One of the best perks of my previous job at the Office of the Public Defender was the amount of vacation and sick leave I immediately accrued and could use as I saw fit. I worked really diligently and rarely missed work, so I was lucky enough to save hundreds of hours for both in my nearly three years at the office. Within those years, I took three trips with the penultimate one being my 2022 Texas vacation to visit my best friends in the whole world after more than two years apart (the last time I’d seen them before was to be in Yonny’s February 2020 wedding as a groomsperson!)! When it felt slightly safe enough to travel, I was thrilled to use my allotted vacation hours for a 2022 Texas trip during the peak of March Madness. Over the nearly seven days we spent in Fort Worth, Waco, and A*stin (the final stop against my will), we ate at my favorite places ever to exist in Waco—Taqueria El Crucero, Rosa’s (yes I know it’s a chain!), Best Donuts and Kolaches, Texas Roadhouse (another chain I adore!), Schmaltz’s, Jasper’s BBQ, and more—and enjoyed time with lots of friends and folks who have become like family. Because we somehow arranged to be in Texas during March Madness, we luckily got to attend both first round games for the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams in Fort Worth and in Waco! I hadn’t attended a basketball game as a non-student worker since 2016, so it was a fun experience to watch with Lo and my parents! Our 2022 Texas trip was so full and enjoyable that it went by quicker than I would have liked. I’m lucky to have a new job where I can afford to travel more, but I’ll have to save my vacation days until I can visit my best pals again this October!