Saturday, August 31, 2013

Our Summer Adventure 2013

{When I started writing this post, we had been on the road for almost a month!} Although we miss Brooklyn (bagels) at times, the trip has gone fairly smooth. The kids have enjoyed traveling and getting to see many places and people. We have stayed healthy (until a few days ago when the kids came down with colds), we didn't lock the keys in the rental van until today (yep, my fault), and the most danger we have been in was when I zoomed in and took a picture of a rattlesnake under the porch where we were staying (Hey, I didn't know what kind of snake it was.. it was cute.)

So far we have toured Washington, D.C. with Ted Pearce and two amazing Polish musicians. If you don't know who Ted is (shame on you), he is a messianic singer and musician from Texas. 



We spent almost three weeks on 45 acres of kudzu (*chuckle*) in Prattville, AL. It was really farmland, but if you stand still long enough in Alabama, kudzu will grow on you! It's like a crazy weed that covers and suffocates trees and plants. Looks like this, so watch out! :)

The farm belongs to John and Rhonwyn, Rabbi and Rebbetzin of a messianic congregation in Montgomery. We had an amazing time there, especially in their vegetable garden.





In Alabama, we had the opportunity to ride horses! I had a stubborn one who knew I wasn't in control, but the worst he did was try to gallop towards the barn instead of take me for a ride. :)


My husband from New Jersey, on the other hand, had the distinct pleasure of riding Pinky, who was the sweetest, gentlest horse... until he got that lead rope accidentally wound around his leg... Bobby learned that when a cowboy jumps off his horse and runs towards yours yelling "jump off!"... that's what you'd  better do! Thank G-d he was able to get off before Poor Pinky threw him off, and he lived to tell about it. I (of course) missed the whole thing, so no videos...


We also toured downtown Montgomery with our beloved Rabbi Ben. Among other things, we saw the church where Martin Luther King Jr. was Pastor and Hank Williams' grave and museum. 


And with all the open spaces and smiling faces, it makes me proud to be from Birmingham! :) We also were able to spend a couple days with my Aunt Anna, who lives in Pinson. The first day there, most of the rest of my family came over to see us. The last time I was in Alabama, I was 18 years old, so it was great to see everyone! Here they are: My three aunts, some of my cousins, and their families... and a cat...


From Alabama, we headed down to the panhandle of Florida, specifically Chipley, FL. We were there for a week, so it really grew on me. It was a small town where everyone kind of knew each other. Food, shopping, and two nice parks were all 15 minutes away or less. We even found WiFi in the Burger King parking lot. ;) 




We stayed in the Armstrong House in Chipley. We visited Falling Waters State Park, which has Florida's tallest waterfall. Despite it being like 100 degrees and humid at 9 in the morning, we had fun there. 


It was good to see some exotic wildlife we don't have in Brooklyn... like lizards...



While in Chipley, we met with some supporters of our ministry and visited two churches. In Vernon, Elli was given a dollhouse by the family of her future husband (she told us she was going to marry their six year old son, "Bubba") They were an awesome, country, godly family, so I guess we can't complain. ;) The dollhouse has made many appearances in several hotel rooms since then...


From Chipley, we ventured on to Hattiesburg, MS, where we had a living room Bible study and spent the night with a sweet couple in their gorgeous home. Elli learned to drive there, and there was a "secret playroom" under the stairs, so needless to say, it was a big hit with the kids! 


We then spent a night in Gulfport, MS, which was close to the beach. We didn't actually touch the sand or water, but it looked pretty nice. Once the kids saw the playground next to the beach, that's where they wanted to go ( they're not exactly fans of sand)... It turns out we picked a great weekend to be here. There was a free health and wellness fair going on, so we scored free cold water, free popcorn, and free kids info on fire safety and recycling for Elli's homeschooling. She was most excited about the little plastic garbage can she received. :) Seeing that it was Shabbat, and we don't do business or buy things on Shabbat, this was truly a blessing! 



After our morning on the beach, we headed on to Houma, Louisiana, and it was a beautiful drive... 


except for the clouds that seemed to hover right above New Orleans! Needless to say, we drove by the city, but didn't have any desire to really see the city. 


The pastor of the Calvary Chapel we visited in Houma and his family took us on a tour of the Louisiana Bayou, which I was super excited about! Little did we know, it would be an over three hour tour of the Bayou!! I found the scenery gorgeous, though we only saw one little alligator... and another tourist scared him back into the water before we could get closer to him! :/ 


     There were miles and miles of nothing but swamp and sky!


To top it off, we saw this rainbow!


We did make one important stop on our tour. One of the church members is a shrimper (if that's a word), and we stopped to see one of his boats. The boat was cool, but my favorite part was just listening to Ashton speak. He had that awesome "Bayou accent" that we had been anticipating and really wanting to hear while we were in Houma.



On our way to Tennessee, I convinced my husband to stop here in Georgia:




And the view there was totally worth going out of the way and the $5 we paid to get in! 

     Due to some illness in the children, (and the fact that we were REALLY ready to come back!) we made one last stop at a church in Church Hill, Tennessee, and decided to head back a little early. 



Couldn't leave Tennessee without having lunch with my oldest brother and nephew!


And then we started the trek back to the North East... and were happy to finally see 
New York City signs! :)


I most definitely left some places and pictures out, but it has taken me so long to finish this, I figured I would go ahead and publish it anyway! We are now back and safe in New Jersey, staying with family while we hunt for a new Brooklyn apartment (prayers appreciated.) We had an adventurous and blessed summer, and thank you to all who made it that way. 

We love y'all!:)

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