend our honor come Monday night. (On the lighter side, you wouldn't believe how many people wanted us to go drink with them. It was hysterical.)
Big Blue Fever
I've talked before about how this past year has been hard on me. My friend Melissa, with whom we stayed, lost her father and grandfather two weeks apart in December. The wounds were still pretty fresh in April when we were there. She teaches school as well, but had hardly taken any time off. Her principal kept urging her to, but she didn't. Texas schools do this thing where they ALL (college and public) have the same spring break, so she'd had her break a month prior to our visit. She was also missing two days of work. She hadn't had a chance to speak to her boss, so she put them in as sick days, because personal time had to be pre-approved, and did I mention this trip was very hastily thrown together? Once we found that out, I politely offered to telephone in and inform him that she had contracted the Big Blue Fever, which she declined. That was on Saturday, and we had a good chuckle.
Fast forward to Monday night, and we're on our way to the championship game. Melissa and I are in our UK blue shirts, because we're not going to let Butler and UConn forget. Laura is disgusted and refuses to wear UK, so she goes with pink (fashion is a big deal to us). We're on the Light Rail, and Laura is sitting while Melissa and I are standing, laughing and defiant amidst the Butler and UConn fans. (All two of them.) Who do you think is on that train? Nope, not her boss-that would be funny. There is a lady with a ginormous camera snapping away. She loved the contrast of us and our royal blue versus the dark blue, so we got in a ton of pictures. Turns out she was from the Houston newspaper. We got our picture (and names) in the paper. Good times.