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Spring Break 2007
Sunday. 3.18.07 7:15 pm
"Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrong doing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean"
-Aldous Huxley

(btw: the friend I went on this whole thing with is Elessar257 and you can read his version over on his site)

So, a few months ago I made some plans with one of my best friends to go see his best friend in New Orleans. She's a senior at her University, she had a lead part in her play and he had never been to visit her before this. I kind of bullied my way in on the trip (for which I feel bad) but I don't think I was unwanted. We had tried to invite a few people - but people being people - didn't follow through. So, it was going to be just the two of us in New Orleans for a weekend during spring break. He also had some plans going on earlier in the week, mostly just to take his youth group camping. I also invited myself along on that, apparently - that's how I roll. I was looking forward to seeing everyone again and meeting the new youth leaders. I left Laredo around 3 in the afternoon and arrived in Fort Worth late that night. While we were visiting in his room I began to spaz. Why? Because I'm a girl and I have a terrible habit of freaking out about stupid stuff. I was just sitting in his chair under his bed when I began to feel extremely horrible about being up there having fun while my dad is in such bad shape in the hospital. I cried and went stupid for a few minuets however, after talking things through with both him and my brother, I calmed down and apologized for being retarded. We talked for a good while more and then went to sleep.

We woke up early that morning and began packing/loading stuff into my car - we then picked up about 8 kids and all their stuff. Needless to say things were a bit packed. When we finally got to the church we realized we needed more room so Aldo found some tarps that could be used to tie stuff down on top of the cars. Myself and another youth tied down the stuff on Aldo's Jeep (and he let us do our thing) while myself and one of the other leaders (Joseph) tied down the stuff on top of the van. I kept insisting that we use the clamps the way we had done on the jeep - but Joseph wanted nothing to do with them. He insisted that simply tying them down would be enough to hold it in place. I let him do his thing and finally a little later than we would have liked, we were off. About 20 minuets into the trip I notice the tarp on Aldo's jeep is coming a little undone, I asked him to pull over so that I could fix it, which we did. While we were fixing his tarp, we learned that the van's stuff had spilled out onto the highway. In the end we had to stop twice because of the van kept having to stop and pick up fallen items. This made us even more late.
Finally we got to camp and unloaded everything. We then find out that the guy who was in charge of the fire........had forgotten the lighter fluid....yea. Luckily, we were able to borrow some from our camping neighbors. Because of this however, we now had to wait about 3 hours to get the chicken going. We had some sandwiches inside the cabin but waited to serve those until we had all the chicken ready. After the kids had food in their stomachs we (the leaders, or at least Aldo and I) wanted to play an ice breaker of sorts. These kids while they knew each other didn't exactly hang out together. There were very apparent cliques and that was exactly what we didn't want. When we explained the game the kids were clearly less than enthusiastic, the other two leaders weren't exactly helping matters either. At the conclusion of the game we decided to send the kids to bed since the camp has a 10pm quite hour rule. To make sure that girls stayed on their side and boys on theirs, Aldo, Paul (a youth member) and I stayed up 'till about 3 am to guard the middle ground.

I woke up late - and apparently - as a butterfly. Since we were out by the lake, it was a bit colder than I had anticipated so during the night I had crawled completely inside my sleeping bag. Aldo woke me up because he needed to get something out of my car....and because it was time to get up. Apparently, he had tried calling my name but that didn't exactly work so he kicked my feet. He said that I emerged from my sleeping bag like he imagined a caterpillar would. "Did you expect to wake up as a butterfly?" he asked as I tried to adjust my eyes to the light and make my brain comprehend what was going on and where I was. I gave him my car keys, took a shower, and had some breakfast. Hanging around for a little bit some of the kids decided they wanted to go hiking, while they were gone a couple of the youth, Aldo and myself made some water balloons and Selena (the other youth leader) made some lunch for the kids. When they got back we had a rousing meal of nachos and hot dogs - of which, I had seconds. Aldo then rounded up the kiddos for a game of kickball, to which I was referee (I had never played kickball before this, so it was odd being ref). During the middle of the game, it begins to drizzle, then rain in a cooling type of way....however about 10 minuets later there were literal sheets of rain pouring down on us, our stuff, the kids, and our firewood.

We got all the kids into one cabin and tried as best we could to keep the electrical stuff dry. I ran to the girls’ cabin to grab a sheet so that we could cover the fridges, but when I got back Aldo pulls me aside and says we have to go home. He had locked his keys inside his jeep. So, we took off. It took us longer than usual since there was so much rain. Once we finally got there he learned that his mom who had been sick when I got there had spent the previous night in the hospital because of some bad food over at McDonalds. He talked to her for a bit, then left to cash my paychecks. On the way back to camp he receives phone call after phone call from Selena asking him what to do. Should we go home? Should we stay? Where are you? How long will you be? Half the kids want to stay, half the kids want to go, what do you want to do? Between the both of us, he decides that it's best to go home. The kids are wet, some have no more clothes, the tents are a disaster and it's going to be even colder tonight because of the rain. When all is said and done, we finally left the camp around 11 o'clock at night. We stopped at a Taco Bell somewhere off of 35 to feed the kids and then made our way to the church. Selena and Joseph dropped off most of the kids while Aldo and I spent the night there with the remaining kids. We played sardines, took pictures, and slept. Sardines was hilarious, I was decent at hiding - but one time Aldo scared me pretty badly when he hid in one of the places I had hidden previously. Creepy kid jumping out from out of nowhere. There was also at one point a time when he was just about to be tagged (again...) when he screamed "NO!" and fell on the floor....it was pretty funny. I slept in the youth room with a majority of the kids while Aldo and a few others slept in the sanctuary.

After we all woke up we had breakfast and packed the kids up so that we could drop them off. One of the youth didn't want to go right away (Paul) so he stuck around with me while Aldo (after dropping kids off) stayed home with his mom. Paul and I went to Wal-Mart (where I bought 2 shirts that I'm uber happy with) and then went to Aldo's house to pick up the keys to the church so that we could bring the food which was going to rot (hamburger patties) back to his house. When I got there he tells me he's got a plan (which is always a good thing....usually). Instead, the youth who was with us, was going to mow the lawn while he and I picked up the food, brought it back to start a bbq in his backyard. It sounded like a swell plan to me so we put it into effect and took off to the church while Paul started mowing the lawn. Once the burgers were done we ate and hung out with his family. Paul was incredibly impressed at Aldo's composure with the screaming children that are his cousins. I got drafted into a war against mosquitoes by his two smallest cousins - which I played with gusto until I ran out of ammo (we had been using a small water gun to shoot the mosquitoes down). Soon afterwards he and I left to drop off Paul. On the way back we stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up turtle food and he bought the movie Eurotrip which we had wanted to watch before I left for Christmas break, but simply didn't have a chance. When we arrived at his house, I took a shower while he helped out a friend, and then we watched the movie. (which, btw was pretty funny. this isn't where I parked my car....)

I woke up around 10 o'clock the next day, took a shower and packed most if not all of my stuff. Once Aldo woke up he came over to the guest room where I was and we hung out for a bit. Ate breakfast, watched Judge Mathis, (it do what it do) and hung out for a little while. When his mom got home I left to go wash my car since it was pretty nasty from all the rain and mud it had gone through during the storm. In the late afternoon we went to half price books where I bought Angel Season 1 and he bought Angel Season 2 (I was excited). We also went to Pet Smart where he decided to let the turtle (which some of the youth and caught and he had adopted) go at the lake near his house. It was here I was sure I had made a mistake in coming because I could feel that all he wanted to do was push me off a rather steep and lofty cliff. We put in one of the discs he had of Angel and started to watch it - he got so frustrated with me at one point that he left the room. I being a genius and having nowhere else to go (since I left my apartment key in Laredo) stayed in the guest room trying desperately to stay out of his way. Finally, we left to New Orleans around 11 o'clock that night. It was pretty smooth sailing right up until we were supposed to switch from highway 49 to highway 10. I didn't think I had missed it, yet it seemed that we were going in the wrong direction. I being the absolutely amazing person that I am, hadn't brought along a state map....just a print out from yahoo which, while helpful wasn't enough. So, we stopped a few times to ask for directions/buy a map/gas up. Once we got our bearings, I fell asleep. Aldo was awesome and let me sleep most of the way there. We arrived in New Orleans around 9 in the morning and after a rousing game of "can you find a gas station before your car runs out of gas?" we checked into our hotel and slept.

When we were both awake and showered we took off towards the Loyola campus to meet up with his best friend Monica. As we drove down St. Charles Ave in the Garden District, Aldo was on the phone with Monica who informed us that they were shooting a movie across the street from campus so we should park in a residential area - which we did. We met her by 'touchdown Jesus' and it was one of the warmest greetings I'd ever had the honor to witness. She gave us a tour of the campus, and to top it off - we had crawfish. I hadn't had crawfish before, and so was a little weary...I tried it though, messy as anything - yet good! The potatoes and sausage that they had were *awesome* though. We went up to her dorm for a bit and then decided to go walk around the park across the street. We saw ducks, exchanged stories, sat on top of an outdoor theater, and trespassed a little bit - you know...the usual. Aldo and I were still hungry though so Monica showed us this amazing Greek restaurant which was....*sigh* awesome. Sshe needed to get ready for her performance though, so we walked back to my car and I drove her to her dorm/the theater. Aldo and I drove back to our hotel to drop off some left over food and change really quickly, then raced back to the theater, got our tickets and settled in for a show.
The show was; as far as I was concerned, very well done. I had a lot of fun watching it, and she made the best Morgan LaFey I had ever seen. Afterwards we walked her and her friend Andy back to their dorm where they could change and get ready while we went back to the hotel to eat a little/rest. Once the girls called us we took off back towards the University where we picked them up and took off to a comedy club. The comedy club was fun, some of the comedians were funny, some weren't that funny, and some were...not so funny...But I still had a brilliant time there. Once the club closed the 4 of us headed upstairs where we grabbed a game of Scatagories and played a couple rounds. Once we had had our fill of that (and they wanted to close up shop) we left back to the University where we dropped off Andy. The remaining 3 of us picked up some McDonald's and headed back to our hotel. We chatted it up for quite awhile (assigned Shakespearian monologues to one another and assigned each other into Hogwarts Houses) but finally 'hit the hay' somewhere around 2 in the morning.

We woke up fairly early that morning because Monica had a workshop that morning and a matinee performance of her play as well. Aldo dropped her off, came back and we checked out nearly right away. We then headed on down to the French Quarter to shop around. We parked in a parking garage where you had to go up a winding road and it made you pretty dizzy. We walked down St. Peter's, went inside a few stores, and then walked around Jackson Square a few times. There we decided to get our palms read, when i asked how much it was she said it would be twenty bucks - I simply couldn't afford that so I said 'no, thanks'. She looks over at Aldo and says...."we'll I'll read your palm for 5". *anger eyes* Sometimes that kid gets all the luck. We left soon afterwards. I drove most of the way back, conversation pretty much sucked - but the music was decent so huzzah for that. When we got into Fort Worth we got into a....well, I guess you could call it a fight - I'm not quite sure what it was - but we talked it through before we got to his house. We then said our goodbyes and I left.

So, before I left his house he had told me that I should feel free to call in case I get sleepy - since I was about to be on the road for another 8 hours, and would arrive in Laredo around 5 am. The drive home was, for the most part - uneventful. Then, I got to Mile Marker 31. 31 miles away from my house (give or take). I apparently closed my eyes because I opened them when my car started making that bumpy noise that happens when you start to drift too far to one side of the road. I flash open my eyes and realize that my front right tire is on the dirt and I'm veering off the road. So, I tap on the break to take my car off cruise control and lean the wheel to the left to get my car back onto the highway (I was on the left lane). My car begins to violently fishtail and before I know it....I'm spinning. I spun around 2 1/2 times only to stop in a ditch on the right side of the highway perpendicular to it, my headlights illuminating the road, tall uncut grass surrounding me on all sides. I didn't hit anything and the closest car to me was about a mile behind me. I sat there in my car for a few moments...then started to cry. I called Aldo and started to be a pansy on the phone.
Are you ok? Yes.
Is the car ok? Yes.
Can you get back on the highway? Yes.
How far are you from Laredo? About 15 min.
I got home and slept. There’s a dent on the right side of my car above my tire and a small scratch on the hood of my car. Need to get that looked at. I also need to get my breaks looked at since it sounds like my car is in incredible pain every time I use 'em. Clearly, Aldo's jeep was a horrible influence on my own means of transportation.

I was going to use this to update about my dad - but I figure this entry is long enough - I'll write about my dad a little later. To make a long story short though: He's out of the hospital - finally. He'll be home on Tuesday.

Geez.. you weren't kidding when you said it was the mother of all entries were you? lol :-D Sounds like you had a very busy time.. I'm tired just reading it!! :-)
» LittleBrit on 2007-03-19 05:12:00

I was waiting for the part where Aldo totally makes out with MonicA!!!

Didn't happen. shucks. Still sounds like a pretty awesome time overall. I think spending that much time with anyone is a pretty awesome achievement.

But DUDE! That was a super close call there on the road! How scary is that!! You shouldn't drive so late by yourself young woman!

I really enjoyed Houston. The weather was absolutely smashing, (lightning! hail! ominous claps of thunder! humidity! sunshine! sheets of rain! whipping wind!) it was great. Temperature wasn't too bad, either. And the bbq! Amazing. And the Mexican food! Amazing. But especially the bbq. Wow. You Texans, let me tell ya. You know how to do things up right. Deep in the hearrrrt of Texas!
» Zanzibar on 2007-03-19 10:22:51

Make out with Moe?!?!?!

You disgust me, Zanzibar.
You really do.
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