Saturday, January 29, 2011

Joshua Tree National Park


Last Saturday Amy, Meleah (yay for new friends), and I went DSC_0598to Joshua Tree National Park to go hiking for the day. Its not what us east coasters typically think of a park with trees, lakes, birds…etc; but it definitely had some gorgeous views. Pictures don’t really do it justice.  The park is home to the Joshua Tree, a tree unique only to the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts.  Along with these intriguing trees were beautiful rock formations and canyons strung throughout the entire park.




We spent the early part of the day walking through smaller paths and climbing the rocks, then headed to a longer hike which lead to Palm Canyon Oasis. We hiked through very rocky  but mostly flat and sandy land, but when we finally made it to the oasis, it looked like you hiked really far up.  It overlooks this beautiful oasis filled with palm trees on one side and the other side looks off into the distance over mountains and valleys for miles and miles. We didn’t get to enjoy it as much as possible because nighttime caught up to us too fast. Scared by the thought of not being able to find our way back in the dark, we quickly ran back in 1 hour the path that took us 2.5 hours to get up.  And thankfully made it just as the sun disappeared completely behind the mountains…



Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rolling with the Punches



I guess you could say Amy and I had quite a few punches to roll with trying to get to Palm Springs!! Starting with the little winter storm….it never snows in South Carolina, much less twice by the time January rolls around. Now I do love snow don’t get me wrong, but the timing could have been better.  Four cancelled flights later, Amy and I land in Austin, TX to pick up our cars so we can make the drive halfway across the country. Well Amy arrived, my flight was a little delayed. While waiting for me to arrive, Amy receives punch #2: a dead car battery. :( Thanks to Triple A, this is a fairly easy problem to solve compared to what we had in store. Long story short, I land, Amy picks me up, we get my car at the storage unit, get a hotel, and get some much needed sleep.

The plan was to wake up early, drive to Phoenix where Ana, a friend of mine from ECU soccer had graciously offered to let us stay the night, then wake up early and drive the last 4 hours on Friday in time to make it to a required 12 o clock appointment. Well 4 hours into the day I looked in my rearview mirror to make sure Amy, who had been following me the whole time, was still doing okay. After not seeing her or getting her to answer her phone, I pulled onto the shoulder of the highway.  As soon as I pulled off I got a call from a stranger saying Amy had been in an accident and her car had rolled. I immediately turned around and made my way back. By the grace of God, Amy was not injured, not even a scrape!  Her car went airborne after a small overcorrection and rolled 3 times – probably because we both had out entire lives packed in our cars which made them very top heavy.  Although we were slightly traumatized, we were all alone with no Mom or Dad to help, so we had to be big girls and deal with it best we could.  We towed the car to the closest town 30 min away, spent 5 hours trying to get a  car –packed it and continued on our way. Because of the delay, we had to drive through the night in order to make our meeting.

25 hours after we started our drive, we finally arrived in Palm Springs!!! Although we had some minor( major) setbacks, God protected us the whole way which we are very thankful for. 


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Adventures in Austin

As I was saying earlier, Amy and my experience in Austin began slightly less than ideal.  We only worked about 4 days our first month in Austin, but couldn't make plans because we were on call. If you didn't know - No work means No pay. Fortunately, Amy has a very generous cousin who allowed us to stay in his downtown loft for that first month.  Because we didn't know whether or not we would be working each night, we slept. ALOT!  We had no internet or cable... soo after we woke up and found out that we yet again had been called off of work- we watched the entire Sex and the City series.  After things weren't improving we decided we couldn't sit around all the time while we were in such a great city. The Austin Stone was recommended to us, and our first Sunday available we visited. It was the perfect church for us. The music and message each week were amazing and we were able to get involved in a bible study with some great girls.
Very quickly we discovered something was always going on in Austin; live music, UT football games, kayaking/canoeing, great restaurants, Barton Springs, the Austin Stone, south congress shops, shopping in general, etc.  We began to make some friends and also had some old friends visit. Work began to pick up and we even planned some trips.  We saw the Cowboys in Dallas, the Riverwalk and Alamo in San Antonio, and the Bluebell Factory.  
As soon as we started enjoying ourselves and Austin, it was time to leave. It may not have been the perfect assignment, but we definitely had a blast and can't wait to see what this next assignment has in store.