Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Florida to Louisiana to Texas

We spent three nights in Florida so it took a little more effort than usual to pack up our scattered belongings, load the van and head for our next stop, Louisiana.  This wasn't a destination, just a stopping place on the way to our real destination: a family reunion in Texas.

Oh, the driving. We were traveling in a season of storms and this day did not disappoint. I am in love with storm cloud covered skies so I took a lot of pictures of what I saw as we drove throughout this entire day.

 Another highlight for me that I feel is worth mentioning: as we got to the border of Florida and stopped for gas I made my usual walk through the convenience store in search of Hi Chews, my current love in the candy aisle. Not only did they have them, they were selling PEACH flavor, youguys!! I bought all 3 of the remaining packages and fell in love.  I could not find peach Hi Chews anywhere else along the way, but have since discovered that Seagull Book in Orem, Utah sells them.  You're welcome!!

Back to the trip...

The cute little chunk of Alabama that we drove through all pretty much looked like this:

When I was somewhere around round 18 of playing the Alphabet Game with myself, I saw this sign and thought of my oldest boy:
 because seriously, everyday IS a fun day with Allen the Younger.

As the sun was going down at the end of the day we could see these brilliantly bright yellow bursts of light shining through the occasional openings in the trees. It was breathtaking, but photos from a moving vehicle don't always work out, so here's the best I could do...

We arrived at our hotel in Slidell, Louisiana just as the sun had set. We checked in and then went to find some dinner. We decided on Sonic.  You would not believe the stares we got from everyone as we pulled in - and we didn't even get out of the van! As we were figuring out what to order a man walked up to Allen at the driver's side window and motioned for him to roll it down.  He then asked, "Are y'all the Duggars?" Allen told him that we weren't, but that we were all one family. The man responded, "I didn't know if maybe y'all had another van parked around the corner or something!" He then went on to tell us how awesome he thought bif families were and that he wanted to adopt a bunch of kids so he could drive them all around in a 15 passenger van, too.  His son had been standing there next to him the whole time, patiently waiting for a turn to say something. He finally blurted out, "Y'all with a vacation bible school trip?" His dad then told him, "Didn't you hear me talkin'? They're all one family! But not the Duggars." He then told us, "Y'all have a great evening" as they walked back over to their car.

The next morning we did a quick drive-through of the French Quarter in New Orleans.  It made me a little sad to know we were minutes away from where Elle is currently serving her mission and we weren't going to see her, but it was fun to experience a little bit of the culture and weather she experiences every day.

New Orleans from a distance

 One of the little streets in the French Quarter

The goal this day was to meet up with Allen's family at Galveston Beach in Texas for the first day of our family reunion.  The kids wore their swim suits for the whole 6 hour drive in eager anticipation of playing on the beach with their cousins.

We got to ride over to Galveston Island on a ferry.  The kids thought it was great that we rode in our van, on a ferry, in the water.  As we ferried along Allen mentioned that I can't say he's never taken me on a cruise.  Funny one, that guy.

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