2018, Travel/Vacation

Visiting Family In North Carolina

The last several days after Christmas, we took a short break and visited Kevin’s family in North Carolina. Katelynn and Sara hadn’t been in Georgia and South Carolina, yet. So, we chose to drive the southern route through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina to get North Carolina. Since it was raining most of the time, we took it easy with the “End of the Year” trip. I captured several photos. But I wasn’t going all out as I usually do, when we go on bigger trips. Here are my favorite ones:

2018, Travel/Vacation

Camping At Lake Ouachita State Park, Arkansas

March 11 – 12, 2018

Kevin and I were making plans to go camping on Spring Break, a couple of weeks ago. We didn’t want to go too far, which means in Texas “slang”: up to six hours distance is okay; but no 18 – 20 hour one way trip. Kevin mentioned Arkansas and Oklahoma as a destination. Well, we’ve been in Oklahoma quite often in recent years. And so I looked for a good camping spot in Arkansas. After a little discussion, we decided we would go to Lake Ouachita State Park.

Everything was prepared and packed for Sunday morning. Around 10:30 a.m. we left home and drove toward Texarkana. Before we arrived at the border, we made a short stop to refresh. Sara wanted her sandwich, I prepared at home in the morning. And we all got hungry a little bit, after she mentioned it.

In Arkansas, we stopped at the first Rest Area/Tourist Center on Interstate 30. I wanted to get more brochure of the State Park. While we were on our way, I had the chance to read a little bit more into it.Around 4 p.m. we arrived in the park. Kevin stopped at the Visitor Center to check us in, before we went to our campground. It was a nice Walk-In Campground with one dozen tent spaces. What I liked about the camping area, there was a pre-made square gravelled area for the tent to sit on it. It could fit one big tent or two to four small tents. The area was very clean. And I was happy to find clean toilets/shower rooms.

The wind was something else. It took Kevin, the girls and I quite a bit of strength to keep the tent up. Luckily, we found some big stones to put inside the tent corners. And Kevin tight two  corners to the nearby trees. Once the bedding was in the tent, we were settled. I warmed up some beef, potatoes and corn, which I cooked the night before. The wind was cooling the temperatures quickly. And the meal hit it spot on. After dinner, the girls roasted each a couple of marshmallows. They skipped some stones over the water’s surface, before the sun set. We went to bed early that night. The wind was just too strong and cool. It was no fun staying out.

The following morning, we kept our stay short. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel well and wanted to go see my bed at home. I wish, we could have seen a lot more.  It was cool, but the wind had died out on Monday morning. For a five hour drive one way, it was extremely short. We have to go back there another time, when it is warmer. On a good note, we didn’t have to deal with mosquitoes at this time of the year.

2017, Travel/Vacation

Travel Journal, Days 7 – 9: Taking It Easy On The Way Back Home To Texas

June 21 – 23, 2017

Before we made it home to Texas, we relaxed in North Carolina. We visited Kevin’s parents for a full day. It gave us the opportunity to wash some clothes, sit on the couch, and tell the family about our adventures we had up north. Katelynn and Sara played with their cousin in the backyard. After sitting in the car for that long, it was great for them to run and get the wiggles out of their system.

The following morning, we packed, had a last breakfast with the in-laws in Morganton, and hit towards Texas. That day, we managed to make it all the way to Little Rock. We were done with the I-40 stretch, and had only the I-30 portion to Dallas left. The motel room looked fancy. And I really liked the firm mattress. Kevin and I looked for the tag, the next morning. I wrote down the brand and style. When it is time to retire our mattress, I have to shop and see if I find a mattress like the one in the motel. 😀

It was Friday morning. Being in Benton, Arkansas, we had less than 300 miles left. It was a relief, we were that close. The road was easy to drive. Usually rush hour seems to be all day on Friday. It might be only a DFW Metroplex thing. At about 1 p.m. Kevin drove the van in our driveway. Our house had us back. The pets were so happy to see us, again. And the garden had whole lot more sunflowers. The neighbor’s daughter took care of our pets and the garden, while we were out of town. She came over to bring the keys back, after work. 🙂

After technically exact 8 days, driving through 15 states, and 3752 more miles on the tachometer, it was a great feeling to be back home. The girls saw five more states; I saw four more states; and Kevin? He lost counting after traveling so much as a child. I’m sure he traveled a few more states than we did. 😉 Life is good! And we have a lot of more conversation material for the future. I’m planning already the next NYC-trip in my head. 😉

~ The End ~