Monday, February 7, 2011

the love boat: pt 1 --the beginning--

For those of you that don't know... Rey and I got away this past weekend. Without our love-able babies. Just us. If that's not a love boat, I don't know what is.

In lieu of the impending holiday of love and romance, I plan to spill the beans on our trip of dreams in a stretched out, multiple day fashion.

We left around 5:30 am on Thursday morning. Yup. I mentioned to Rey how nice it is to be able to leave "as planned" and unstressed. Usually departure is figured around sleep schedules and holding our breath that there won't be a meltdown or sickness or whatever to "mess things up."

Since we live up over 6,000 feet in elevation, there is an interesting dynamic about the mornings here. It seems that there is no subtle, gradual lightening of the sky as morning stretches its arms out over the sleeping world. It is just pitch black until about 7, and then it is like someone switches the light on as the sun pops up over the mountain ridge.

Here are our cheerful if rumpled countenances that fine morning:

We left a windy, partly sunny landscape...

...thinking we were heading to the heat of the Texas-Mexico border. We were in for a little surprise. The farther north we went, the colder it got. The sky just became a big dark canopy, like this:

And we started loosing feeling in our extremities as we wished our van had a heater. Thankfully we had packed some blankets. Nevertheless, we felt like this:

Yeah, I know. Picture of the day. Frame it.

It was about 28 degrees when we arrived in Reynosa. (I know, I know Northerners. That ain't nothin'. But, when you're dressed for 50 degree weather, it becomes a problem.)

We stopped and had a good time chatting it up with fellow missionaries and friends in Reynosa before crossing over into McAllen, Texas.

Now, I gotta make a confession. The initial reason for our trip was to go to the wedding of some friends of ours from Rey's hometown. But, when I heard we were going to be able to extend our trip, I thought one thing: THRIFT STORE SHOPPING!!! (add about 20 more exclamation points if you please).

Clothes here are a lot more expensive and not as well-made... so we usually wait to buy clothes 'till we are in the US. And, my clothes were looking....ummm... matronly?? Let's just say they were clothes that fit me post-pregnancy and were now hanging on for dear life. I was excited to be able to get clothes that fit, and get clothes for the kids.

So, we pulled into one of our favorite thrift stores around 3:30pm. The store closed at 9 and we had no where to be (remember: no naptimes? no feeding schedule?? yipee!) So I had planned to browse every single aisle. Let no gem go unfound (new word).

As I was reaching the very peak of my stride (at 6 pm precisely) the store announced it was closing. Due to the weather. Mad rush to the front and frantic decision making: Yes this. No that....

We went outside to find the equivalent of freezing rain. I kid you not. The ENTIRE city shut down. Every store, restaurant and many gas stations were black at 6:15pm as we drove out of the thrift store parking lot. After I finished rolling my eyes at the reactions of "these people" (Hellooo. In Peoria we get this like every week in the winter...)... I began silently stewing. Of ALL nights for this to happen. The ONE time that I can literally wander the city until midnight if I so desire, I am going to have to go sit at the house at 6:30 pm! I do that all the time. The point of this trip is to get OUT!

I decided instead of becoming the black hole of silence for the evening, I should express my frustration to Rey. He suggested checking one of the bigger Walmarts on one of the busiest streets in McAllen to see if they are open. "They won't be," I muttered darkly.

Low and behold, they WERE open, so we were able to grab some McDonald's to silence our grumbling stomachs. Rey got some windshield wipers since the freezing rain revealed that ours no longer worked.

We went by a RedBox and rented a movie... got home around 8:30. Much better than 6:30! :) We were greeted by our kind and gracious hosts, Amber and Jason and settled in to warm our toes and watch a movie!

(Amber's place... picture taken on Friday)


  1. So far it sounds lovely.) I will be awaiting the rest!

  2. Oh no! Having to leave a thrift store early is like... getting ten minutes to eat lunch by yourself at your favorite restaurant. Sure, it's filling, but... not FUL-filling!

    I loved your pics, and am looking forward to the next post in your travelogue!

  3. mom-- i'll keep 'em coming. ;)

    charlene-- perfect analogy! :)

  4. ya gotta tell me where to find these thrift bargains in McAllen!

  5. kristy--glad to! :) there are quite a few places but we like Texas Thrift the best. It is on business 83, right before McAllen turns into Pharr. Well, we like 2 the best-- Texas Thrift and then there's one right across the street from it. I think it's called Tops? It's newer than Texas Thrift, and sometimes cheaper. It's in the same shopping plaza as the Dairy Queen. :-D

  6. ah, and when do you "officially" get to McAllen??


Don't just sit there... say something! :)