Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Deep in My Heart, is Texas

**warning, this is a long one**

Well, I don't think I've cried this much in years. I just got back from an extended weekend in San Antonio, TX. I left San Antonio back in 1997 and never looked back traveling to New Orleans, Montgomery, Detroit, Jersey City, NJ, Rancho Cucamonga, CA then finally to where I live right now ... Brooklyn, NY . I was fresh out of the Air Force and headed towards a dream. Before I left San Antonio those years ago, it gave me so much life experience to pave the way for my present and I'm pretty sure my future as well. I miss my city, the only city I lived in growing up for more than a year. I was actually able to complete all four years of high school there, a luxury as a military dependant. Here I am acting like a tourist on San Antonio's famous Riverwalk, something I never did when I lived there ...I tell you I cried most of the tour behind those shades, just thinking about the good ole days. We passed the Hooters I won a wing eating contest at back in '96 and as corny as it sounds, I cried as we floated by. I did my best to hide it and slipped myself a tissue from my bag. I acted like I had something in my eye lol. Even when I got off the highway downtown after arriving from the airport, I cried when I saw the new arena for the San Antonio Spurs. I pulled around the corner and saw the bar we used to have a pre-game drink at before the games and yup, I cried more there too. I mean just crying all around from me. I was a mess! I miss my city and as someone that grew up moving around almost every year, it was the first city I got to really know. The streets, the people, the eats, everything. I've never had the luxury of driving by the place I did so and so, or first saw such and such. You know? And that, if you have it, is a neat luxury. I'm not pouting though, there are so many things I gained from moving like crazy growing up and I feel with everything lined up, pros versus cons, I came out on top.

I don't know why I haven't gone back sooner and I think it's a weird Army brat thing, that maybe another Army brat could explain to me. So there I was this weekend, in the city I know and love, ready to work and then steal some time for a trip down memory lane. Well, I wouldn't call it work, it's actually fun! I'm a judge for Aetna's Healthy Food Fight which means a day full of eating tasty, healthy food! Look who showed up to say hi ...
Yup! That's NFNS contestant Dzintra and her daughter! They came all the way from Austin to say hi and spread some smiles. Dzintra is doing great and actually has a supper club (oh so chic!) in Austin called Plate by Dzintra. If you're in the area, you gotta check it out and tell her I said hi! What a nice family!

Wait, I'm a little backwards here, I'm so excited to tell you about the visit, I'm out of chronological order...

I got in two days before work on Sunday to have a mini-reunion with friends from James Madison High School's class of '93. Have you ever caught the Cooking for Real episode I call Deep in the Hearth of Texas? Well, one of my best friends from high school joins me on that show and we made sure to carve out some time Friday night for laughs and margarita's!Her Lone Star Cheesecake recipe is all the rage, check it out! Our other girl, Adriana decided to show up fashionably late, so we caught her up on the drinks and took this pic on the way out ...I gotta tell you, nothing has changed and quite like the noise we used to make in the cafeteria at lunch, we turned the prim and proper setting of Las Canarias into a loud girls night out. Good thing most of the customers were outside on the Riverwalk patio while we dined inside. The staff was so nice and I must say the drinks, the food, the girls ... it was a great night. Then the next night, Christina took to facebook and rounded up some people for a mini reunion at La Hacienda. Here we all are ...It was so overwhelming to see everyone and hear all the stories. Seeing my next door neighbor Jon was a surprise. I used to look over the fence at all the fun they were having with many of the kids from school and couldn't go hang out because my parents could see that it looked like "too much" fun lol. I remember wishing he lived a few streets down instead of right next door so my parents wouldn't know just how much fun was goin' on. Instead, my mom made me get an internship at KSAT-12, writing copy for the news and editing video, funny how life works out. He's doing great and everyone had such cool stories of what's happened in the last 17 years. Then another big surprise I can't even begin to explain, my long lost hangin' partner, TJ ...Man, I can't even tell you how much he, I and our other best friend Craig, hung out in high school. I mean, quality time. Day in and day out and even on the weekends. Why we haven't kept in touch, I have no idea. Crazy. After what I call my girlie first year of trying to fit into high school in a new city, I gave up cheering on the pep squad and decided to just be myself ... a total tom-boy. I mean, I was the president of the German club and a member of the yearbook staff before it was all over, but the heart of me was hanging with the guys that worked on cars. I had a '68 VW Bug that was rare because it was a standard/automatic with no clutch and a stick shift, yes ... very rare. I even worked on the engine and gave it a fresh paint job with one of my first Sonic paychecks. I just felt so special to be taken in by the guys back then. TJ and Craig shared my love of cars and engines and all things "arrrrgh" (think Tim Allen). They treated me like one of the boys and it really shaped many of my future friendships. We left high school and did our best to keep in touch, but now the only thing missing is Craig. Craig, if you ever come across this, we miss you, ask about you often and hope one day you can come back into the fold. We miss you and love you no matter what. It's the reason I still have your mom's # on speed dial. [ Sorry, about the personal biz over here guys, but the internet is crazy and I have to give it a try. You never know :-) ]. Ok, so we all traded stories that night and somewhere in there I got a delivery of one of San Antonio's biggest claims to fame, next to the Riverwalk and the Alamo ...The PUFFY TACO!!!! WOOOOHOOOOO! La Hacienda did it major justice! I'm going to have to share my recipe for puffy tacos soon on Cooking for Real. They've had a visit by Bobby Flay for Throwdown! and even Emeril Lagasse wrote the foreword for their restuarant's cookbook. Thanks for the copy and the hospitality guys! Ok, so then we went to a club called Rumi, had some drinks and called it a night. I knew I had to put in a full day of eating and judging food on Sunday. The event was at the Grand Hyatt and just as I was settling into my seat as one of the judges, I turned around and saw something very familiar! Turns out a local radio station was setting up to broadcast live from our party on the patio ...Good thing I had my shades on because the tears flowed again, KONO happened to be my second job in radio back in 1995. Just about 14 years ago I worked there part-time and spent many weekends broadcasting live from events just like the one I was judging this weekend. Back then it was called KONO-Good Time Oldies and I played music from Buddy Holly and Elvis. Now it plays different music, but some of the staff I worked with in San Antonio at another radio station worked there now, so it was a fun reunion.

The Aetna Healthy Food Fight competition was great in San Antonio, I was looking forward to tasing food made by my hometown residents and was totally in love with this presentation ...Can't see it? Blame my phone, it didn't want to use the flash and I didn't have time to change it to "always on", it was presentation time!

--WAIT!! Air Force photographer Lance Cheung read my blog and noticed this picture above needed help and he uploaded it, fixed it and sent it to me as a surprise! Thanks Lance! So now, what my cell phone couldn't do --Pretty cool, huh?! Now you can see the definition on the dish and the dish maker! Thanks Lance!

It's a chicken salad in a wheat bread cone. She put the bread on a waffle iron with a spritz of oil, then while it was warm she molded it into a cone so it would hold when it cooled. It was clever and cute! I sometimes do french toast that way, kinda the best of both worlds. Can't wait to see who wins this leg of the trip! Congrats to all the contestants! It sounds cliche, but they already won by being chosen from all the entries as nutritional enough to make the cut. It means they've begun to find ways to eat a bit healthier. Now, we just have to see what tastes and looks best! Good luck!

My cousins also came by to visit during the event, and I didn't even get a picture, but it was so neat seeing them! Pretty cool. After the event, I started to walk home -- Wait, wanna hear something funny? Totally behind the scenes stuff. I stayed at the Westin, just 4 short blocks from the Hyatt where the event was and do you know they actually sent a car for me to get to the event? lol I promptly cancelled it and walked. Very funny to me. Who needs a car for literally a 5 minute walk? I say I needed that walk, especially with all the eating I was about to do! -- Ok, back to the thought, on the way home is when I took that tour of the Riverwalk (first photo on this post), I saw people loading up and decided why not be a tourist in a city I lived in so long? I met some really nice people on the boat and they were food people! I didn't know it until the boat ride was over and they stopped me as I was walking back to my hotel to say hi. Thanks so much for watching the show guys!!! Hope they didn't think I was crazy for crying as we passed Hooters on the Riverwalk lol.

Okay, then yesterday I stuck around for an extra day so I could make the rounds and visit some more people and places I missed. First stop, my old office at AFNEWS. This is were I formed pretty much all of my broadcasting and work environment experience that would thrust me into the civilian world of radio and television. I still call my bosses a few times a year just to check in and say hi, but haven't been back since I was honorably discharged on June 22, 1997. Here are the 3 men that put up with my youthful rebellion and often spirited debates about the editorial direction of my news stories from 1993-1997 ...
(U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

From the left that's Mr. Starr (Ret. Army Colonel), Mr. Gilliam and my immediate supervisor, Gerry Proctor. It is no understatement to say these men took great care of me and guided me as if I was part of their family. We really were a family, I guess. It was really emotional for me to see Gerry Proctor, he knew I was coming but to everyone else it was a surprise. I started crying when I saw him first and it seems like I only took breaks from crying to snap photos. Mr. Starr was actually my commander in Korea, my first stop in the Air Force, so working for him again at AFNEWS was a treat. Larry Gilliam played referee plenty when I got passionate about stories, I'm a passionate person, not afraid to state my case and opinion, surprised? :-) Then Gerry, as my immediate supervisor gave me so much I can't even begin to thank him. I learned about forming radio news stories, writing them, producing them, conducting quality interviews, editing stories and how to drink black coffee :-).

You know how you do things as a child and then as an adult you fess up? Well, when I was in the Air Force I didn't want to get promoted to the next rank because I wanted to stay in the field reporting, not at the desk which was reserved for the next rank, I also knew I was getting out of the military, but didn't want to tell everyone. Well, I purposely failed my promotion exam, twice. I got in so much trouble and even had to go to the "shirts' " office. (A "shirt" is the equivalent of HR with power in the civilian world. I was in trouble!). So anyway, Gerry defended me to no end and always had my back. I finally fessed up Monday that I was failing on purpose back then and he replied "I know". LOL, the things we think we are sneaking by people. He also helped me with the paperwork to exit a month early so I could begin the next semester at Loyola - New Orleans. Great man, even better boss. Just in case you wonder what AFNEWS is, it stood for Air Force News Agency. It is now called something different, but they still do the same thing. They basically do all of the news around the world for the Air Force. From Airman Magazine, to radio and television. I was in the radio department of a section there called Hometown News. My job was to travel the country and tell the story of the military member, then send that news story to the hometown of each military member for local press. I covered inaugurations, training camps, and events that had anything to do with the Air Force or had Air Force involvement. I'd show up at a military base and interview an entire squadron of members, then head home to AFNEWS to edit each story individually, then mail them out to each individual service member's local radio stations for broadcast. Yes, I mailed them! I mean from concept, to writing, to editing, producing, packaging, marketing to the local stations and mailing the tapes, one person did it all. These days they simply MP3 the files, but it is still a one person gig. Pretty cool, but plenty of work.

Then once a year, I headed out on "Holiday Greetings". These are the video greetings shot overseas that you see military members sending around the holidays on local and national television shows. Those are the pride and joy of that department and every time I see them around the holidays, I ... ahem, well you guessed it, I cry. Those were long TDY's or business trips that took 40+ days on the road and I always got picked for the Pacific-rim leg of the trip, so Japan, Hawaii, Guam, Honduras, Korea and many places in between. We'd show up to a base that knew we were on the way and I'm talking ALLLLL of the base it seemed would wait in line the entire day just to tape their greetings. We'd film before sun up and end after sun down. A three person team - camera, lighting/sound and me, the tape logger. Plenty of work. Back then, I was low ranking so my job was to log all the tapes by zip code as well as help with the set up and break down every day. Can you imagine how many zip codes are in the USA?!?!? I'd have nightmares of zip codes and floating states lol. Talk about grunt-work! These days, it's not as tough because they use discs instead of tapes, but it's still a pretty tough gig ...
(U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

Boy those discs would've made it so much easier back then! I was amazed by how much has changed, but also shocked by some of the things that haven't. They still log them by zip code and the work usually goes to one person. Here's the young airman that now holds my old position ...
(U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

That's Airman 1st Class Alina Richard getting me mic'd up for a quick follow up interview to the one I did just a month ago on my studio set in Chelsea Market. This is her first assignment and she also handles the television news, plenty on her lap and she is handling the pressure with a big smile. What a flashback!

After the quick interview I took a tour of the building and visited with some familiar faces. This is Mr. Whitted ...
(U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

We weren't in the same department back then, but the whole building was such a family and we all often enjoyed holiday parties and extended lunch breaks together as a group. A few minutes into catching up, he did something that made me cry like a baby ... he "coined" me!
(U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

I can't explain getting "coined" succinctly enough to do it justice, but suffice it to say it's an honor and a tradition going back to some say the Egyptian times, others say the first World War. A quick google search gives many pages to learn about the tradition of being coined. In all my time in the Air Force, I was only coined three times and never had an AFNEWS coin. Look at my my lonely three ...
I got the one on top from my time in Korea, the blue one from William J. Perry when he was the Secretary of Defense and the one on the right by General Ronald H. Griffith when I did a story at The Pentagon on military members working there. They presented them to thank me for all the work I was doing to tell the story of the Airman there, I was honored then and now years later, I felt just as honored to get coined after my military service ...
Then, on the way out as I was saying my goodbyes I was coined again by the commander!
That one in the right is heavy! By this time I was all cried out, but let me tell you it was a huge honor that makes me cry now even as I type it. I'm such an emotional mess, please don't judge me. :-). Here I am in the commander's office at his desk trying to look like I'm in charge ...
(U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

As the head of Defense Media Activity-San Antonio (formerly AFNEWS), Col. Clifton Douglas has plenty to oversee, so it was very nice of him to make time and allow me to interrupt the work day all over the building. Glad I met him because it turns out his grandma makes Hallie's Apple Butter and I walked away with a jar!
(U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

I love a food gift! He gave it to me and said "you're from the South, so you should know what to do with this!" and I promptly replied "SPREAD IT!" before he even got the words completely out of his mouth and he completed the thought with "on Biscuits!". That's right!!! I can't wait to try it! I sat and signed some notes of thanks to his grandma in advance of tasting her goods ...
(U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

Look at that back drop! How can you not look important sitting at that desk, eh? Then we took a quick pic before I headed out to the next stop ...
(U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

That's Chief Robert Jackson on my left - a big Food Network fan :-) and my new best friend due to the apple butter exchange, Col. Clifton Douglas, Commander.

Up next, many times here and on Cooking for Real I mention a place that changed my life ... the taco joint just outside of the base. I think I may have had about a jillion tacos from there over the 3 years I worked at AFNEWS, I'm talkin' breakfast, lunch and sometimes one for the road as I headed home from work!! What changed my life was the addition to my diet of beans and chorizo ... combined. Not side-by-side or mashed together in a tortilla, but mixed together while cooked. Lemme tell ya, those two, chorizo and beans combined, are like "wonder twins activate!" on my palate! It is one of my all-time favorite combinations. Like Mac and Cheese, Meatloaf and Mash, Red and Velvet. :-) Anyway, before this place, I just didn't know what a good taco was. Here it is, just across the street from my old office. You can jussssst see my old building on the far left of the picture...Here's a better view of the taco joint from another angle ...
Nothing big or fancy, that's where the good stuff usually is! It used to be called something different and it has a new owner now, but that didn't matter to me. I knew from asking the team when they visited my set from San Antonio a month ago that nothing internally had changed. They also informed me of the newest award my favorite taco place received ...Wooohoooooooooo!!!!! La Laguna!! (sorry, no website) I knew years ago the tacos there were award winning! To keep it nostalgic, I ordered my usual ... 2 bean and chorizo tacos ...Now let me confess, I'm a tortilla-phile, I can totally tell a fresh tortilla by just looking at a picture, so I hope you share my same love and can enjoy the simple pleasure of gazing at two tender, freshly made flour tortillas wrapped around chorizo and beans, not pasty or greasy, just good and creamy with the perfect amount of seasoning. It was warm and chewy and had a slight dusting of flour still on it from being made fresh. The texture was crazy. Wow, oh wow, oh wow. It was piping hot and took me right back to escaping from work for a minute to get a quick bite that would turn into an experience. A co-worker and I would drive the short distance in my truck with George Michael's "Fast Love(rmx)" blaring in my speakers and then pull back into the parking lot at work and eat the tacos in the car before we got out. I mean we did this ritual more times than I can even count and I'm talking the same song, same order of tacos, eating them in the car ... all of that. Those were the days!

Next was a trip to my alma mater, James Madison High School ...
It may be a bit hard to see, but boy has it changed since 1993. The part that was the school for our class is now swallowed by more buildings surrounding it. I went in and chatted with my former English teacher, Ms. Valentine and my guidance counselor Ms. Gish. Next thing you know plenty of teachers and staff members I knew popped in to say hi. Then, guess what happened?? I got coined again!!They weren't doing this when I lived there, but San Antonio is such a military town, it only makes sense that a military tradition would spill into the local community. Thanks to Chris Thompson, he was a social studies teacher when I attended from 1989-1993 and now he's the school principal. It was a neat visit and I went by when school was just letting out so, we had plenty of time to visit. To my surprise, they have a culinary course of classes now with a chef as the teacher. How neat. Madison was an enviable school then and it still is now. I didn't take any pictures because I just talked the whole time! Totally didn't think about it until I was pulling away, so I snapped the picture above from the street.

I was probably so absent minded because I knew where I was headed ...SONIC!
This is the first place I worked other than volunteering or interning and I often tell the story about wanting to work in the kitchen and they would never let me because they wanted me to be a car hop. I would beg and beg because it seemed like only the male employees were allowed to work the line and finally my manager let me in the kitchen - to prep onion rings. That was good enough for me! I loved the work and more importantly, loved the product!!! That made it real easy!

I thought maybe I'd stop by and see if I could take a picture of me finally inside the kitchen there and the manager said I couldn't for legal reasons lol. I guess I will never get in a Sonic kitchen, eh? Teeheehee, as long as they keep crankin' out the onion rings it's fine by me! I still have the picture my dad took of me as I headed off to my first day of work there. That was a fun job. After that, I drove to my old neighborhood and did a bit more crying when I saw our old house. I gotta tell you this was the first time I've seen any childhood anything from growing up other than my grandparent's place because we visited them almost every summer between moves. Now that I've done it, I'm going to make a plan to revisit all the places I lived while growing up as an Army brat. There are many places and it may take some time, but the feeling was so rewarding, I feel it's a must now.

Ok, well that's it for one of the longest blogs I've posted. Sorry it was so long, but hopefully it helped you waste some time while at work. :-). Stick around ... the NYC Wine & Food Festival kicks off tomorrow and I'll share some stuff as I get it!

P.S. I'm headed to Miami for a March of Dimes event and to get out the word, I did an interview that is posting in parts, want more inside stuff? Check out The Miami New Times blog for the first part ...

15 comments:

Holly said...

It sounds like you had an unbelievable trip back in time...I have to admit, I got a little misty reading your post :-) And the puffy tacos look so unique - will the recipe be on this season of Cooking for Real, or will you be posting the recipe on your blog?

Complaint Department Manager said...

If anyone can appreciate a trip like that, it's me. HOWEVER, I didn't see Fiesta Texas anywhere in there and fond memories of a place on the outskirts of town called Nacho Mama's. Went there MANY years ago and visited both places and both were great.

I will say this, the freeway system there is MESSED UP for sure. Dig the turnarounds, though.

Lys ~ Cooking In Stilettos said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing this and I'm so glad you were able to "revisit the past." I think it's a great idea that you might visit all the other places that you lived as well!

See ya Saturday, hopefully!

Charles said...

Whew!! Wow, Sunny, whatta blog! I have to say, since joining your blog, I love seeing all the places you visit and people you meet and FOOD you get to eat! The pictures along with your descriptions of the puffy taco and the bean and chorizo tacos had my mouth watering. I had a buffalo chix quesedilla (sp) from a chain called Moe's today....sadly, it doesn't come close to the real deal. And you are so right when you say the best food is usually found in places that are low-profile.

Your trip sounds like it was a blast and so glad you enjoyed it. Nothing like great memories that you'll always have. I'm mad you was staying at the Westin, girl...so posh! LOL The "W"'s really are nice. Wow... Texas, then NYC then onto Miami....you got it poppin' Sunny!

Jen said...

Oh girl it looks like you had a wonderful trip!!! How exciting to get to do that. My parents still live in the house I grew up in so I see how things are there now and how they much they have changed many times a year. Being able to go back and do what you did probably makes you appreciate it so much, I’m sure.

I loved all of the pictures!! And learning about being coined was very interesting! I’ve never heard of that before. What an honor. :)

When you talk about listening to tapes in the car when you were in high school makes me think about when I was in high school! How crazy. Back then we didn’t have CDs so you had to make a mix tape! And then it would get stuck in the tape player and get all messed up and it had to be thrown away! And taping off the radio….oh good times!!!

LOVED the article in the Miami New Times!! Having a boyfriend/fiance is totally like having a baby…LOL! Loved that line.

P.S. I love your gray shirt and that purse is too cute!!

Lindsey Christensen said...

Oh Sunny ~ I am a crier from way back as well….I know exactly how it feels to get teary over things that seem absurd to other people. I welled up several times just reading this post! All my family and close friends know I’m prone to blubbering. Crying as you floated by Hooters, I love it! The stories behind so many personal landmarks really have thick emotional ties that can trigger the tears at any given moment. I totally get that! Your emotional ties stem from all corners of the US and abroad, so wherever you go, you’re bound to run into treasured memories of days gone by. You are such a capable story-teller. Thanks for sharing your life and not being afraid to admit to your emotions!

Dolphinfanhg said...

Thanks for taking us along on your trip down memory lane. I think we've all had those moments. I admit I got a little emotional for you just reading about it! PS love the comment about the beans and chorizo and the perfect pairs....I agree on all accounts! :)

nessienessa said...

WOO HOO!!! That's my hometown! Girrrrl I can't tell you how badly I miss those tortillas right now and you are so on point with that beans and chorizo...I like mine with some cheese though ;)
We are new to the military life but my husband and I are born & raised in SA and although we miss it sometimes, we know we can always go back to visit and eat, eat, eat! I swear we're not fatties, just foodies ;) But when family visits, they have to bring legit tortillas for me to whip up some great breakfast tacos for my airman!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sunny!
Really enjoyed your trip down memory lane. Don't fret about the tears, I'm a cry baby too!:) I know it may not have been so fun when you were experiencing the travels as a kid but I am certain this is why you are such a well-rounded individual. I'm so happy to see you happy. I hope our sons decide to travel the world and absorb all they can on this brief journey. Love to you!
Linda (B'Ham)

Reyna said...

This is a wonderful post. It's great to go down memory lane with my favorite FN host.

Btw, that "puffy taco" looks to die for. Can't wait to get the recipe on Cooking For Real ;)

Sunny Anderson said...

holly, awww sorry my tears almost became yours ... i just had such a great trip back. i will now do it more often. what an idiot i've been. stick around for the puffy tacos! can't wait for brunch tomorrow!

complaint dept. mgr., teeheehee, well i didn't visit fiesta texas because i'd been there several times because it opened when i was in high school. i tried to get a job there and didn't :-(, ended up at sonic! :-). and nacho mama's, i think it's closed? do you remember lil hips? closed too. i agree, the turnarounds rock. did you know that r.e.m. recorded a music video there under the crazy interchange?

lys, i'm gonna do it. i made up my mind. i say maybe middle school is next. so that's either boiling springs, pa or i'm on a flight to germany! the latter will take longer lol. where were you today?

charles, i know the blog was long right? glad you liked my crazy stories. and guess what, the westin wasn't the swankiest spot. there is a place called la mansion where we ate and another spot that are pretty swanky. i stayed where i can get points :-). tryin to get an upgrade like beyonce! lol

jen, girl, when i say cried ugly tears, i totally wasn't expecting to get coined. pretty cool i saw the coins on the commander's wall walking in and thought, wow i never got an afnews coin, so to get one not a few moments later by surprise was pretty neat. it's as if they read my mind!!

lindsey, girl! too cool meeting you and your friend :-) today! lol. i'll see ya tomorrow!

heather, thanks. you know i thought to myself, do you guys care about all that minutia? glad you enjoyed the story. all the comments make me feel good about sharing some of the personal stuff, like how a taco shop can change your life :-P

nessienessa, yaaaay san antone! i don't mind cheese, but i don't want it with chorizo. my bean and cheese thing is a bit obsessive as well. and the tortilla, if it ain't fresh it ain't right! what cool fam to bring you fresh ones from a taqueria! breakfast tacos are my specialty! i should do one on the show eh?

linda, cry babies unite! i am not feeling too bad now that a few people have cleared me of being a sap for getting nostalgic. i really miss san antonio. i plan to go back much sooner than 13 years! sounds like the way you are your sons will surely want to explore all the great places the world has to offer.

reyna, awwww shux, thanks so much. i just wanted to share something that was so much fun for me. that puffy taco now makes appearances in my dreams. it's not too long until i just break down and make one at home. i just got picked up for season 9 and i think i'll pitch it for an episode!

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Hollaaaaa! San Antonio is my heart, and I am homesick in a major way. This post nearly brought me to tears.

Thanks for telling us about your trip.

Congrats on getting coined! I've only been coined once and it was an AFPC one. It's such an honor, and you deserve it!

Toi said...

OMG Sunny! I have the exact same grey shirt withthe ruffles from NY&Co. I even wore it today! Imagine my surprise when I saw you in the exact same shirt. LOL! I have't been to San Antonio but it is on my list of places to visit. Looks like you had a blast. :-)

A'Driane said...

Wow, Sunny....hold please while I pick my jaw up off the floor-ok I'm good-I hope this doesn't come off as creepy or stalkerish, but we have SO much in common and I never knew! Not only was I born in San Antonio, I spent junior high and high school there after my dad got stationed back in TX at Randolph AFB. Like you, it was the longest I'd ever lived in one place, being an AF brat, and I couldn't keep my tears from falling as I read your blog and saw pictures of places I've been to and of a city I consider my real home. (I'm on the train to NYC, and the lady next to me had to ask me if I needed some tissue, I'm sniffling so much lol) Reading your words brought back a flood of memories...I went to high school on base at Randolph High and also at Judson, right down the street...and how surprised was I to read that you worked the job I wanted and tried for when you were in the Army! I joined the AF and wanted to work in the media field and for the AF Times, AFN...but they had no openings when I went in and I wound up being a cop LOL. It's ok though, I loved rockin the beret....Although I went back to SA for basic and tech school, I didn't get a chance to tour the city, and I haven't been back since. (I moved to the east coast when I was 17) I always miss TX, and I don't understand why I haven't gone back, but I think you've inspired me to make the trip as soon as I can :) as for getting coined-isn't that such an AWESOME experience? I was stationed at Bolling AFB in DC where they have about 40 generals....my first time getting coined by an AF big wig while working the gate floored me, I'll never forget it :)

Ok, sorry I blabbed on and on...just wanted to thank you for such an awesome read, it brought a huge smile to my face and memories of good years....maybe if we cross paths (maybe I'll be around next time you see "Big Daddy" lol) we can do a coin check (do you know what that is?) and have a drink :)

Keep writing fantastic posts!

A'Driane

Hassan R said...

Hey Sunny!! I check in from time to time just to see the latest happenings of Ms Anderson. I enjoy all of reading all of your blogs. I especially enjoyed this blog about San Antonio. Wow, I was able to reminisce with you. Everytime I go back to SA I notice something different and brand new that has popped up. Judging from your picture Madison HAS changed since we went there, I had no idea. I hope all is well in your world.