I am at a Best Western (hurrah!) in Santa Barbara, CA getting ready for bed, but need to download my photos to unload my camera so I can keep photo-documenting this journey we're on. I, of course, have MANY great shots to show y'all. Yet while I probably won't be able to post much while I'm here on the road, I do, however, plan to post photos and some travel-stories once we're more settled up North (or at another location due to the extreme weather our current destination is having). You can meanwhile see Cyrus&Margo's blog for a few of our travel details/photos (updated as we go from her iPhone).
T'was an absolutely freezing (esp for us Austinites) evening as the snow feel on Austin last night. Even after three hours of the glorious white specks sprinkling the sky the accumulation is not much to speak of... but it's cold cold cold... o so cold!!! I suppose the good Lord wants to prepare us some for our soon-to-be new life in the NW this winter. It's so wild that at noon yesterday it was 81F at Austin-Bergstrom, then with a mighty gust of wind a cold front blows in... temperatures drop 50degrees... and wahla! the light rain turns to sleet and then conforms to some combination of sneet or slow ... o wait, it is. . .
* * SNOW! * *
Wish I could post the video of Erik leaning over the balcony to catch the fresh snowflakes on his tongue!
And then today I'm reading anothernicole's blog and woooaaah!!! as I read it I totally got tripped out by the *snow* falling through the words, nice touch ‘Cole. :) Seriously though, it had me going! [For a second there I thought my computer had a virus... then I remembered that would be inconceivable. Why? because I own a mac]. :P
So in that case. . . let it snow! let it snow! let it snow!
Great Form, Jupiter! Great Form, Venus! Great Form...
...ation, Moon! Got this photo of Jupiter, Venus, and the Moon
while in the parking lot at Cabella's in Buda, TX.
Didn't know exactly what planets they were until I heard a news report and saw some of their photos. Says it only happens a couple times a year. Yeah for a nice clear evening to catch it. Wish my hand could have been a little more steady, this is a little blurred. Earlier this week the moon was a mere sliver, but LARGE and oh so low on the horizon. Wish I could have had my camera ready for a photo of it.
Giving thanks at all times... especially at Thanksgiving! We had a delicious spread at mom & pop Fehrenbach's with guests from Malaysia, Korea, and Philidelphia, PA. Wish I would have organized a group photo. Sometimes it's a little daunting to be the person with the camera all the time. But I did have a little fun with the macro-feature on my camera.
I had the wonderful privilege of being a nanny/tutor for a young boy from Portland who was visiting the apprenticeship with his mom the week or so before Thanksgiving. We had a blast! In addition to his regular studies that I helped him walk through, we took little adventures in Austin together.
The Texas State Capital Building. He loved the law-making rooms, and the visitor center (which is more kid friendly with hands-on things to do). He bought a handful of various/gems rocks as a souvenir (and learned their names and uses by the end of the week). Among other facts he learned that the capital building was once made of limestone, but now is constructed of pink granite. He made sure he bought those two for sure.
[At the end of that day we met up with the PDX-team at Einstein Bagels for a little prayer and fellowship.]
Hook 'Em Horns with Grammy & Mommy & BEVO.
The Texas Memorial Museum.
The next day I decided to tap into his immense love for all things Dinosaur and fossil with a trip to the Texas Memorial Museum on the University of Texas campus. I wish I could have had a video of his face each time he saw something new or whenever he made some connections. It was priceless. (Hannah D, which I'll call you in this post since his mom's name is also Hannah, I was sad to discover his visit was right during your road trip to MA. Maybe next time!) We even made it to all the floors of the museum (even though the Dinos and fossils are mainly on the 1st and 2nd floors). This boy loves museums. Of course, at the end was a visit to the gift shop where he picked out an actual fossil of ammonites. I was again amazed by his desire to have something more authentic than to choose some plastic toy-like thing from the horded collection displayed in the gift shop.
Posed with the awesome Texas Pterosaur. And here with the Onion Creek Mosasaur. And the highlight... the T-Rex skull!
Elgin. On Saturday we all went out to a professor's ranch out in Elgin, Texas for a college outing on the later half of the book of Exodus. He enjoyed playing in the dirt mounds with the other children there. He found two fist-sized pieces of limestone to bring home with him.
Half Price Books. We totally checked out the Dinosaur books section... and then had to look for books on fossils and rocks. We picked up two little encylopedias on both subjects and brought them home for reference. Later that afternoon he learned which of his rocks were igneous and what that meant. He's a smart little cookie always absorbing new information. Butler Park. At Austin's newest Butler park he played in the pond, the interactive fountain, and collected nine more pieces of granite to take home to share with his class. Such a thoughtful young man.
Dinoland. What luck! Zilker Botanical Gardens was hosting an exhibit on Dinosaurs in addition to their usual Dino-portion of their gardens. We had a blast discovering the next location of the hiding dinosaurs. Too bad my camera battery died part way through.
Took a little seven day trip with some of my Portland team-mates. We visited three localities where there also were teams laboring on the campuses:
Norman/Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Here are a few highlight photos . . . DENTON, TX. Our Chic-fil-A Gnome. In Denton with Sandy C. Jupiter... best coffee in Denton. (LOL...remember that childhood rhyme: While...Boys go to jupiter to get more stupid-er...) ...We went to get some Jo. Mmm! ALRINGTON, TX. An Arlington darling... cutie Paulino baby! Portabella on a bun. (Lunch at the Cheesecake Factory with the Arlington Thomases.)
OKLAHOMA ! ! ! ! Where the saints gather at the 'big house'. . . Sylvan being Sylvan. (..."I loooooove America!" ...) Quaint evening on a normal-Norman street corner. Oh Baby! Roommate reunion! Us picking up Silvan's wife and kids in Arlington... Silvan is our honorary PDX-teammate who is from Hamilton, New Zealand.
The life I love is makin' music with my friends And I can't wait to get on the road again On the road again Goin' places that I've never been Seein' things that I may never see again, And I can't wait to get on the road again.
Here we are trip planning with Cyrus & Margo... why? Because they are planning to drive with us as we move ourselves up to Portland next month. We're going to try to hit a couple of relaxing hot springs on our way and take our time scooting through some states to see some great landmarks...all of which I have never seen before!
White Sands, NM - whitest sands around, looks a lot like snow;
the Grand Canyon, AZ - I've only seen it from an airplane window;
I couldn't possibly out-do Margo's awesome posts regarding the 24-hr off-road biking adventure that four friends of ours did (her husband included) out at Rocky Hill Ranch October 18-19.
They also did one many years ago. She explains the process of the race the guys did. They were truly amazing! Completing twenty-one 10-mile laps in 24-hours! Erik and I went along for the fun of camping and supporting our friends. We had a really great time. We took a ton of photos, and you can view the whole lot of them on Margo's blog, but I'll post a few of my favorites here.
Another belated posting, but I simply must share my creation with you all. Sorry to those in advance who are opposed to pumpkin carving. For me, it's just about the art of it all. Emily & Shannon hosted an evening of games and pumpkin carving... and this is what we came up with...
[two people-scared to see-a handicapped-longhorn-owl]
Click here to (hopefully) view Shannon's facebook album of our Pumpkin Carving Night. Brenda also took some photos of that night in her *partial album. Not sure if the links will work, so I post these three just in case.