Del Rio, TX

It’s about time I tell you about the trip I took, along with my mom and dad, to visit my new home town a few weeks ago!

We did our homework… we looked up our route online, mapped it, calculated the distance and time required.  We booked our hotel and put the address into our GPS. 

We cheerfully set out on a 12.5 hour drive and anticipated seeing my new hometown by sunset. 

We arrived almost 15 hours later in full dark…  It’s the only time that google, mapquest and yahoo maps have all let us down!  We stopped exactly 5 times… we figured out that it equaled a total of 40 minutes in stops… NOT 2.5 hours!  YIKES!!!

All that aside… we arrived…

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 We hunted up our hotel… It’s the America’s Best Value Inn.  (I wouldn’t go that far… HA 🙂

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 We found our room… We unloaded the car and settled in to rest up for a few days of exploration!

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Our very first act the next morning was to find some breakfast.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my new town has an IHOP!

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We even made a new friend with our waitress!  (I mean that too, we ate there the second day as well and she remembered us and came over to say hello!  This might be one of my new favorite haunts!)

Here we are waiting for our breakfast…

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CAN’T WAIT!

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After a lovely breakfast it was off to explore Del Rio and see what it has to offer. 

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 It’s a nice little town with everything you need.

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 And even a few things you don’t need!

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 The streets are clean and well maintained… 

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 The people are friendly…

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The whole town just has a nice feel all around!

And there are TWO SONICS! 

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Oh yeah… and did I mention the Super Walmart!?  You can not possibly fathom how excited I am unless you’ve spent three years in Europe…  This is an extremely nice Walmart too… we checked it out!

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 After breakfast we spent the day checking out the neighborhoods.  I had a few addresses of homes currently for rent and we looked at them just to see what living there would be like. 

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 Nice homes… and nice neighborhoods…

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I think I’m really going to enjoy living there!

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 After a few hours driving around we decided to head out to Laughlin Air Force Base, our new assignment.  It’s a nice base and I’m looking forward to learning all it has to offer! 

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That pretty much ended our first day in Del Rio, Texas.

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 The morning dawned cloudy and a bit humid.  We drove around the neighborhoods a little bit more then had lunch with my friend Kris. 

Then it was off to check out Lake Amistad! 

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 The lake is literally minutes from town…   

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It’s a huge desert lake!  LOL  Because of the clouds and the chilly wind we didn’t spend too much time but I took a moment to take a few pictures of the lake area…

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 Cacti! 

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Oh how I missed thee…

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 Pretty desert trees…

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with thorns!   

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 Pretty flowers…

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And what in the world is that?

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  Mom paused to let me take her pictures before running back up the trail!  It was cold!

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  Where we found dad kickin’ it back and waiting for us to get back!

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Pretty day!

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 Then it was back into town… 

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 Check out those clouds!

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 Later that day we headed into South Del Rio… Old Town. 

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It’s gorgeous down there and the houses are amazing!  I thought I would share a few (or so) shots just for fun… You had better believe that these are not in our price range!  🙂

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  In the middle of old town we discovered a river with a park!  Pretty eh?

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 We hopped out to explore and take a few photos… what else? 

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 Pretty day…

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 The local wildlife was cooperative!

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 There was even a bridge!

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That was that!  We headed back to the hotel to wind down and have an early night… At just before dawn the next morning we took off and said goodbye to Del Rio… for now! 

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 We learned one thing about Del Rio, TX that will be valuable information in years to come… It doesn’t want you to leave!

On our way out we came across hundreds of little deer and had a few very close calls…  Sadly I did not have my camera out… I was too concerned with staying alive!

Once we came around a bend in the road to see a deer grazing on a small patch of grass growing down the yellow line in the center of the road!  There was not enough time to stop though Dad locked it up a little in an attempt…  After a heartbeat of sliding he realized he’d have to decide which way the deer would go so he hit the gas and sped around it’s hind in with only inches (and I MEAN 2) to spare…

All the while the deer grazed… we only warranted a flick of its ears…

Of course we were all three screaming at the top of our lungs so it might have been the sound rather than the breeze of a speeding car that caught it’s attention…

We made it in the end to drive our 14 more hours across the blazing desert where nothing moved…

But there has been one side effect… I can’t get the song “Home on the Range” out of my head even all these weeks later… You know…

“Where the deer and the antelope play at trying to wreck your car and snicker as you go screaming by…”

Oops sorry!  🙂  Anyway…

It was a great trip and it really made me excited for the adventure we’re heading for!  It was a nice town and I can see myself being happy there….

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That’s it for me today!  I still have so much to share but so little time!  I’ll be around!

Courtney

 

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4 Wheelin’!

In the few weeks I’ve been back in the desert there is one old past time that I’ve been able to take back up… and boy is it ever a BLAST! 

4 Wheelin’!

I go with my Dad, my uncle Noel, my cousin Brittany, my cousin Matt and his wife Debbie.

We’ve been able to go out a couple of times, before it got way too hot. 

At the moment I only have pictures from our first time out but they paint a picture!

Here we are getting ready to head out!  Yes, I am perfectly aware that dad and I look like dorks!  But hey, it keeps the dust out of our eyes and the sun off our ears… there is nothing worse than the tops of your ears burning…

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The girls!  (Me, Debbie, and Brittany)

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Brittany sporting her awesome goggles and a winning smile!

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Me and Matt.

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Matt and Debbie.

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Uncle Noel and Brittany.  (Okay just for those of you who don’t know let’s clear this up a bit… Brittany is Noel’s daughter and Matt is his son.  We are actually all cousins but because Noel is my Dad’s age I’ve always called him Uncle… Hmmm… did that actually clear the water for you?)

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Once we had our fill of taking embarassing pictures we were off!  Uncle Noel and Brittany in front… then Dad and then waaaaaay back there… ME!

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Me and Dad.  (Huge thanks to Debbie for taking the time to take these while we were riding!)

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Just nothing like it!

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What a beautiful day for it!

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Eyes forward you!  Actually we were going slow and checking out the scenery… The Saguaro were in bloom.

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Look at how filthy I already am…

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After a few miles of exploring the desert we topped a ridge and saw we had circled around to Lake Pleasant.

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We rode for a few more minutes and found ourselves down in a wash where the trees were still green and there was still a good amount of water.

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In fact Matt found enough to play in!

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Debbie was thrilled!  (Oh if she only knew what was coming…)

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We followed the wash and found the Agua Fria river!

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And it had more than enough water to make us all happy…

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…and WET!

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Matt was mimeing swimming in the water but he looks more like he’s practicing for water ballet 🙂

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Here I am in my  “4 Wheelin’ Pin Up Pose” as Ryan calls it. 

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Matt coming around with a GREAT idea.

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He decided that it would be fun if we ALL got wet.  You should have seen the wall of water that Rhino could kick up… oh wait you can!

Here I am all nice and dry and dusty getting ready to take my turn.

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Here we go!

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Oh no wait it gets much better…

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WHOOSH!  See all that water up in the air?  That’s about to fall back into my lap and shock my vocal cords into a blood curdling scream. 

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How can it be that after three years of freezing my toosh off in Germany this five minutes in the summer desert could make me SO COLD!

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Embrace it right?

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Who’s next?

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Dad?  Well, let’s go!

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Oooo good one Matt!

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See the water pouring out the bottom of the Rhino?  And poor Uncle Noel spitting it out?

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Dad enjoying his misery…

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And Uncle Noel’s famous words… “Who says this is FUN!?”

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Matt being gleeful! 

I have to admit that finding this waterhole to play in was a treat.

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HE DID IT!

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After we were all done playing we stood around in the sun relaxing and trying to dry off.

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We rode about another half an hour up the wash before calling it a day.  This is why I love the desert!

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I think it agrees with me!

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Me and Debbie almost dry…

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The guys!

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Brittany enjoying being tired and dirty!

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Dad with his bike at the end of a great day!

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Matt.

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That was the end of our day.  We had such a wonderful time!  I wish life allowed for us to do this EVERY weekend!

We loaded up and headed out…

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When we pulled into the driveway Dad looked over at me and just laughed…  He insisted on taking a picture to show everyone just how dirty I was.

I admit it’s funny enough to share.

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I got him back by having mom take a shot of us both… 

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Nice eh?

The only thing way that this could be any better would be if Ryan were here!

We can’t wait to take him!

Auf Wiedersehen!

Courtney

 

Catch up!

I think it’s about time I attempted to catch up…  For weeks now I’ve been struggling to grasp that this is not a vacation… I’m not going back to Germany… My life won’t slow down enough to have time to do all of this… I just have to learn to fit it in!  I need to find a balance!  Thank you all for bearing with me…

I’ll start my catch up with my last morning in Germany…  I was tempted to skip over this because so much has happened since.  However, it was one of the prettiest mornings I’ve ever seen… it was as if God was giving me a send off that would remain forever in my heart.  So I’ll share it!

We started out for the airport at 6am on my last day and as a result we witnessed a glorious sunrise.

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 As the day lengthened it got better and better!

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 The colors became deeper and the light was no longer a weak winter light…

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 Germany was at its best that morning…

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 And then we drove into Koblenz…

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 Where the Rhine and the Mein rivers meet…  We found a stop off overlook that we’d never seen before and were treated to a glorious view! 

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 Sunrise on the Rhein.

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 See the apple trees in blossom?

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It was a wonderful note to leave on.  I will never forget my time there, the things I saw, the places I went…  Never in all my life will the draw of Europe let me go…  It has been an amazing adventure and though I’m glad to come home it will forever hold a special place in my heart!

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My flight home was uneventful… Actually it was the best one I’ve ever had!  It was a great relief to come home to my boys, safe, sound and happy to see me!  I was asleep the moment my head hit the pillow…

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The very next day was Easter Sunday and I hit the ground running!

It was a blast and of course my favorite part was introducing Savannah to my boys!

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 Look at those pigtails!  She has discovered the fun of feeding dogs and the boys have discovered that you never want to be far from where the baby is sitting! 

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 What a cutie pie!

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 And she never stops! 

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 Well, almost never…

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 She and the boys were soon fast friends and the running and playing commenced!

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 Here she is saying “Puppies!?”  I can’t even begin to explain how cute this is…

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 Yep Savannah it’s a puppy!  Yoda wasn’t so sure what she was though!

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 Pretty shells… 

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 Then it was time for the Easter Egg hunt…  She walked around the whole time with her arm up like that… trying to hold onto her basket!

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Found one!

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 Thank you Momma (and baby brother!)

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 Yay another one! 

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 Look at all my eggs mom!

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 Empty?

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 Uh oh! 

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 Grandpa will help you!

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 Yoda too!

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 Missed one!

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 Then it was time to pull out my red parasol and see if she would play…

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 Not so much but it was worth a try!

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 That next week we prepared for days for a HUGE yard sale!  Just look at our layout!

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 It looked like a boutique in the garage…

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 We had china and exercise equipment. 

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 We had antiques and clothes…

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 Pictures and nicknacks…

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 Jewelry and lamps… 

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 It was a huge success!  We as a family made almost $1,500.00!  Wowsers!

And that covers my first 10 days or so in Phoenix.  I’ll be back with more later (but not much later I promise!)

Oooo and you have to see this weird bug I caught on my mom’s yard sale table… what in the world IS that thing?

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I’ll leave off there for the day… trust me… there are a lot more things to share!  You’ll be sick of me in no time!

So I’ll leave you with my favorite picture from the first week…  I call it…

BABY THRILLER!  🙂

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Adios!

Courtney

The Saddest Thing…

I know that I got caught up again… I know I’m far behind… I know I broke my promise to write more often…

But circumstances were beyond my control this week…  (As in I made a trip to Laughlin, NV last minute for a very good reason and ended up not having email access for four days.) … but I promise I’ll catch up…

 

 

However, today will not be the day.  Today HAS to be dedicated to Ryan.

Today he sits alone in a hotel room on a last minute TDY.  He has very little internet access, no phone, he’s on a night shift that makes sure he’s working when we are all awake and because of the nature of his TDY he is completely out of range.  He isn’t sleeping in his own bed and doesn’t even have access to the people he works with today… and I’m 6,000 miles away along with our boys…

Why does all of this matter beyond just being sad?

Today is Ryan’s 30th birthday!

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We couldn’t even send out a care package because he’s not home to get it!  So if you have a moment… email him or leave a comment on his facebook!  His email is (ryanlaube@yahoo.com)

Happy birthday Ryan…  I hope that you can feel my thoughts, prayers, and wishes for you today…  We miss you!!!  (PSSST so do the boys!)

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ONLY 58 DAYS until you’re home with us again!

We’re counting!

And we promise when you come home to have a party you’ll never forget!

All my NUBBS

Courtney