Friday, March 27, 2009

Our Journey to the Mighty State of Texas

(Scroll down for picture slide show)

Dear Blog, I will here record for the benefit of the readers of this site, the history of our family’s latest adventure, namely a week trip down to the very large and uniquely beautiful state of Texas. The reason for this long, exciting, yet rather costly trip was that John is Interning with College Plus! and is currently working at their headquarter in San Antonio, and desperately wanted to see us and to show us where he lived and introduce us to the people that were impacting his life down there. Unfortunately it did not work for all of us to go, so on Wednesday the 11th of March at around 1:30 in the afternoon a delegation of us (Dad, Mom, Grace, Josh and Christianna) rolled out of the driveway in our faithful van Ginger, taking leave of those left behind on the home front.

The journey started out cheerfully enough as we passed through Indiana and Illinois, until it started to get dark outside and the futile attempt of sleeping in a moving van began. As we traveled through Arkansas it commenced to rain, and a most miserable downpour it was. At around 2:00 AM we halted at a rest stop to try to get some sleep; which turned out to be impossible. I thought the sound of rain was soothing, and it is, just not when it is pouring onto the metal top of the van you are trying to sleep inside. As we continued on the rainy voyage that morning and into Texas, we passed many large cattle ranches and drove over the vast Ray Hubbard reservoir. We finally arrived at our host family’s house, weary and happy to be at our destination.

The Fowls who were friends of John’s were very kind in opening their house and giving up their time for us in the next five days and we appreciated it immensely. Josh and Daniel Fowl found they had a mutual interest in fishing and so Friday afternoon, despite the chilly and rainy weather, they started out toward Canyon Lake on a fishing expedition. Much to our disappointment they came back empty handed (unless you count the bag of hotdogs they brought back which they had used for Cat fishing ;) but on Saturday they headed out again and this time came back with a rainbow trout which Daniel filleted. Friday evening we were blessed by having the Marshalls (long time friends from Michigan) over for dinner. We (young people) had a wonderful time playing “spoons”, “Dutch Blitz” and a mysterious, intriguing and somewhat frustrating game called Chinese Numbers after dinner!

On Saturday John took us on a touring trip up to Fredicksburg a quaint city filled with small shops, a museum and other tourist attractions. It was a very nice being able to spend time with John and I only regret that all of us were not able to be there. Sunday afternoon after a wonderful worship time that morning, the Fowls had all of the Interns from College Plus! and Vision Forum over for Volley Ball and Christian fellowship. Volley Ball was great fun even though I didn’t play, but I enjoyed watching, laughing and taking pictures for your enjoyment.

Monday Morning Josh, Grace and I went for a walk with Kristina and Daniel along Canyon Lake. Daniel caught a small snapping turtle and we picked many shells which were strewn all over the beach, as the lake was way down. It was breathtakingly beautiful on the cliffs and when we reached the peninsula the boys could not resist the temptation of the cool water and jumped in. As soon as we arrived back to the house we took off with John to down town San Antonio to tour the Missions. The Alamo was very crowded so we did not get to go inside but toured through the gardens and Bowie Knife displays. The Concepcion Mission was being worked on but we were able to go inside anyways. There were some very interesting paintings on the walls which were done by Indians who were hired by the monks there. Unfortunately The San Jose Mission was closed by the time we got there, but we were able to peak through some gateways and saw some incredibly beautiful architecture throughout the compound and chapel. After that we went and saw the Espada Aqueducts, some of which were still in use, and then headed down to the river walk for dinner.

We had meant to leave on Tuesday morning, but there was so much to do and so little time to do it, that we did not end up leaving till 6:00 that evening. We got to tour Vision Forum and John’s apartment in the morning and in the afternoon Josh and us girls went rafting down the Guadeloupe River with Daniel and Kristina. It was a blast, we were soaking wet by the time we were done, but it was not from the rapids on the river but from splashing and scooping of paddles. At one point the boys had broken one of their paddles, so Josh was paddling with a broken turtle net and a short handled tiny paddle (which we nicknamed “teacup”) and Daniel in the front was dipping with a wooden pole. The resulting effect was hilarious! Unfortunately, due to the wet environment we did not get any pictures but the soggy memories will be forever imprinted in our minds.

Exhausted and happy we left the Fowls that evening wishing we had more time with John and them, but grateful for the time God gave us. On the way back we took a slightly different route and crossed over the Mississippi River at Memphis then up through Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio in to our dear native state of Michigan. It had been a wonderful trip and we were very thankful to God and the kind people down there for making it so enjoyable.

So there dear blog ends the extensive account of our journey to the mighty state of Texas.

~ Christianna