The Love of My Life | Bubbles AND Powdered Donuts

As I sit to capture in words my musings over the holidays, I think it is important to note my setting. I am sitting in the lobby of a quaint San Antonio hotel, just along the Riverwalk. The kids (Taylor, Kyla and Katelyn) and I drove down here yesterday for the start of a quick little get-away weekend. My son, Taylor, put it best. “Dad, we need a road trip. We’re road trip people.” He is right. We don’t dread them. We cherish them. For whatever reason, for us, going on a road trip, going someplace new brings out out our essence, our effervescence, our bubbles.

I started to write a little about bubbles on New Year’s Eve, as the kids and I popped a bottle of champagne to acknowledge the close of 2014 and the start of 2015. I noted on Facebook that night the many, many bubbles that our dear, sweet, beautiful Maureen brought into our lives, and after a day of silliness with my kids on our way to and in San Antonio, this bubble thing has really captured my interest as a motif, just like powdered donuts. As I awoke this morning for another day of adventure on our little road trip, I am realizing that every day needs either bubbles or powdered donuts, hopefully both. I am realizing that was part of Maureen’s magic for me, for the kids, for everyone that knew and loved her… there was always a bubble. There was always a powdered donut. She knew how to do both, and most of the time, she could package them both up into the same moment.

IMG_2911Yesterday, the kids and I had a bunch of bubble moments. For those that follow me on Facebook, they’ll already know our trip to Krispy Kreme was one of those bubble moments. With all of the New Year’s resolutions about health, fitness and good eating, I also couldn’t help but poke a little fun, too. However, Krispy Kreme is a serious bubble moment for the Thompson family. Maureen and I had a tradition with the kids as they started to get old enough to think about how they celebrated their birthdays. On the Sunday after their birthday each year, we would go to Krispy Kreme on the way to church. On the one hand, it was a way to limit the amount of donut eating in a year. On the other, it created bubble moments, those light, little effervescent moments of fun. We hadn’t been in a while, so yesterday, on the way to San Antonio, we bubbled together. Of course, my kids, like most, lament the photo moments that dads like me “impose” on them. However, looking again at this photo, I, too, am lamenting this one. One of two things. I either have too large a head or Krispy Kreme needs another size of hat! Geez!!

IMG_2942The kids and I had a lot more bubble moments in San Antonio, from connecting with my dear friend, Mike Sharrow, who popped down from his home in San Antonio for a quick and joyous visit to the Alamo with us, to a wonderful dinner and trip along the Riverwalk. At Mike’s suggestion, the kids and I decided to explore the new section of the Riverwalk on a river taxi that took us up to an area around the old Pearl brewery, a revitalized area, with offices, condos and restaurants. The 2 mile or so trip itself was an adventure, full of bubbles, from the holiday lights that were dangling over the river to the simple magic of the locks that took us from one level of the river to another to finish the trip. The bubbles continued as we walked around the area, waiting for our table at La Gloria, discovering a really cool coffeehouse called Local, and then rushing back over to La Gloria as my phone beeped signaling our table was ready. The dinner itself was as effervescent as our entire day. This food was good. When you live in Texas, you have a lot of tortillas, a lot of tacos, a lot of chips. La Gloria made them bubbly. The food was delicious. The food was amazing.

Heart of the ChocolateToday we are not only looking ahead to more bubbles, but we are going to have some powdered donut moments, too. We will drive from San Antonio to Johnson City to visit old friends, friends from 2 decades ago, when Maureen and I first moved to Austin, friends that now have a wonderful ranch where they have retired just west of Johnson City, a ranch known as Dove Point. As I think about it, Dove Point is a rather fitting place for a powdered donut day. The dove, of course, is a symbol of love and peace, just like the powdered donut has become a symbol for us. On New Year’s Eve, on Facebook, I asked if the powdered donut and champagne go together. One of Maureen and my oldest friends together, from Apple, a Frenchman, pointed out the obvious answer to this question. He highlighted the obviousness of the answer by putting it in all caps, “ANYTHING GOES WITH CHAMPAGNE!!” And, you know, he is right. It is all about bubbles… AND powdered donuts. This is our New Year’s resolution and hopefully it will be yours, too: that each and every day is filled with both the bubbles of life AND the powder of love!!