Thursday, July 31, 2008

Speechless in Sedona

Today we were blessed once again to spend the day enjoying God's creation as we continued on this trip of a lifetime.

We spent the day in Sedona, AZ where we started our day hiking in Red Rock State Park. While on our hike we came across a field of wild flowers, (if you stood quite all you could hear was the sound of bees buzzing), we saw a snake crossing the trail, a colored lizard, and we came up on a deer grazing who seemed as curious and interested in us as we were of him. The park was awesome, although it got really hot quick, we did get to enjoy not only the wildlife but the amazing scenic views as well.

After lunch we went to a place called Red Rock Crossing which was just outside the state park. We took pictures and sat in the shade next to the creek to take in the scenery and cool off. The pictures say it all.We later went up to see this cathedral that was built into the rocks. It was beautiful.
AND finally we ended our day with an off road jeep tour that was out of this world.

So far this has been my favorite stop. It reflects God's beautiful creation everywhere you look. In fact our jeep tour guide said something which was amusing. "even the gas stations have a view in this town"

Jenn and I feel so blessed to be able to experience all this and we've been able to spend so much time talking about how awesome God has been to us. We are totally having a blast and we wish that you guys could experience this to so we hope that the pictures and stories will do for know and maybe they will inspire your next vacation.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

White Sand Dunes

Today we woke up at 5 AM to repack the car and head to another destination. Today’s trip took us by the White Sands National Monument.

The White Sands is a large area where all you can see are the white sand dunes with the mountains blue in the background. It was quite beautiful. It was sort of like being on a beach in the middle of the mountains. You can walk around on them, camp out, picnic, and even sled down the dunes (although we didn’t). Again it was hard to capture the vast beauty that we saw on the camera.

Around the White Sands is an Air Force Base so we saw several planes flying around while we were there. And there’s also a Missile Range surrounding the White Sands, it was kind of cool!

Once in Arizona we started to see Saguaro Cacti along the road.

We got into Sedona tonight about 6:00 and learned that we gained another hour! Today’s drive took us 11 hours….but we were amazed as soon as we started to see the Red Rocks. It is unbelievable- this is the best part of our trip so far. The views are spectacular, and our hotel room has a full wall of windows that face the mountains. We can’t wait to check it all out tomorrow. We had an awesome dinner tonight with the same view- it was near perfection. Below is the view from our room- I’m not sure how we’re ever going to leave…

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Carlsbad Caverns

Carlsbad Caverns is awesome! It is a must-see-in-your-lifetime place. It is so amazing, and so hard to describe it all. We went on two guided tours and through two self-guided areas, each were unique and fascinating! It sort of reminded me of scuba diving, but without the water, because it was like being in a different world. Other times it reminded me of sand castles. It was neat to think about how the early explorers experienced the caverns, which is something the rangers talked a lot about. These Caves were discovered by a 16 year old kid. We had a chance in both tours to experience a "blackout"- I know I couldn't have gone in those caves 100 years ago!
Hope you enjoy the pictures, it's not the same as being there, but I think some of them came out good. Be sure to read the captions along the bottom for a little more explanation.

Tomorrow we're headed to Sedona, AZ but first we're going to go by the White Sands National Monument. We've heard the white sand dunes are another must-see in NM so we're looking forward to checking them out. Thanks for following us along on our trip across the country! Til next time.....

Monday, July 28, 2008

On the road again...

Today we drove from New Orleans to Carlsbad, New Mexico. Yup, all the way through TEXAS!

We traveled 995 miles and it took us 15 hours, not including our stop for lunch. It wasn’t too bad though, and it’ll be our longest stretch of the trip. We were just really excited to be getting out West. We’ve never driven out here so it’s fun to see different things.

We saw some billy goats by the side of the road; don’t usually see those in Florida! We passed windmill farms also. Abel’s favorite part of the day was when we passed San Antonio and the speed limit went up to 80 miles an hour. (See photo for proof) =)

Tomorrow we’ll be underground all day…which I’m excited about escaping the heat!! The only thermometer we saw was in Houston and it said 98.

Not sure if we’ll get any good pictures inside the caves, but you’ll see them if we do! Till next time…

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Our Day In New Orleans

We spent the day checking out New Orleans. We started by going to the City Park, where we visited the Botanical Garden and the Sculpture Garden. We then drove into the heart of the famous French Quarter to meet up with our friends Jennifer & Ryan. Jenn & Ryan took us to lunch and then sightseing around the Quarter. We saw the St. Louis Cathedral in front of Jackson Square, we walked through the French Market, down by the river (where you could see the unfortunate results of the tanker spill that occured just a few days ago), and we had coffee & beignets at the world famous Cafe Du Monde.

It was realy HOT, kinda like in South Florida but we had a good time and it was good to hang out with friends.

Tomorrow we're off to Carlsbad, NM which is supposed to be a 14hr. drive but I'm sure it will be fun.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

San Francisco Here We Come

We’re out of Florida!! We arrived in New Orleans after 12 hours on the road. (Abel wasn’t speeding too much) We got to eat lunch in Tallahassee (where I went to college), so that was a nice perk to our day!
For those that don’t know our itinerary, here it is: Our trip began with driving to New Orleans. We’ll stay here for a day, then we’ll drive to Carlsbad, NM to see the Caverns. After that we head to Sedona, AZ to see the Red Rocks. Then we’ll stay in the Grand Canyon for a day. We go by Page, AZ to see Lake Powell and Antelope Canyons and then our final stop will be Las Vegas.
Leave us a comment and let us know if you have any suggestions for places to eat, or things to see along the way. If you’ve been to any of these places, or heard of things we should check out, let us know!
Check back for photos, we’ll be trying to post daily. We’re taking you all along with us on our trip across the country. San Francisco…here we come!
We are going to have a contest running this week- leave a comment below: what do you think the cheapest we will pay for gas on our trip, and what will be the most expensive? For extra credit-in what state do you think we’ll find this gas? Be sure to enter your guess….there may be a prize for the winner(s)…..

Friday, July 25, 2008


It's been a busy week filled with all sorts of packing and preparing for our trip.

We’ve packed all our stuff into the small container which my father in law and friend Jimbo thought would not be big enough to hold all our stuff. (Yes it was small but just as I thought it was the exact size for all of our stuff, and since it is all nice and snug I don’t think anything will be shifting.)

We’ve spent the last 2 days spending time with our family and some close friends to say our goodbyes. But although we are excited about our move, and we have enjoyed hanging out with our friends and family, it has been tough. We have so many people that love and support us and we feel so blessed and grateful for that.

We love you guys and will be thinking of you. Thank you for your prayers and support.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Our Last Weekend

This weekend was our last weekend home before our big move and it was full of good times and great memories with friends and family.

- Saturday we spent the day at my parents house where my brother and his wife were having a baby dedication service for my niece Izabella. My uncle who is a pastor, and married Jenn and I, did the service and it was very special because of how personal it was. But if that wasn't special enough, my family had also asked my uncle and aunt to say a few words and pray for Jenn and I as we head out to seminary and this new chapter of our lives. It was fun to hang with family, eat great food, and share love with each other.

- On Sunday night Jenn's parents hosted a going away party for us at their home. They invited our friends from church and we had snacks and just hung out visiting and laughing with friends.

I know some of you reading this were there and Jenn and I want you to know how grateful we are to have friends and family that love us so much. We appreciated you spending time with us, we appreciated the sweet cards and gifts that we received from you all and we mostly are grateful that you helped us make a memory that we will remember when we think of all of you. God bless you guys and thank you.

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's Been a While

I haven't posted much lately but I must say that Jenn has been doing an awesome job of keeping our blog up to date. I'm sure you can imagine how busy one can get just weeks before moving across the country. I have been keeping busy doing some good old manual labor in order to make a few extra bucks before our trip so it's been tough to post stuff when all I've wanted to do is come home and rest. I spent the last few weeks doing tile work and although it's hard work it is a lot of fun. I've demolished two bathrooms cut and grouted tile put up sheet rock and helped install a huge glass block window. Here are just a few pics of it all.

Although it was fun I'm glad to be done cause with only 4 more days till the big move Jenn and I will need to get busy boxing stuff up and getting all the final preparations taken care of for our move.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Last weekend was full of surprises! Saturday night we celebrated my grandmother's 80th birthday, only her birthday is still a month away so she had no idea we were planning this. She was shocked when her daughter's walked in the door and shocked again when they walked into the restaurant to see the rest of the family. It was great to see everyone (or almost everyone) together and to celebrate Nonny's birthday as a family.

Then on Sunday we celebrated Izaac's birthday a little early by taking him to Lion Country Safari. It was lots of fun and so cool to see the animals so close up! Izaac loves animals, especially monkeys, and he even got to feed a giraffe! The park had lots of little rides, a water park, miniature golf, tons of things for us to do. It was a great day and we made lots of special memories. We came home and had dinner with the family and surprised Izaac with a birthday cake and presents.

The only surprise we didn't like last weekend was to find out that the Sawgrass youth team had planned a going away party for us and we had other plans! We felt so bad for missing it, but they were sweet enough to send us a picture. We love you guys and will miss you all so much!

Friday, July 11, 2008


Sometimes time flies, sometimes it seems to stand still. It can be a motivation, it can be a trap.

We find time to do things we want to do, we lose time if front of the TV or computer.

I've just been contemplating time lately- how we prioritize it, how our perspective on it changes...

I've got 4 days left of work, we are leaving town in 2 weeks, and we won't see our new "home" in California for another month! Some days it seems right around the corner, other days it doesn't seem like it'll ever be real.

It's interesting how much more important it is to us and our friends to get together knowing that we don't have much more time for such visits. We've been making the most of every day to make sure we get all our tasks done. We've gone to all those appointments that we tend to put off. I wish we'd live every day like this. Who do we really want to spend time with or what do we really want to do but can't seem to find the time?

It's kind of like the question of what would you do if you knew you only had __ days to live.

I guess that's what's called living life on purpose. Pastor Troy is always talking about that- how we are racing against the clock. No one really knows how long each of us have left here on Earth.

Sorry if this post is random, it's just what's been on my mind lately....

Friday, July 4, 2008

We're looking forward to hanging out in the pool, having a BBQ, and watching fireworks with both of our families together! We hope you enjoy the day relaxing, eating good food, and spending time with your friends or family too.

I love fireworks! The coolest show I've seen was in NY City, but we've enjoyed fireworks on land and by boat- in the Keys, on the west coast, and here in South Florida.

What's your favorite place to watch fireworks?