Sept 11 - Houston

How did we end up here??

I met Alex at work on his 21st birthday and that was oh -  a thousand years ago (little did we imaging we would be friends for life - lol...) .  Since then we have been on many adventures, sky diving, canyoning, abseiling, hiking...  but - nothing would beat how we ended up in Houston on Sept 11.  

I was staying with friends in Boulder, Colorado when the phone rang.  It was Alex - he was travelling from LA to New York on a road trip with his brother.  We met up for what was supposed to be one day 'let's go hike up a mountain' I said 'sure' he said.  We hiked the highest mountain I could find. ha ha ha  How was I supposed to know that he had been out all night drinking.  Of course he claims to this day that I tried to kill him as he started to throw up - lol..  Yes - I did laugh and quickly pulled out the camera.  I can't repeat what he said. ha ha ha   However, I was concerned he would dehydrate and pass out so I gave him my water.  I knew I couldn't carry him.  Mind you he laughs as he recovers, we reach the top and head down the other side in a million degree heat.  I'm now out of water and dehydrated.  No no he's fine.  Just fine.  I'm the one that nearly died.

We meet up with his brother, have some drinks, laugh and return to where I'm staying.  Oops they are not happy I spent the day with Alex - words are exchanged and Alex speaks with his brother and says 'pack your bags you're coming with us'.  Life's too short to spend time with the wrong people.  I pack, thank them and wish them good luck and say good bye.  Now Alex only has himself to blame.  He did offer to take me with them.  The rest is history...

First night we met a Budweiser rep  - OMG!  He liked our accents and took us on a pub crawl - free drinks all night. ahhhhhhhhh   I have absolutely NO recollection of how we got back to the motel.   We drove off the next morning, Alex was determined to get to Dallas to see where JFK was assassinated and then he was on a mission to get to NASA.  Oh let's not forget their dream of a photo with the Dallas Cowgirls.  Boys!

Many a near disaster, many laughs and yes - we got to the JFK museum and Alex had us recreating the shoot.  lol...  Yes - we made it to a Dallas Cowboys game.  Imaging we had no tickets and we are driving through the carpark and Alex is determined to somehow get tickets.  ha ha ha it looked like we were doing a drug deal with a ticket scalper through the car window as we continued to drive.  He paid a million dollars for them but was soooooooo happy.  Of course they were all of a sudden too shy to ask for a photo with the Cowgirls (that's where I came in handy - ask I did).  They were like kids in a candy store.

And then...  

We woke Sept 11. I went to the bathroom, I came out and the TV was on.  My first words were 'OMG we're under attack'.  We stood their frozen, staring for the next 45min before I said ' right, we're not standing here watching this all day - let's go somewhere nice, the beach maybe'.  Once again they claim I tired to kill them.  I just looked up a map, found water and said lets go there.  Little did I know it was where there oil refinery was and one of the targets.  

story  of how I meet Monica to be continued...

Thanks for the memories...

Sometimes you are meant to meet special people in this life.  Monica is one of them.

In 2003 after my time attending a cooking school in Italy and then tour of Spain, I returned to HOUSTON to meet up with Monica and be given a world wind tour of TEXAS by Houston Police.

I was picked up at the airport and transported to a minibus full of Houston Police and driven straight to New Orleans.  OMG !!!!   

​I hadn't slept in God knows how long and as soon as we arrived at the hotel around 10pm I got into bed, shoes and all.  But... that was short lived.  Monica's workmates entered the room and started shouting - "Come on kangaroo, come on Australian.  You didn't come all this way to sleep.  Let'g go."  Ahhhhhh  OK OK  - so off we went.  New Orleans party time.  Just imaging!

The next day I was taken to a footy game (they sure know how to put on a show - not that I understood any of the rules).  We then returned back to Houston where I was given a tour of their Police Academy.  Monica had organised for me to be taken on their driving course by an instructor.  Thank God he was sick that day because they are insane.  I may not have survived that one.  Instead I got to hang out with their SWAT team.  Now that is more like it.  Even got given a SWAT shirt (which Monica tried to steal from me).  She said no one ever gets one of them.  Lucky me.

The trip continued - food, drinks, laughs and many new friends.

​THANK YOU - Houston Police !!!

AMERICA - 2003

       The Return

AMERICA - Sept 11