Today was a LONG day on the road. Tim had bought new tires for the tow dolly because they were 'may pops' as he called them, so he spent some extra time putting them on and doing other things around the outside of the camper that needed to be done. The bikes had started slipping a bit, so he moved the camper's spare tire over a little and then we drove to Walmart on the way out to buy straps to secure the bike rack better. But speaking of tires, he had purchased a spare tire for the tow dolly when we were in Destin, FL, and we somehow lost it between Dallas and here. We remembered having it in Dallas, but we can't remember what could have happened to it after that. Argh! So with all that work, we didn't get out of Pampa until probably 2pm. We had a 6 hour drive ahead of us, but we gained another hour (we're now on Mountain time!) so we arrived at 7pm. I promptly set about doing 4 loads of laundry while Nicole made dinner and the boys explored the RV park. The scenery along the way went from flat dustlands, to mesa's to mountains! Even though it was a long drive, the terrain was quite interesting, and it left Nathan and myself especially saying, "This is so great!" The funniest part of the day came when we actually experienced a short rain shower while we were driving across the desert!! Our trip so far has been completely void of ANY rain at all, so it appears we had to come to the desert to get some relief. And I have to say, it has been SOOO hot ever since we set foot in Texas, but hasn't felt as hot out here in the desert. I have just a few pictures from today. One is of our entry into New Mexico. Another is of the rain on the windshield. And the 3rd is of some of the mountains we saw. Hope you enjoy!
We are in Pampa, Tx! We stopped here to see the former children's pastor and his wife that our kids spent their last few years in children's ministry under, and as it turns out, they're coming back to our church in just a few weeks! Woohoo! We actually got with them last night, but I hadn't asked their permission to mention them on our site, so I didn't. Last night we had grabbed some dinner with them and then went to his ministry office where the kids watched a great Christian movie on his computer and us four adults hung out and fellowshipped! They are just so much fun to be around. We're hoping we'll have more opportunities like that with them when we get back, but honestly that was the most time we've ever had to spend with them because we've just not had that many natural intersections back home. We had a late night, so today we slept in and then the boys left for the town waterpark which they absolutely LOVED! Nicole and I hung out here for awhile, and Tim came back and took her to the local library and he went back to the water park while I stayed here and did some work for my job back home. Then we met the Frazier's for dinner again and came back here to our camper and hung out for the night. I loved having a chance to entertain someone at our "house". Their oldest was with a buddy, but their youngest came with them, and Nicholas had a blast hanging out with him. They got our Wii game out and we located a deck of cards, and we had a regular game night going. Nicole snapped a few pictures of the adults playing our intense game of rummy (notice Pastor Ryan's concentration) while the kids were on the Wii. It was nice to be able to say See You Later instead of Bye when we parted! I'm sorry we have no pictures from the waterpark, but we do have a few from our game night, with their permission to include here in our blog. You can always click on any of our pictures on our blog to make them bigger - just a little insider information there. :-) Hope everyone's week is going well!
So sorry - no new pictures to share, sadly. It was a pretty uneventful day (which is a very good thing when traveling in an RV)! The most exciting thing was we started seeing the huge wind turbines (or whatever they call those things), so the kids thought those were really cool. The temperatures are still SWELTERING, so no news there. I have to say, the most suprising thing about OKC was the red dirt - it reminded me of Georgia clay, as we refer to the Georgia soil. I thought that kind of thing only was in Georgia, but I was evidently wrong! We're back in Texas only because it is in our way as we are traveling due west towards the Grand Canyon. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have some pictures to share! Blessings!
There are a TON of museums in OKC, so we narrowed it down to just a few. The first one we went to was actually the memorial just outside of the museum called the Oklahoma City National Memorial. It was all about the bombing that took place on April 19, 1995. I wasn't expecting to be so moved, but I was definitely in tears as I saw the makeshift memorial people had created on the wall of the memorial, and then the chairs set in 9 rows for the 9 floors, and the smaller chairs representing all the children who were killed that day, and even part of the building that was bombed. I think you can see on our faces in these pictures that we were all affected at some point. They have a place where you can use sidewalk chalk to draw or leave a message, and I think it is a great way for kids to express their emtions. Nicholas wrote: To OKC, OK From Tampa, FL Thanks for the awesome memorial. We said prayers for the families tonight, knowing their lives are still impacted by their losses. Here are some pictures we took:
From there, we headed to the railway museum, which we were both wanting to see and not wanting to see. Wanting to see because we knew it would be interesting, but not wanting to see because it was all OUTSIDE and it was already afternoon! So, when we got there, the decision was made for us since they are CLOSED on Wednesdays! I didn't see anything about that on the website, but it was very close to our next museum, so it really didn't matter. But we took a couple of pictures to show we tried, and then our terrible disappointment about not getting in: :-)
Then it was off to where? Another science museum for free with our MOSI passes! This one had a very cool planetarium and a very funny lady to make the presentation, so that was different from the other museums. They also had the Segway things, so Nicholas & Nathan took a whirl on those. They were disappointed the guys didn't take their hands off the handlebars so they never felt like they were the ones controlling them. Oh well! There was also a scale you could get on that showed what you would weigh on the moon. I was only 20 pounds! That would be a very quick way to lose some weight, eh?!
We stopped by Walmart on the way home, so our cupboards aren't bare anymore! Woohoo! And we've been trying to figure out what to make for dinner without using the stove or the oven because it is SO hot! It was 105 degrees at 5:30pm tonight according to the dash on our car, which usually records temperatures a little low (see the pictures below)! So we got out our pizza oven and put it outside and cooked pizzas for dinner! The kids were very happy!
We also had a code for a free redbox movie, so we went ahead and got that while we were out, and after dinner we put it in for the kids to watch and Tim and I actually went on a date! We found this cool frozen yogurt place called Cherry Berry - evidently it is a chain. So we sat on this lime green couch and shared a frozen yogurt with kiwi, blackberries, and chocolate caramel drops toppings! Yummy! I only weigh 20 pounds after all, so I need to gain some weight! :-) I'll leave you with a photo I know you wanted to see of us on that lime green couch:
Like I said in my last post, the kids had been pretty disappointed about the library being closed yesterday, and Tim felt so badly about it he went ahead and took them there this morning. I stayed behind and got a shower and did some laundry. They arrived back with bags of books and smiles on their faces! The campground didn't mind us having a 'late check out', so we finally rolled out of there sometime in the afternoon (I don't remember looking at the clock, but you get the idea). We drove straight to our campground near Oklahoma City with only 1 stop for gas and a slowdown on the interstate with an overturned tractor trailor - yikes, but we didn't get here until like 7pm-ish. I tried to get a picture of that accident as we drove by, but I clicked too late and we were past it. So I don't really have any photos for today, but tomorrow should be chock full as we go to downtown Oklahoma City! Our cupboards are getting kind of bare, so tonight we had a late dinner of veggies and smoothies and the kids had a few popcorn chicken nuggets I heated in the micro. Not exactly gourmet fare, but none of us are going to bed hungry! :-) Will update more tomorrow. Blessings!
I woke up early, and on a wild hair texted my brother and asked if he wanted to meet for breakfast. As it turned out, he was dropping his vehicle off for maintenance not far from us, so I picked him up there and we went to a nearby IHOP! How cool is that?! I dropped him off back at the dealership, came back to the camper, and we ended up spending a large part of the day organizing things around here (Nicole & Noah did laundry, I did paperwork, Tim took Nathan & Nicholas to wash and vacuum the car, etc.) and before we knew it, it was like 2:30pm! We had planned on going into Dallas around 12:30, so, we were a few hours later than planned (what else is new?). It's so nice to not HAVE to be anywhere at a a certain time! We decided to go ahead with our plans and we went to the Museum of Nature and Science. And where did we find ourselves for the majority of the time? In the bubble room!! We have some pretty cool pictures from that....
Then we went to the Magic School bus section, that was definitely for smaller children. But Nathan & Nicholas had to get into the act, and donned some weather gear for a weather report. Somebody needs to tell them they're getting too old for this stuff! :-) We were all only WISHING it was as cold as they are making it look!
Of course, the boys come by it honestly. I had to also get into the act and put my face into the mask of this infectious disease suit. Is that not one of the most deformed and disproportionate mannequin-type things you've ever seen? Look at the hands! What's up with that? ahah! Well, Nicole is obviously way more mature than all that nonsense, so she just got on a balancing machine that timed your ability to balance yourself:
The kids have SORELY missed the library, and Tim found out that the downtown Dallas library has a used book store where all books are 99 cents. So we went by there only to find out they are CLOSED on Mondays! Argh! Everyone was pretty bummed about that, especially Nicole. Thankfully, she had found 2 books at the campgrounds lending library today and already finished one of them! Anyway, as we headed home, we swung by Los Colinas for a gander at The Mustangs. Here's a couple of photos from there:
But wait, there's more! After we got back to our camper, we had dinner and then went over to the clubhouse where my brother and my nephew joined us for some root beer floats! A very nice day to be had by all! Hope everyone's week is going well, and you fellow Floridians are not floating away! We're praying for you! Blessings to all!
I had a feeling we'd be running into hot weather, but this is amazing! And we ain't seen nothing yet - wait 'til we hit Arizona! I think I'll take an egg outside and show the kids what it means to be hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk. Then again, the RV park management may not take too kindly to fried eggs on their sidewalk. I think the kids probably know what it means just by feeling it. It was over 100 degrees for much of the day today, and it was probably 85 degrees in our camper for a big part of the day until we realized we should put out our awning to help shield that side of the camper from the sun's heat! ANYWAY, we went to a huge church here (that narrows it down for you, doesn't it? I think Dallas is probably the mecca for the most mega-churches per square mile than any other part of the country!) It's called Gateway Church, and it felt really good to worship with other believers after being away from our own church for over 2 weeks. We are really falling down on the taking pictures job, as we were all dressed fairly nicely and could have probably taken a pretty decent picture, but I guess we'll just have to remember to do that at the next church. We hung out at the church for quite awhile after the service ended, chatting with some people, and the kids enjoyed looking at the books in the bookstore (they are SO missing the library!). So finally Nicole, Nicholas, and I ventured out to the car. There was this HUGE parking lot with virtually no cars in it, and I couldn't resist giving them each a very short time behind the wheel. When Nathan, Noah, and Tim ventured out and they saw Nicole behind the wheel, the boys had to have a part of that action, so they each had a short turn as well. Again, a great photo op missed completely!
After returning home, we finished 'Little Church' that we had started in the car, and then watched a Christian movie from redbox called 'Christmas with a capital C'. We all really liked the movie - it's such a great family film! And who says you can't watch a Christmas movie in June when the temperature is 102 degrees?! :-) We had a yummy dinner of ravioli and salad, and then ventured over to the clubhouse to see what it had to offer. We played pool and fooseball and ping pong and put together a puzzle, and then Nathan & Nicholas went for a swim in the pool, until Nathan decided that banging his face into the side of the pool wasn't such a good idea. He came into the clubhouse pretty bloody, so after he washed his wounds I bandaged him up. Between his face being all bandaged and my legs and feet being bandaged from my bicycle fall, we look pretty tough! We're thinking about getting buttons to wear that say, "You should see the other guys!" or maybe "Don't mess with us, we've had a bad day!" :-) The only picture I have from today is of Tim and me puzzling over the puzzle and all the missing pieces, so I'll leave you with that. Ta ta for now!
Boy were we glad we waited to go to the Alamo until this morning - the temperature was WAY better than it was last evening, plus I'm not even sure they are open in the evening. It was a very interesting place, with a museum that had many artifacts from the early 1800's. I think one display was the most fascinating - it had a clear glass round locket that contained a lock from Davie Crockett's hair, and it had Jim Bowie's personal Bowie knives, and Sam Houston's shaving mug. I would have loved to have taken a picture of that particular display, but they allowed no photos to be taken in the musuem. There was a guy that gave about a 15 minute talk in the courtyard of the basic history of the Alamo that was quite fascinating. So here are a few shots of us listening to him, and then a shot of all 6 of us at the front of the Alamo:
By 11:00am we were already starting to melt and we had pretty much seen everything we wanted to see, so we headed back to the campground, got packed up, and headed out towards Dallas. We were originally going to stop in Austin, but then decided to drive on through to Dallas. The kids loved seeing the Dallas skyline as I was driving in. One snafu happened about 1/2 mile from our campground when I made a slight mistake and turned into a place where there was no turn around. So we had to unhook the car, unhook the tow dolly, then turn the camper around and put the tow dolly back on the camper. Ooops! My brother lives in Dallas, so we hooked up with he and his youngest son and some friends of his and had an impromptu cookout! Once again - didn't think about taking much pictures, but I did get Nicole to snap this one shot of me and my brother! Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
I'll talk about Houston & San Antonio in a sec, but first, the promised pictures from the sunset excursion that Nathan, Nicholas, and I took on the pond yesterday evening (photos compliments of Nicole!)....
The plan was to blow by Houston and go straight the San Antonio, but Nicholas asked if there was SOMETHING we could do in Houston as he wanted to be able to see something in the city. So I started looking at things to do, and saw that they had the #1 rated Children's Museum by Parents Magazine and we could get in free with our MOSI passes. After a short battle manuevering our parking situation with the RV and a car in tow, we finally were able to park with the buses and go in. It was huge and bright and packed. I think every summer school was there on a field trip today (or maybe it's just always that busy over the summer). Noah & Nicholas loved it. The rest of us felt like it was too much - that's the best way to describe it. Nevertheless, we overall had a great time. Believe it or not, we have NO pictures from there. I think Nicole and I were a bit overwhelmed with all the stimuli that we didn't really think about taking pictures. We left at about 2:30pm and drove to San Antonio, arriving around 5:30. We had planned to arrive, grab some dinner, and go to The Alamo. However, after stepping outside and practically melting, Tim had Nicole check on the weather and found it was going to be in the mid-nineties until dark, but tomorrow morning it would only be in the 80's. So the decision was made to wait and go in the morning! A Walmart trip substituted for the Alamo as I was able to re-stock our dwindling food supplies with help from Nathan & Nicholas. Speaking of Nicholas, I do have 1 more picture to share. Nicole and I caught him snuggling with his guitar that his Grandpa got him for Christmas a couple years ago - he loves that thing! Here's a pic:
We were going to try to make it to Houston today and maybe even check out a Fred Astaire dance studio there (the Houston area has all of the Fred Astaire dance studios in the state of Texas except 1!) but we got a later start than we had planned after we discovered our campground provided free washers and dryers right next to our campsite! So, after 3 loads of laundry we then went to Walmart and Lowes (right next to each other) for a few groceries and Tim had to replace the pin on our tow dolly that we lost. Then we were off (as my Grandma used to say, like a hurd of turtles!). We made it as far as Beaumont Texas, but at least we can say we are in Texas! The campground has a little pond with what looks like plastic canoes, so Nathan, Nicholas, and I decided to try them out after dinner right after sunset. They were pretty cool! Nicole snapped some pictures of us, but I can't find her SD card and she is fast asleep, so maybe I'll post them tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, remember the Alamo, because that is where we are planning on going, Lord willing! Hope everyone's week is going well! Blessings!
Tim & Jodie