My Dogs are Barking

Georgia's Sand BucketBy Georgia Osten
Our annual trip was a blast, but, yes, My Dogs are Barking. I wore my new New Balance sneakers, because they’re so darned cute, but I took my Sperry slip-on’s and my ugliest $5 crock-like slip-on’s. You know, the ugly white ones like everyone has in different colors. It was our annual trip to the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market at NRG. It’s the Shop ‘til you drop event of the season. It was our normal group, my oldest daughter, her best friend and best friend’s Mom, and Me. This year, we invited our San Antonio family to join us. That’s my “Bookend” and Aunt Wendy. These are my youngest daughter’s Mom-in-law and Sister-in-law. Speaking of my youngest daughter, about 10 minutes after arriving, Leigh got Kelly on Face-Time and I almost lost it! She’s our family living in Tel Aviv, and she was with us at the Nutcracker two years ago. Oh, my goodness, how we wish she could have joined us for the fun and exhaustion.

We’re the innovators, by the way, of “Tail-gating” at the Nutcracker Market. We’ve watched it “take on” from year to year, we’re not the only ones anymore! Melissa brought the chicken salad, from the “Chicken Salad Chick” in Pearland, her Mom, Barbara, baked blueberry muffins and Pigs in a Blanket, Bookend baked Cowboy Cookies and Wendy brought a loaded charcuterie board, and I was assigned chips. Looks like I got the easiest task…adult beverages were provided, you can guess who was responsible for that assignment!

After a leisurely breakfast out there in the parking lot, we put everything back in Leigh’s car and headed into the stadium for our shopping extravaganza. We’ve always always gone on a Sunday, it’s the last day of the Nutcracker Market. We’re never ever disappointed. Well, maybe a little … The second booth we usually visit, after Round Top, is the Nutcracker Ballet Shop. This year, they were already sold out of Nutcrackers and Snow Globes. They blamed it on Shipping from China. Understandable!

We didn’t let that dampen our spirits, instead, we stopped at the nearest cocktail kiosk and bought Bloody Mary’s, Champagne cocktails and Wendy had a beer!

From time to time, we’d lose sight of one another, only to join up again to compare what we’d bought. Bookend found something interesting, so she remembered where the heck she had been, we followed her and reaped the rewards from that particular vendor. My mission was to find Christmas gifts, and boy did I!?!

When we had all had all we could stand, we met out in the parking lot to separate all our belongings, divvy up the left overs, and we all bid adieu to each other promising to meet up again next year to do it all over again. Leigh said we need to make a weekend out of it. She found a wine-tasting event she wants us all to attend with her the day before the Nutcracker Market. Oh, my goodness, how to prepare for this? I guess I have a year to practice.

Like other years prior to this, we’ve gone over to stay with The Littles the night before. Ditto! It seems Camber’s Birthday always falls on this weekend. What a treat! For us and for her! They went out with friends on Saturday night, so we ordered Chinese for us and the boys. After their showers, we settled in for an intriguing evening Finding Dory!

Sunday morning before I got picked up for the Nutcracker, The Little’s parents left for the Houston Open and PawPaw got to stay with them all day. PawPaw is lots of fun, he’s always got a trick up his sleeve and there’s never a dull moment.

Needless to say, when we all got back to the house, we loaded up the car and Maezy and headed on back to the beach, arriving just in time to watch Episode 3 of Yellowstone.


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