Tag Archive | Vacation

Whirlwind Days

Panhandle Pride Picnic at Memorial Park ~ © 2018 Veronica Fite.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me. Two weekends ago, I attended my neice’s quinceñera on Saturday. That was a lot of fun. I took my friend Jessica as my date. She didn’t know what a quineñera entailed, so I thought taking her would be a lot easier than explaining it to her.

The following day was Pride. Panhandle Pride hosted a picnic at Memorial Park in Amarillo. Last year was the first time I had attended. It was also the day I kind of outed myself to everyone at work. This year wasn’t as dramatic for me, but it was fun.

Again, I took Jessica. She was eager to go. We wandered around the park, taking a look at what was available. A law firm was handing out free beer, with proof of age. We had to show our ID, get our hand stamped, and then we were allowed a beer. It’s a little weird to be walking around in public with a cup of beer. Amarillo PD was roaming the park, which made it weirder.

The afternoon was pretty chill. We looked at booths of merchandise. I saw the ex-president of my alma mater, West Texas A&M University – Go Buffs!, – Dr. Russell Long and his wife. They had a booth promoting their books. I was interested in his, Jessica in hers. I plan to look them up on Amazon and get us those books!

I ran into my friend Veronica while there. Home Depot also had a booth, hosted by my former store manager from store #6831, Amanda. Talked with her a bit. Jessica ran into a lot of old friends. It was a fun day, until the combination of alcohol and heat got to me. I was probably close to suffering heat exhaustion. We ended up leaving and going to my apartment for a bit just to cool off.

Last weekend, I began my vacation. I picked up my best friend Amy and headed to Corpus Christi. My mom’s side of the family had a family reunion. All my siblings were there, except my sister. She had to work. It was a draining weekend, one with driving in from Amarillo to DFW on Thursday, DFW to Corpus on Friday, reunion on Saturday, and back to DFW on Sunday. I slept almost all day Monday!

On our way to Corpus, we toured the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, TX. I had always wanted to go, or at least have wanted to go for over twenty years. It was a neat experience. I can’t believe how popular the tour is! Afterward, we drove to Aransas Pass, got on a ferry – the first time I’ve ever been on a boat! – and went to Port Aransas. We visited the beach, but didn’t go swimming. We then made it to Corpus.

We got to do a little bit of swimming on Sunday, on our way back to DFW. Again, we went on the ferry, except this time I drove my car onto the boat, found a place to park, and got into the water. I haven’t gotten into the ocean since…, well I don’t know when. It might be close to thirty years since the last time I swan in the ocean. I had a blast and actually laughed joyfully, without reservation.

After our swim, I drove back to DFW. The brief swim at the beach wore me out. Made the drive back extremely difficult. I had to stop a few more times than I would have liked just to keep from falling asleep.

After coming back, well it was a pretty tame week. I finally met someone I’ve been talking to for the past couple of years on Twitter. She has a trans daughter and I believe we found each other because of this blog. I only wish I could have met her daughter, but she was out of town. I hope I can meet here the next time I’m in town.

I brought my friend Amy, who was not too keen on meeting my friend. But I was apprehensive about going alone, mainly due to my social awkwardness. She’s a lot better at dealing with people. We met at a place on the square in McKinney called Square Burger.

Lisa was there, along with her husband, Ray. It was not some run down burger joint, which I would have been okay with, but a hip bar that specialized in burgers. Not much else, but the burgers were out of this world, and the beer was cold and refreshing. So glad they suggested it!

Our conversation was primarily about me and my journey, which seems a little egotistical. In reality, I think they were curious as to what I went through in order to help their daughter. She’s a lot younger than me, but already out and living life. There’s still some anxiety about it, which I can relate. I tried to explain how I got to where I am in order to help them see how she she might improve.

Lastly, I said goodbye to my stepdaughter. My ex-wife, her husband, and their children, moved to Arizona on Saturday. I don’t know when I’ll get to see her again. It was a surreal moment for me, to say goodbye to her. I know I only see her a couple of times a year, but DFW is only a 6 hour drive, one that I do regularly. I don’t know about going to Arizona.

It’s been a hectic few weeks. I got to spend a lot of Stefani time, enjoying the freedom of being me. I spent my last day at my friend’s sketching on the couch. I created a new blog for my artwork, Artistica Girl. I hope you check it out, and follow me. I would appreciate it.

At the moment, I’m helping Amy with a few things. I have to finish packing, put everything in my car, and begin the trek home. As much as I don’t want to, I also can’t wait to get back. I miss my friends. I’ll get back to work tomorrow night and who knows when I’ll get another vacation. When I do, maybe it won’t be as hectic as these past couple of weeks have been.

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From Georgia with love

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Ruby Falls, Chattanooga TN

I’m winding down the remaining hours of my vacation, laying in bed as my laundry is getting done, grateful that I got home safe, and a little annoyed that it didn’t go as I had hoped. My trip to Georgia began wonderfully, as I detailed in my last post, but that’s where it goes awry.

What happened is that I got sick. I’m talking about coughing until my lungs hurt, unable to breath, and spent three days stuck in my room trying to avoid getting others sick, and hoping not to get worse sick. It really, really sucked.

My first three days in Georgia were fun. On Saturday, we – and by that I mean me and Amy, the friend I rode with to Georgia, and the friends in whose home we were staying – went hiking at the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. It’s a Civil War battlefield outside of Atlanta. We quickly toured the museum, where I could easily have spent all looking at the artifacts and reading up on the battle, before walking up the mountain. There’s no off trail hiking allowed, which is a shame, but they want to preserve the area for historical and archaeological reasons.

Sunday we went to an escape room. Not much to say about that except that we had an hour to try and escape, and we did so in thirty-one minutes. It was challenging, but I think we should have picked a harder room to escape from. It was fun.

Monday, we drove to Chattanooga and did three attractions, all on Lookout Mountain. We rode up the Incline Railway, did Rock Garden, and then saw Ruby Falls, which is a waterfall deep underground, in the heart of Lookout Mountain. We did a lot of walking on Monday, and by then, I was well on my way to being sick. I was hacking and coughing, and though I didn’t feel sick, I knew it was coming.

From Tuesday on, I sequestered myself in the room. I felt horrible. I did agree to go downstairs and watch Westworld, and I think I played a tabletop game called Munchkin on Thursday. It was a lot of fun, but I just wasn’t into it. I felt like death.

By Thursday, me and Amy decided to cancel the New Orleans portion of the trip. I didn’t have it in me to try and wander around New Orleans and try to join in the festivities of Mardi Gras. It bummed me out because I had planned on being Stef for those two days. As it turned out, I only got to dress up for my ride down to Georgia. It was a complete let down.

There’s  chance that we may decide to go to New Orleans some other time in a few months, but we have no imminent plans. I know I would love to go, but right now I’m trying to psych myself up to go back to work tomorrow morning. I really don’t want to go, but I need to. Eleven days is not enough down time, especially since I spent the last six of them coughing phlegm up. It’s been swell!

Driving Miss Stefani

20170217_1236551I’m on vacation! It’s nice to get away from the hassle of everyday life. No work responsibilities, no familial ties to bind me into societal norms. I’m free to be me, to explore, to live. It’s an awesome experience.

I left work on Wednesday and drove to my friends house outside of the Dallas Metroplex, getting there around eleven at night. I didn’t change into Stef. I was more concerned about getting out of Dodge than anything else. Thursday was a no go as well. There were too many things to do. My friend, who runs a dog sitting business, had to travel to McKinney to pick up a dog, her cousin’s, and then I went to Commerce to visit my step-daughter.

Friday, however, was my day. I woke up at four in the morning to get ready. Once, done, I finished whatever last minute packing we needed to do, then we headed out at six, down U.S. Highway 69 to Tyler, where we jumped on I-20, and eventually Georgia. It was a looong drive!

The trip itself was uneventful. I sat in the passenger seat most of the way, relaxing and enjoying the scenery. I had never been in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Georgia, so it really was a new experience. We stopped at all the rest areas to take pictures, except in Georgia. By then, it was dark and we were tired of being cooped up in the car.

The only stressful part of the drive was going to the bathroom. Damn conservatives! I myself consider myself right from center, but damn! The evangelicals in the right wing of the party are a bunch of busy body, judgmental assholes. So much for being for smaller government. It puts a great deal of pressure on us to conform into a mold in which we feel uncomfortable.

For the most part, I tried to find places I knew would have family or unisex bathrooms. Where I didn’t, I hurried into the women’s room, did my business, and left. I didn’t linger. I felt pressured and uncomfortable. I feel judged as it is, and I’m self-conscious about taking a pee. I never had any trouble, however I did get some jackass glaring at be as we gassed up in Mississippi. I wanted to beat up the old codger, but I refrained. I’m a very nice person.

I didn’t let that dampen the enthusiasm for the trip. I took over the drive in Alabama, stressing out over how busy the traffic was. My friend fell asleep, and I drove in silence, enjoying the beauty of the scenery. Wishing we had the time to stop more often to explore places I had never seen before.

I gave up the driver seat right before we entered Georgia. We stopped for gas, and once we left, I had to change back into Joe. I was bummed out, but a little relieved. My jeans were a little tight around the waist, and my men’s wear is a little looser. Taking off my makeup and fingernail polish was tricky in the dark, but I got it done.

The people we are staying with don’t know about Stef. I haven’t decided whether or not to tell them. They have a daughter who is a lesbian, so I don’t fear judgement. It’s more that it takes it out of me to revel myself. Opening myself up isn’t easy. We’ll see how it goes.

We plan to leave here Thursday, bound for New Orleans and Mardi Gras! I will spend those few days as Stef, once again stressing about restrooms and the like. I used to worry about it years ago when I took my first steps out as Stefani, but now there’s an increased focus on that, which I absolutely loath. I may end up having to become more political, but not just yet. I’m on vacation. I’m not ready for reality to ruin my fun.

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Where’s my phone?

20161223_182901My phone was stolen last Saturday. Gone, nowhere to be seen. There’s a moment of intense panic and dread when that happens. Partly it’s because of the cost of the damn device. Phones aren’t cheap, and I was actually leasing the phone from Sprint for a small monthly fee. In April, my lease would have been up, and I could have turned it in and gotten an upgrade. That was the plan. Alas, it was not meant to be.

So set aside that I had to pay $250 to buy the phone outright, and then an extra $90 to activate a new phone on a new lease, there’s the real issue. That was my phone! It was my property – though we all know it really wasn’t – and then there’s the reality of what I had on that phone. My music, books, and more importantly, my pictures.

Shit!

I made a habit of moving my pictures off the phone. It didn’t have enough memory to hold everything, so I moved it to my computer, but I still have photos I needed to move and then delete. Also, there were photos of me as Stefani. There were no risque pictures on my phone. The issue is that there are photos of my true self. Most people don’t know my true self. I’m afraid of being outed. Afraid but not as terrified as I once was.

So now I have a new phone, which is nice, but I was trying to save up a little bit of money for my upcoming trip to Georgia. I was hoping to buy a few outfits, maybe some shoes or some makeup. I wanted to look my best for my trip. Now I’ll be struggling just to afford to go. Damn my luck!

But my trip is still a go. My friend, who was planning on making the trip without me, is paying for all the gas, so it’s not like I’ll go broke on the trip. I just wanted to save some spending money. Also I’ll be helping with gas, regardless of what she says.

I’m sure I’ll post plenty of pictures during my trip on my Instagram and on Facebook. I know I’ll have a blast in Georgia, and a blast in New Orleans. My vacation starts on the 16th of February. I can’t wait.

Get away

15800351_1871620909739954_751089145125419329_oJanuary is almost half over, and I haven’t even posted anything! What the hell is wrong with me?! Maybe I should be forgiven since I haven’t had anything to share. Frankly, I still have nothing to share. The best I have is that I’m still ticking. Yay me!

I haven’t had too much Stefani time lately. I feel that’s too often the case. Work is taking up so much time and energy, that all I want to do is go home and crawl into bed. Couple that with the drive to and from work, a two-hour round trip, the inability to dress up at home, and the limited places I have to go out, then you can see that dressing up is a bit difficult.

I did manage to go out for dinner about a week ago. Yes I, Stefani, went out in public, to a restaurant, and had dinner. Italian food, downtown Amarillo, at a place called Napoli’s. My friend came with me, and we had a quiet dinner. The staff was great, the food superb, but my nerves were still a little frayed. It’s not easy going out in town.

The good news is that I have a vacation coming up next month. Towards the end of February, my friend Amy and I are heading to Georgia to meet a couple of friends. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting them personally yet, but Amy has. I was supposed to meet them back in 2011, but circumstances  conspired against me. Now, over five years later, I have that chance again.

They don’t know about Stefani, so I won’t dress up there, but we’re planning of taking a detour through New Orleans. I’ll probably spend the drive to New Orleans and back to DFW as Stefani. We’ll probably spend a night or two there. I plan to spend the whole time there as Stef.  I may dress up for the drive to Georgia as well and change before we get to our friends. Haven’t made up my mind.

It’s been growing on my mind that I need an adventure. This is my first opportunity in ages to venture out and do something new. As exciting as going out as Stef was at first, it’s not quite the same. I want to do more now. I want to spend days, even weeks as myself. I don’t want to hide it. Maybe a change is on the way.

I don’t know, but what I do know is that my soul needs some time to rest. I would like to find some peace in my life. I would like to find someone to love me, and more over, someone who might actually want me, and want to be with me. I want a soulmate, not a fleeting, vacuous moment.

I’m looking forward to next month. As great as my life has become as of late, I do need to get away, reevaluate my life, and where I want to go. I’m becoming aware just how short life truly is. I’m running out of time. The time is now.

No time for Stef

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August 31, 2015

So while I wait, Stefani waits as well. I’m starting to get the itch. The last time I got itchy, I spent several hundred dollars buying clothes. It may be time for a shopping spree. I need new clothes, and shoes. But I have to get my room done first. Ugh!

The good news is that I’ll be heading out of town in a couple of weeks, well actually a week from Thursday. I’m considering making the drive as Stefani, even though the thought terrifies me. It’s also something that I’ve wanted to do for a while now. I’ve never done that before. I think it would be exhilarating!

I don’t know. What I do know is that I want to carve out some Stef time later this week, maybe even this weekend. I need to let my femme side out a little more often. I tend to be happier when I do.

A few related thoughts

11753914_10204790725275108_568390893_nI decided to buy a new wig a few weeks ago, but I haven’t had the chance to try it on. I’m still not ready to go to an actual wig shop and have one fitted, so like I did with my last wig, I bought it online. I was please with my last wig except that it was so long it quickly became unmanageable. It became a rat’s nest in the back and I decided it was best to retire it and buy a new, shorter one.

I’m hoping that I’ll have a chance to dress up on Monday. I didn’t take advantage of my last opportunity to dress up because I just wasn’t up for it. I was a bit lazy and the time needed to transform myself didn’t help. I would have had maybe an hour to enjoy being dressed before having to get undressed. I want a few hours at least. The last time I did become Stefani lasted all day, and it was wonderful.

I’m actually looking forward to dressing up, doing my nails, and just hanging out. I started a diet for 2016, which isn’t much of a diet as it is a change of a sort. I had been in the habit of eating fast food everyday for lunch, and I decided that I needed to start taking my lunch with me instead. I’ve managed to lose a few pounds, but I’m not satisfied. I’m around 190 now. I want to get to at least 170. I’m going to add exercises soon as well.

What I want is to look a little more like Stefani and less like Steven. I understand that I may not pass 100%, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to look as feminine as possible. I think that’s been my problem with motivation lately. I’m not happy with how I look, or how I feel. I look in the mirror and I see a fat middle-aged man staring back. It’s hard to make myself look or feel sexy.

I know I’m the only one who can change that, and I mean to. I put in for a vacation in early March and I’m hoping for at least a couple of quality days as Stefani. A friend in the metroplex wants to take me shopping, and I would love to feel secure enough in myself to confidently go out. I think I’m getting a panic attack just thinking about it!

In all reality, this part of me is that hardest for me to accept. I’ve gotten better in that I acknowledge that Stefani exists and I allow her to come out. I know she’s ready to head outside and become part of the living world, but I’m vain enough to want to look good while doing it.