Memphis, TN

6 de mayo del 2017, sabado

Postmark: May 29, 2014


We made it to Memphis! The rental car we got at the airport leaving NOLA was quite the surprise. Monique and Alyssa were looking at a nice shiny silver SUV and I spotted the number that matched the ticket the lady gave us. Right there in front of me was a bright red 2015 Chevrolet EQUINOX…with Texas plates. There we stood, three liberal California girls stuck with a red Texan car. An attendant saw us gazing at the car with what I can only imagine were 3 very sad faces because he asked if there was anything wrong with it, our response was “no, it’s just from Texas.” He didn’t quite get it. We named the beast Texas Red. After about 6 hours on the road from NOLA to Memphis, the first thing on our to-do list was to experience Beal Street. We checked into the hotel and got out of our road clothes and into our cute outfits. We were ready to immerse ourselves in the live music but most of the bars were already locked up and shut down for the night. There were just a handful of people out and Alyssa rightfully declared,

“Memphis is closed.”

We found one bar that was still open and decided to have a few drinks because when in Rome… We quickly ran into an insolent, drunk schmuck.
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29 de abril del 2017, sabado

Postmark: May 27, 2014

Hello Lover,

            First of all let me tell you that having bars in airports is the best idea ever! Alyssa, Monique and I (SAM) treated ourselves to mimosas after having to wake up early to get to SFO on time. Our flight to NOLA, however, was really…interesting. Monique and I got stuck sitting next to a crying baby and it was the worst. Once we landed, we got into a cab and gave him our destination. In order to get to our Airbnb, our taxi driver had to drive by the Super Dome. It looked so small and it was really hard to imagine how many people had to take refuge there when Hurricane Katrina demolished their city. We couldn’t start our epic vacation on a sad note though so today we went on a swamp tour! We got to feed marshmallows and hot dogs to some Alligators. Our tour guide told us that Alligators really like marshmallows, something to do with the sound they make when they splash on the water and not really for the taste.
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#SAM Trip

22 de abril del 2017, sábado

Alyssa, Monique, and I had been itching to coordinate an epic adventure to go on together. Our squad was at its peak, texting, talking, drinking and smoking on the daily. Over the Christmas break; we decided to take a cross-country trip to New York City. We started spilling names out of all the places we wanted to go and Monique suggested we take a serious look at the map and familiarize ourselves with the geography of the USA. We spent several nights at Alyssa’s apartment trying to think of people we knew, SAMtripreaching out to family members who would let us crash on their couch or show us around. After consuming many bottles of wine, smoking an impressive amount of weed, and a short presentation, we had a plan. As soon as the semester ended, we would take two weeks off beginning Memorial Day weekend and fly to New Orleans.
From New Orleans we would make our way to Manhattan and spend one whole week exploring the city. Alyssa would work from the office in the Empire State Building and Monique and I would be free to wander around with no agenda.

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The Apartment

2 de abril del 2017, domingo

After two years at the blue house, our room seemed to be very tight. Our fur baby, Marley, was no longer a kitten and required much more space than we could offer. We had been cooking a lot more and needed more kitchen space. Not to mention the storage space we were lacking while accumulating things couples accumulate-mostly more shoes and clothes. We had reached our savings goal and applied to an apartment near the train station. The location was perfect as it was also closer to Fitz’ 2 bartending jobs at The Irish Pub and Fonzie V’s. We waited nine long months and finally heard back in February, a month into me starting a new school in a different city. Perfect timing. We were scheduled to look at a unit. It would not be the one we would be moving into but similar to the one opening up in March. Fitz and I were excited and took a tour of the grounds. Walking into the apartment, we saw a blank slate. A new beginning. Our lives together would start here, in this empty apartment that we would fill with love, with wild dreams, passion, and too many adventures. This was perfect for us!
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The Acceptance Letter

19 de marzo del 2017, domingo

As previously mentioned, I had been taking night classes at the community college while working sometimes up to two jobs. Except for that Spring semester when it was working two jobs and had to do a work study! What is that?! This had not been easy, but finishing school was something I had wanted and needed to do. Fitz was 110% supportive of this. He would encourage and pump me up when I was feeling defeated. When the time came to decide what I wanted to do, I chose English Literature. My school choices were East Bay or San Francisco. Naturally, I picked San Francisco. I applied, sent my transcripts and forgot about the whole thing. I got a letter in the mail one day from San Francisco State University. I waited for Fitz to come home to open it.

“Dear Sherry Portillo:

On behalf of the faculty, staff and admission, I am pleased to inform you that you have been admitted to San Francisco State University to begin study in Spring 2014.”

I had been accepted! We jumped up and down on the bed and we were both in tears. Things were moving forward. Dreams were coming true. Our hard work was paying off in the most wonderful way.

How was this ever going to work? People commute to San Francisco every day for work. I can load up on classes and only go up two days a week-easy. I can keep my part time jobs and work when I am not commuting. Homework could be done on the train and on weekends. Social life-who needs that?! I was terrified and needed reassurance, “Are we ready for this big change?” Fitz responded, “Yes, we got this mamma!” “Okay, love.” His “I love you” was all I needed to know that everything would be all right.
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12 de marzo del 2017, domingo

Living together was everything we had imagined and more. We were having so much fun hanging out with the cousins, keeping up with our social lives, and learning how to cook.

We had gotten tired of eating out all of the time and to save money- we decided to start cooking at home. Eating meals not prepared in a microwave! What is that?! I mastered the veggies (oh, delicious veggies) while Fitz mastered the BBQ (endless possibilities). There was a lot of trial and error and when the errors happened we politely told each other that next time would be better because we would add or take away ingredients.

As the months went on, most of our activities started to drain us. I was working during the day and taking night classes at the community college. Doing homework well into 3am became the norm. Fitz took on more responsibilities at Fonzie V’s as his boss started to actually see Fitz’ amazing work ethic. Running off to the Boardwalk as we had done in previous years had become impossible. We were well overdue for a vacation.

It was August, it was warm, and we were both able to take time off. I called my mom to ask her if she would be willing to cat sit Marley. Of course! We packed my Nissan with a beach umbrella, beach chairs, beach towels, swimsuits and a cooler full of beer, vodka, chasers and snacks. This was the first (and last) vacation for us. We headed south to Cayucos, a small beach town near Morro Bay, at 10am and made it to our Airbnb by late afternoon. We had a view (and access) of the beach across the street, a hot tub on the balcony, fine dinning downstairs, and freshly baked cookies next door. Conditions were perfect.
Continue reading “Cayucos”

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