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 2: From Missouri To Ohio

June 16, 2017

Well rested, Kevin, the girls and I left the Motel on Friday morning. Between Waynesville and Fort Leonard Wood, we stopped to get a bite to eat for breakfast. And the car tank needed to be refilled, anyway. Kevin was telling me about his time in Fort Leonard Wood, when he was in basic training over 17 years ago. It was interesting to hear a little story from the past, before Kevin and I met in Germany later that same year. πŸ˜‰

One of my favorite things I did, while we were on the road was to photograph some local wildflowers along the trip. Some flower can be found in Texas; some seemed new to me. Due to the warm weather and some rain, the wildflowers are flourishing along the freeways. If you get a chance to travel on the highways and freeways this Summer, look out your side windows from time to time. You would be surprised, how colorful it is along the freeways at this time of the year.

Finally, we arrived in St. Louis. Since I wanted to capture photos of the “Gateway to the West” Arch with the mighty Mississippi in the foreground, we had to cross the river to get to Illinois first. There is a little park across the Mississippi, called Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park. It’s a nice park, which has a man-made geyser and the Mississippi Overlook. The overlook was built recently in 2009. Standing on top of the overlook, we had a good view to see the arch, the city, and the river. The overlook has a nice imprinted metal map to show visitors, which buildings they looking at St. Louis. Getting some rest, we sat next to the statue of Mr. Malcolm W. Martin. It is a round stone bench, with a beautiful compass in its center. What I also noticed, that the overlook is very wheelchair friendly.

Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I really enjoyed our time in St. Louis. But it was time to move on. In a town named Effingham, Illinios we had lunch (Yeah, we had some good jokes about the name of this town). πŸ˜€

After driving through Illinios and Indiana, we arrived in Ohio. Ohio is my 30th state (Katelynn’s 27th and Sara’s 23rd state), I’ve visited in the US. My school friend Katja lives with her husband and two kids on a nice 25 acre farm outside of Columbus. Katja and I hadn’t seen each other for 30 years. We had the same teacher in 7th grade back in 1986-1987. About a month before the trip, I told her about us passing through Columbus. And she invited us over to her sweet farm house for dinner and to spend the night. We had a lot of catching up to do. Because a lot of things happened in the last three decades.Β Her daughter and my girls seemed to have a really good time, too. When it was bedtime, they all were sleeping in one room and telling each other ghost stories in the part of the house, which is from the 1840s. Haha, I can imagine a couple of ghosts were giggling in the corner of the room as well. That night, I passed out very fast after I hit the pillows.

… to be continued …