Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sunday in San Antonio

 Lots of people at the Alamo waiting at least 11/2 hrs to view the
 authentic Travis letter only on exhibit for 2 wks

Our motorhome pulled out of Bastrop RV park and headed southwest to San Antonio Saturday afternoon, Feb 23. The children spent the morning jumping on the "neighbor's" trampoline. Now Annie has a new penpal! Though a short drive to the city, we maneuvered downtown to see exactly where the Alamo was located, and it took quite awhile to wiggle back out. It was dark by the time we settled into our overnight spot at...Outdoor World/Bass Pro Shop! 
Oak Hills Church, where Max Lucado pastors was just down the road. We attended the 2nd service along with... 2,000 others. This mega church had a special drive just for 1st time visitors! Also a welcome center, coffee, Bible bookstore, adult library, children's library, separate wings for children's church, playground, courtyard, bleachers in the sanctuary and whatever else we couldn't see from the 2 levels we walked through. We were very blessed by Max's message: 
  • "God, You're in Charge. 
  • "No More Fear.  
  • The Authority of Jesus. (John 1:3) (Phil. 2:9)
  • Faith. (Mt.8:8)
Just what we needed for this uncertain journey!
Time for another free day! Meter parking spot again, a short walk to The Alamo...mission turned into famous battle spot. We happened to be visiting exactly on the 177 year anniversary. The grounds were beautiful with lovely tropical plants bearing fruit and many blooming flowers.


Next we strolled down below the city streets along The River Walk. Restaurants lined the water; the smells, sights, and sounds were fascinating! We enjoyed our Sunday night popcorn, deer sausage and cheese on a bench while watching people, boats, and baby ducks. 

We also sidetripped to a couple more historical places from the River Walk: San Fernando Cathedral where a bell sounded to warn the men inside the Alamo that Santa Anna and the Mexican army were coming and La Villita, the 1st settlement in San Antonio. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Parked for a Week

Feb 18-23 Shannon worked near Bastrop, TX with Christian Aid Ministries rebuilding houses destroyed by wildfires. There were 24 men divided into 4 crews. Shannon went to headquarters the 1st morning, was there for introductions and went through the pack lunch line. The rest of the week he went straight to the work site as it was halfway between our RV and the CAM base. His crew mainly worked on 2 houses, painting exterior, interior, and laying floors. Thursday evening we all attended a campfire singing, popcorn munching, and slide show of past work projects.

While Shannon was away, the rest of us had normal days -with 70* weather- of school, cooking, laundry, cleaning, jump roping, and ball keep away. There was a small fishing pond at the RV park that was good motivation to get our "to dos" done!

Another diversion was a barnyard full of alpacas, miniature horses and donkeys.

Coin laundry...waiting for the dryer. No clotheslines here!

Free Day Exploring Austin, TX

If you know me very well, you know an activity quadruples in value if it has no charge. So I was delighted to be informed of free guided historic downtown tours, free capitol building tours, and free meter parking on Sundays in Austin, Texas. Yay for a relaxed, fun, educational family day on Feb 17! (On Sat. after the conference we took a short stroll and happened upon 2 more free historical museums: the homes of O'Henry - writer of short stories including The Gift of the Magi, and Susanna Dickinson-survivor of the Alamo.)

While walking from the van to the capitol, we passed and popped into historic St Mary's Catholic Church, a new experience for our children. Some of the streets were blocked off for the Austin Marathon. We watched the various runners and listened to the announcer and sideline cheerers. 26.2! After a packed lunch on the capitol lawn, we met up with our tour guide for an hour's walk through the city right past the marathon's finish line! 
Rolling down  the sloped lawn after lunch. (Yep, we're from the plains of Kansas!)

The Governor's Mansion
 After the walking tour, we entered the massive capitol and caught the 30 minute inside tour. This included statues and paintings of famous Texas men and battles, the Senate and House of Reps rooms and several levels to climb- if you like heights-.
Shannon, Annie, & Caroline waving from the 4th hallway while us wimpies stayed below.
In the upstairs of the Visitor's Center there was a free interactive museum that our younger girls really enjoyed.

 Have you ever been to Austin? What would your day include? Have you ever been to neat free sights in another city? Do tell!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Leaving and RVing

Tues. Feb. 12 found us pulling out of Pratt, KS heading south. We spent the 1st night with my cousin Shari and her grandparents in Oklahoma enjoying dinner with her family, a tour of her high school, and catching up on each other's lives.

Shari at work!

Next destination was Austin, Texas. The traffic was thick and the streets tight. We finally found a Home Depot to park at Thurs.-Sat. just a few miles from Austin Convention Center.We enjoyed an encouraging conference together with my parents being immersed in the newest breakthroughs of health and wellness. We are blessed to be part of a company with such great integrity and vision to nourish our world! 

Mamaw & Papaw with their "grandbabies"