Thursday, October 13, 2016

Road trip to Arkansas: Day 1

My younger brother, Nick, graduated from high school in 2000.  He went to college in New York, so after he was totally out of the house my mom had some Empty Nest Syndrome. Looking to make a difference in a kid's life she and my dad joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. They became a "Big Couple" to their "Little Brother", Daniel. About a year after they were matched with each other, Daniel was the ring bearer in my and Michael's wedding. My parents were a Big Couple to Daniel for eight years until his mom got married and Daniel's step-dad was transferred to Arkansas.  

Last year Daniel got engaged to his high school sweetheart.  They called my parents moments after it happened to let them know and to invite them and me and Michael to the wedding.  

We started seriously discussing the trip to Arkansas in about March.  We looked for airline tickets for a long time but the best price we could get was $1600 for the two of us, so in about June we decided we'd just road trip the whole thing.  The kids went to Tucson to stay with Michael's parents and Michael and I left Tucson at 4:00 am last Thursday.

We had gone to bed at 9:00 pm the night before so the 3:00 am wake-up call was not THAT bad. 
There's really not much to report about Thursday because we literally drove the entire day.

I got the first driving shift and got to watch the sun rise over New Mexico.  There was also an almost incident with a coyote in the middle of the freeway.  If I had been tired at all the adrenaline from that solved it. 

We made it to Texas around 8 am. 
Maryellen grew up in El Paso, so I took this picture to text her just to show her where we were.  It was the first place I saw that actually said El Paso. 

We stopped for breakfast in El Paso. 

A HUGE stick bug on the wall in the bathroom at a rest stop. 

We were definitely in the oil fields of Texas.
My friend Sarah grew up in Midland, so I took this picture to text to her.  I apparently know a lot of people with origins in Texas. 

We got a very short storm that afternoon. 
We finally made it to Dallas around 8:00 pm.  We were staying the night with my friend Marva and her husband Jim in the suburbs of Dallas.  Marva was my supervisor when I did one of my internships in graduate school. 

This was waiting on our bed.   Gifts for our kids who weren't even there!  And a birthday present for me!
Marva and Jim took us out for a lovely late dinner and then we had some lovely conversation back at their house before we crashed in bed.  I'm pretty sure the last time I actually saw Marva was before Spencer was born so it was great to spend some time with her. 

The necklace she gave me.  I got a better picture of it the next day. 

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