san antonio shenanigans |san antonio + luckenbach, t.x.

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When one goes to Corpus, one must go to San Antonio. Home to my dad's family and Los Spurs, we go up to hang out, eat velveeta queso and ghost-peppered pickles, shop, explore, and ring in the New Year.

This year, our mission was to find ballet folklorico costumes for my mom, so we ventured into "South San," where we found exquisite street art, a santeria shop, a huge mural of Selena, a low road-scrapin' dog (reference to our favorite children's book...worth the listen, y'all), and then Wyatt made his best attempt to blend in with an army of piñatas. We finally ended up at La Gloria, an eclectic Mexican Street Food cafe with prickly pear margaritas and tacos al pastor to satiate our hungry bellies. Wyatt later passed out with Grandpa Charlie's hairless cat on his face.

The next day, we ventured out to Luckenbach and Fredricksburg to go be tourists. Luckenbach, Texas, made famous by Waylon Jennings ("...Willie + the boys"), is a small used-to-be town that is all about beer and good music. We went real early in the morning, so we didn't get to hear any guitar pickin' but we did get to meet Virgil the Storeguy. You guessed it, he runs the general store, which is housed in the old post-office. Virgil is quite the joker and has the most unique and full-hearted and contagious laugh I've ever heard. He said he plans on riding out to N.C. on his Harley to visit his son and daughter-in-law at the coast. If you ever get out this way, Virgil, I suggest a good Eastern Carolina BBQ, hush puppies, and a solid craft beer. For those of you traveling to or through Texas, get out to Luckenbach, make sure you get an ice-cold Shiner, appreciate all the musical memorabilia, listen to a good round of guitar pickin', stay far far away from the evil roosters, and give Virgil a big ol' handshake and a reason to joke around!

New Year's Eve can be summed up in three topics: Head's Up, champagne, crappy fireworks. Either way, it's always a good time. Grandpa Charlie acted out a t-rex, Komodo dragon, a sloth, and an elephant while playing Head's Up. Wyatt went and bought a bag of fireworks, that ultimately failed to be as awesome as usual but were still a lot of fun. We rang in the New Year with champagne and kisses and many hopes for a great 2015.

New Year's Day: Rudy's BBQ + Blue Bell Ice Cream. No need to elaborate on that greatness.

And finally, today, we said adios (or a see you later) to Wyatt as he embarks on his journey to ABQ. He is going to live with our Tías, start fresh, and make awesome music. Godspeed to you and all your adventures out west (I also hope you finally befriend Chispa)! I expect killer snapchats, sweet instagrams, and all your greatness to beam out of you! Miss + love you, fool!

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flores fiesta | corpus christi, t.x.

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Our last night in Corpus, we had a party to welcome Chipper and Christian to town in addition to partaking in typical Christmastime revelry. And who better to show up than Tío Noe and Tío Arturo, as well! These are my grandpa's two youngest brothers and some of the most musically talented men in our family. My grandpa used to call them mocosos, or snotty-nosed kids, because they used to play guitar all day on the porch while he worked on the ranch. Either way, these two tíos can kill a ranchera, huapango, huasteca, bolero, or corrido unlike any other Mexican cowboy.

The night continued with long lasting Flores fiesta traditions as Grandpa watched over us-music, tamales, tequila, Jalisco, and Grandpa's favorite songs. Nothing will ever beat this tradition and I'm so glad that all of us crazy cousins are keeping them alive...even if we do need 20 pages of music to look at!

Props to my dad for grabbing some sweet shots of my accordion-playing, Frida the dog, and his sweet iPhone shot. Good job, old man!

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santo niño cemetery | duval county, t.x.

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On Christmas Day, we drove out to our family's cemetery, Santo Niño, in Duval County to wish my grandpa a merry Christmas. The cemetery is now a Texas Historical Landmark and was established in June of 1908. My grandma, who should be a docent, told us stories of our ancestors up to my great great great grandparents. This humble cemetery has so much history in it and is the resting place to veterans, ranchers, and educators to name a few professions. My grandma is an avid genealogist and has traced parts of our family back to the year 608 with names and dates and is currently in the 500s with her tracing of another branch of the family (yes, that far back...1500 years ago!).

She told stories of our family's history, how my great grandma got grazed by a rifle at the ranch, how my grandmother and sisters spent her summers at her family ranch in San Diego, Texas, how her family survived the Texas City explosion in 1947, and how my great grandmother moved her family to Kingsville to run a boarding house so they would have the money and the opportunity to go to school at Texas A & I (now Texas A&M Kingsville). I suggested my grandma start recording all her stories as they are so full of Texas and Mexican American history. Hopefully we can make this a reality in the coming years!

Our family cemetery was recently deemed a Texas Historical Landmark and we are raising money to post the sign and have a dedication ceremony (it's that official, y'all). If you're interested in donating, contact me and I'll pass you along to the right people.

Prospero Año Nuevo!

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