Monday, November 21, 2022

October 2022

If you haven't read the September recap, we started October in the middle of a month-long road trip out west visiting churches and national parks. We tent camped for half the trip and stayed in hotels/airbnbs for half the trip. These month recaps are just some of the highlights from the trip, since it would be too much to write in detail about the whole trip!

We drove from the north rim of the Grand Canyon to Casa Grande (halfway between Phoenix and Tucson) to visit All Nations Church and our friends, the Gibbses, who grew up with Josh in Hardin. 

We drove from there to Joshua Tree National Park in California and camped for two nights. The rocks and vegetation were otherworldly, and the kids and I loved climbing on the huge rocks around our campsite.

From there, we camped 3 nights at Crystal Cove State Park on the beach just south of Los Angeles. None of us had ever seen the Pacific Ocean before, and we all had a great time playing in the waves and enjoying the view of the beach and cliffs from our campsite.

While we were there, we took surfing lessons! Actually just the four big kids and I did it, Josh and Abe opted out, but they still had a lot of fun playing on the beach. Those of us who surfed had an awesome time, and I think if we lived near a beach Jude and I would be out catching waves all the time!

My "little" cousin, Geronimo, drove up from San Diego to see us that afternoon. We hadn't seen each other since we were kids, and it was fun to catch up with him.

We took one morning to drive into LA and see Hollywood. We stopped at the Hollywood sign... 

And also the Chinese Theater to see our favorite celebrities' handprints on the sidewalk. 

From there, we drove back to Phoenix to visit Black Mountain Baptist Church and the Stephenses, and really enjoyed our visit there. 

Then we headed west to White Sands National Park in New Mexico.  The white gypsum sand was so cool to the touch and fun to sled and walk on. It was such a neat experience.

The next day we visited the nearby Carlsbad Caverns National Park, also in New Mexico. We did the walk down the natural entrance, and while it was super cool, the youngest among us may or may not have been pretty grumpy this day and made it a little difficult to enjoy.

From there, we visited our last national park of the trip, Big Bend National Park in Texas, and camped there for two nights. It was such a huge and unique park, and it was really cool to be on the Rio Grande and the border with Mexico. We did the Santa Elena Canyon trail, and had to wade across the river and through really deep mud, and it was so much fun!

From Big Bend, we drove ALL THE WAY ACROSS TEXAS to Corpus Christi to visit Yorktown Baptist Church and the Brazells, who I grew up with in Marion. We spent three nights there and got to play on the beach and do some fun touristy things while we were there.

As we made our way back up toward Kentucky, we stopped in San Antonio to check out The Alamo. It was really interesting, and we only wish we could have stayed a little longer.

We spent two nights in Fort Worth, TX specifically to see some old friends who I went to college with and Josh went to seminary with...

... and some even older friends: my best friend from the age of 4 and her dad who was like a second father to me!

When we finally returned to Kentucky, we returned to a very different place than we'd left a month before. Fall had finally come and the leaves were starting to change!

We tried to do all the fun fall things that we've missed the last four years, like a pumpkin patch...

... pumpkin carving with the grandparents...

... and dressing up for Halloween! The kids had never been real trick or treating before (they'd done a few trunk or treats when they were younger), and they really wanted that experience. So we dressed up and hit up a few friends and a sweet neighborhood in Murray. 

October was so crazy and so good!

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