Friday, December 25, 2009

Houston Texas - Flight number 416- Part 3

It was approximately 12:45 pm on December 1, 2009 when i landed in Texas. I was not able to see the city from the air due to the cloudy day. I waited till the people in front of me started to move forward, then i got my carry on and slowly walked out of the plane. My heart was racing, pounding, like it wanted to break free, out of my chest and explode. Slowly i entered the airport, took a deep breath and looked around...

Welcome to Texas Gabriel. The thoughts in my head are a bit cloudy. But i remember thinking, "holy shit, im not in California". First thing i did was step into the bathroom to wash my face and try to wake up. then i got my things together and walked through the airport towards the baggage claim area. If you were a person in that airport on that day, you could tell i was a newbie. Slowly i walked, taking in everything, from the small carts taking people to their gates, to the hurried pace of every one, and the bored looks on the shop cashiers.

I remembered i had been told i would go down some escalators, then would be immediately at the baggage claim area. So when i saw them i felt my heart rate go even faster, "is this normal?" i thought. There I was, on baggage thingy number 6 waiting. A few minutes passed and i started to get anxious, had i misunderstood? was in the wrong area? oh man why does one's mind race at the speed of light when fear enters. heart pounding.

Then I saw her. She had a green blouse under a white sweater, jeans and a concerned look on her face. I noticed that the incessant pounding of my heart had stopped. As i walked towards her she began to walk away, distracted, no doubt looking for me. I followed behind her for a bit, a sly smile on my face. Then she stopped turned and saw me. I smiled. She smiled. We embraced. She smiled. The most beautiful smile i've ever seen. "hello" I said. and we walked towards the parking structure.

There we embraced once again. I kissed her and hugged her tightly, as i felt her begin to cry. " its ok sweetie I'm here safe" i think i mumbled. She smiled and we got into the car.

The next four and a half days are a glorious blur. I met her family and friends. We went to the galleria, Ice Skated there and then had coffee at Agora. We went to NASA, where i nerded out and got sick in the process. We met Carlos and his son Caleb, the lil' Gansta. We had coffee with her parents and saw the Blindside (not so good jaja), we had Texan BBQ, What-a-Burger, Tapioca with Lidia and Juan. I spent hours chatting with her mom, getting to know her and learning about her and her family's struggle in this country.We went to college station, and visited Texas A&M (where she went to school), drove through the medical center in Houston, saw the Christmas decorations of down town and to top it off it snowed in Houston on Friday. I made my first snowman and had my first flight canceled due to weather conditions.

In short, those four days were amazing. I was essentially able to step out of my self, out of my reality and transport myself into something where I felt, well...normal. Like a normal 27 year old man, who was traveling and blessed with the company of some one very dear to him.

But like all fantasies, it had to come to an end. My flight was on Saturday (December 5th 2009) at nine in the morning. As i sat in my hotel room at 3 am, i thought " I will always remember this trip, this moment, these days, as the precise moment in time where my life in the United States changed. The moment where I began to start living."

With so many thoughts, sleep was hard to come by that night.


  1. Aw, that reminded me of when I first met Mark. Except I was going down the escalator and he was hiding from me, once I reached the bottom, he jumped out and scared me. Yeah, that's romantic.

    Anyway, this is awesome. Can't wait for the next post!

  2. esto es tan romantico, que raya en lo gay.

  3. I thought it was #5? :) might be wrong...

  4. oh, y hablando de "pobre juan"...tengo nuevas noticias acerca de ya sabes quien...buenas noticias.

  5. Welcomed back! I really enjoyed these past posts of your traveling experience. Definitely bring back lots of emotions and feelings from my own travelings.