Sunday, September 18, 2016

A reunion on the coast

One of the fun things about traveling around as mobile hearing technicians is that Derek and Sara are doing the same thing, and at the beginning of the month we were able to reunite with them in Corpus Christi. We'd not seen their faces since 2014 (outrageous and unacceptable), so we were long past due for time together.

Jan Michael and I had not been to the Gulf Coast before, and wading in the water was just like being in the bath. I was expecting Pacific Ocean temperatures, but no :) 
While Sara and I were splashing around, the husbands were chasing after the thousands of tiny crabs that were scuttling around everywhere. Every time I look at this picture, I'm impressed that Jan Michael was quick enough to snap this little guy while he was standing still:
Derek and Sara spent two nights at a very fancy-pants RV park (excuse me, a resort), and the only thing separating them from the beach were houses like this:
And we stayed in a hotel right on the bay; we spent one evening roaming around the waterfront together. 

Jan Michael and I were also able to tour the USS Lexington, a World War II air craft carrier anchored in the bay. She has the longest active service life of any another Essex-class ship, and after her decommission in 1991, was donated for use as a museum. There are five decks altogether (the flight, foc'sle, gallery, lower and hangar), with really interesting exhibits on each one. And after spending a few hours there, we decided that sailors have buns of steel - up and down, down and up all of those ship ladders dozens of times each day ;)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Texas training

Before we arrived at the office in Illinois, we wondered about where we'd be sent for training, laughing to each other that it would probably be Texas. And wouldn't you know it :)

We spent about 2 1/2 weeks in Waco, Victoria and Kingsville, and in between driving from place to place and our on-the-job training, we were able to do a little bit of exploring.

There are some beautifully restored historic courthouses throughout Texas, and Victoria has one of them, originally built in 1892. Right across the street is a lovely park with a white gazebo and trees wrapped in twinkly lights, which was a fun surprise.

Victoria also has Riverside Park, which is huge and full of all kinds of things: a golf course, the Texas Zoo, a rose garden, a paddling trail (the Guadalupe River runs through the park) and on and on. We didn't have as much time as we would have liked, but were able to spend part of a morning at the duck pond. It was warm and pleasantly drizzly, and the colors and light were beautiful. I told Jan Michael, though, that it was a good thing we didn't see the sign announcing aggressive geese and snakes until after we'd climbed back in the car :) 

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Sunflowers and corn

While I have a minute, I want to share two of my favorite things from our road trip to Illinois at the beginning of August. We've done so much traveling since we left WA; I feel like these pictures were taken eons ago, but really it's been less than a month. Time flies!

In South Dakota there were fields and fields of sunflowers along I-90. I've seen them growing in gardens of course, but never millions stretching out to the horizon. It reminded me of the blankets of color we see every year at the tulip festival in Skagit County.

And then in Illinois, there were cornfields here, there and everywhere..really, everywhere. We were given the strong impression that nobody who's lived in Illinois for any length of time is impressed by this, but for two Pacific Northwest kids, it was a fun thing to see.