5K-Runs, Independence Day-Parade and Fireworks

Rain, lightning, thunder … all night long. Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I had a tough time to sleep. The night was over at 6 am, because we planned to got to the Liberty 5K Run in Stewart Creek Park at Lewisville Lake. The event wasn’t cancelled, and we got out of the house by 7 am.

At the parking lot we met our friends. And we all walked into the park together. We still had plenty of time, before the race started. Kevin and Sara stretched a little bit more. But Katelynn thought, she was fine. Later she said, it was a mistake. Her calves started to cramp, when she was running. Usually, she does the 5K under 40 minutes. This time, it took her almost an hour to reach the finish line. When Katelynn ate her yogurt, she said she should have stretched more. Lesson learned. Kevin came in at 36 minutes. And Sara was crossing the finish line at around 50 minutes. It was all for the fun of running for the girls. For Kevin it is more like an extra run to stay in shape for the Half-Marathon in October.

Once we all ate our snacks and drank some water, we walked back to the car. The Independence Day Parade supposed to begin at 10 am. And we still had 45 minutes to line up. Since it was sprinkling, a lot of people didn’t go to the parade. Kevin could park the van backwarts into the parking space. If the sky had opened more, at least we could have sit in the back of the van to stay try. But a little bit of sprinkling doesn’t keep us from cheering on the parade. This year’s theme was “Superheroes”. It was no surprise, that “Wonder Woman” was the Grand Marshal of the parade. Police vehicles, fire trucks, business trailers, churches, boy scouts, girl scouts, the City Council, and more lined up to greet and wish us a “Happy 4th of July”. Our town’s parades might be not the biggest and longest. But it is always enjoyable to get out and see people preparing for events in our community.

The sky cleared, and it turned out to be a nice evening. After dinner, we went to the “Liberty By The Lake” event, which was also in Stewart Creek Park. The “Tin Man Band” was live on stage, when we arrived and set up for watching the fireworks. The sunset was stunning at the lake. I haven’t watched it at the lake in a while. And it was a refreshing sight. The boats where lined up to see the fireworks on the lake. When it got darker, we could see all the lights from the boats out in the water.

When the fireworks started, I’ve noticed my camera battery was as good as dead. And I forgot to bring my charged battery. Oh well, there are more fireworks in the upcoming few days. Kevin, the girls and I shared a wonderful evening together. And that was much more important. ❤

Travel Journal, Day 6: From New Jersey To Philadelphia, And Back To The South

June 20, 2017

Tuesday morning, we left New Jersey. Surprisingly traffic was not very heavy. And we got out of the thickest in a decent time. When we went to a gas station, Kevin got a little surprised. In New Jersey, you don’t pump your gas yourself. It’s illegal in this state, and a gas station operator will do it for you. The windows got washed with no extra costs, in the meantime. But the gas is a little bit more expensive, because of the service. Kevin made a short comment to me: “Hehe, we need this in every state.”

Our plan was to make it to North Carolina by the evening. But first, we had to go and see another historic symbol of the United States of America. Leaving New Jersey, we entered Pennsylvania to get to Philadelphia. In Philadelphia we parked in the park house of the Independence Visitor Center. We had 30 Minutes to walk to Liberty Bell and come back to the car. And somehow, we did it. It wasn’t too busy in the Independence National Historical Park and in the building. Therefore, I could capture pictures in a decent time. And we got out of Philly fairly quick.

After Philadelphia, we reached Delaware (State #33). Being on I-95 it is not a wise idea to blink, or you’ll miss the State of Delaware. … LOL We stopped at a rest area to get a bite to eat. I loved, that they served a mix of German/American style sandwiches. The Turkey-Brie-Apple Ciabatta-Sandwich I had for lunch was very delicious. The lady at the counter warmed it for a minute, which made the cheese melt a little bit. I also had a Danish as a dessert. It was good, very good! Half of the sandwich, I kept for later on the road. Because it was very filling.

As soon as we passed Baltimore, Maryland, we decided to go on a different road. Since we’ve been in Washington, D.C. back in 2015, we could avoid the country’s capital traffic and make our way faster into Virginia. In Virginia everything goes in a slower pace. It was relaxing after the faster pace, we’ve experienced the days before. The landscape is stunning. We always enjoy driving through the Appalachian Mountains. Up and down the hills we went. People start to greet ya more often at the gas stations and rest areas. It’s a sign of being back in the South. ❤ At another rest area, we stopped a little bit longer. Katelynn and Sara needed to run and chase each other, playing tag and get some fresh air. Down the hill, I discovered some berries. And Katelynn found a centipede crawling in the grass. I let her watch it, but told her not to touch it. Katelynn loves all kinds of bugs. And sometimes, I have to remind her, it’s not a good thing to touch every creepy-crawly.

After refilling the little cooler with water and juices, we were back on the road. It felt so good to see the North Carolina state sign. It meant, we were not too far from our Tuesday’s destination anymore. Kevin got some bread, lunch meat, cheese, tomatoes and cucumbers. This was dinner at the motel for that evening. Kevin called his parents to let them know, we had arrived in town. We would meet for breakfast the next morning.

… to be continued …

Presidents Day 2017

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Mount Rushmore in South Dakota

Happy Presidents Day!

Presidents Day is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States, who was born on February 22, 1732 and Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, who was born on February 12, 1809. It can occur on the 15th through the 21st of February inclusive.

My Immigration Anniversary

Today it has been 13 years ago, I  immigrated into the United States of America. I remember sitting with Katelynn (she was a little less than 4 months old) in my arms in O’Hare (Chicago International Airport), and I had only 22 US pennies in my pants pockets. I was very excited, but also a little bit scared. Because I did not know what the future would bring to us. While Kevin was calling his parents in NC, I looked out the window at the skyline of Chicago. I was thinking to myself: “Omg, what have I done, now? I’m over 4,000 miles away from home, no money in my pockets, no job lined up. I just hope, everything will work out alright!” Kevin was working long days, and went to school at night. In the meantime, I took care of the baby. Better work came with Kevin’s education. About 18 month after my immigration, we could affort a small house in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas.

Now 13 years later, having a house full of kids, dogs, cats, a backyard, and a car, I still have “no money” in my pockets. 😀 After the bills are paid, there is usually not much left. 😉 I learned there are a lot of great people in both places, my home and my home of choice. I traveled all over the US to enjoy the different mentality and hospitality of these states. I also enjoyed the landscapes this country provides to all of us. Here, I look back to over a decade of a great journey. Now I’m excited to see, what the next 13 years will have in store for me and my family. 

People frequently like to ask me this question: “But you do get the chance to get home and visit family and friends quite often, don’t you?” I have to disappoint y’all. I came here, and never went back. And I never regretted my decision, either. 🙂

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Star Spangled Banner at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas

Washington, D.C.

Today is a very important and historical day: the USA is celebrating the Inauguration of its 45th President, Donald J. Trump, and its 48th Vice President Michael R. Pence.

I don’t want to go too deep into politics. There is other social media to discuss the aspects of political issues, and I try to keep this blog clean. But I use this opportunity to post some photos of my day vacation in Washington, D.C. back in November 2015. It was a beautiful, sunny day; a perfect day to take a walk at the National Mall, and look at some important buildings and memorials. Standing in front of some, was more emotional than others. I had the chance to get a glimpse of President Barack Obama, and I looked at the original Declaration of Independence. I also witnessed the “Changing of the Guard” at the Arlington National Cemetery. It was a great pleasure to visit the Capital of the United States of America.