Thursday, January 12, 2017

Texas...Part One

If you've ever been to Texas, you know it's going to take more than one post to cover the bounty. We were only there three days (and covered less than a third of the state) wow, so much to see and do.

After leaving Oklahoma City, we headed south into Texas. We were barely over the border when we saw this:
Sherman, Texas in the birthplace of my sweet nephew! How coincidental (ahem) that in all of Texas (it's a big place) we would drive right by the exit to his entrance into this world. Great thanks were given to God for bringing this wonderful boy into our lives (and many thanks to my nephew's mom who chose life!).

By that point we were just over an hour from Dallas (a fairly short distance on this trip) and it was a beautiful day to look at the vast fields of cattle and land. (Disclaimer...I'm kind of miffed that, in all of our travels through the Lone Star State, there were no long-horns to be found.)

We arrived at the hotel, had some dinner, unpacked a bit then headed out for evening Mass, again, hoping for confession prior. We arrived an hour before Mass was scheduled to begin. I bet there were 25 people in line. Glory to God! What a beautiful sight!

The sacristan told those of us at the back of the line to come back tomorrow because Mass was starting. I feel slightly bad about springing it on our kids but I was hoping someone would notice when the sanctuary looked like this...
Yes, that is Our Lady of Guadalupe! We were at the Cathedral Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Dallas, Texas!
I felt badly because this was Spanish Mass. Our kids, even though well-traveled, are used to what they know. It's not often that they can just immerse themselves into another language and feel comfortable (which is exactly why I do it).

The language was unfamiliar (we're studying Latin at the moment) but it was an amazing experience. The faith and reverence of the Hispanic community is impressive. So different from up north - if you took Communion by hand here (or without genuflecting first) you were the odd one! This would only be our first experience of deep reverence in the south. They understand what they have in the Mass and Eucharist. In my experience, having lived in the south, it is more clear when you are the minority and, definitely, Catholics are a minority (but growing) down South!

Home for cooking shows and bed. Sleeping in the following morning because, already, we were kind of over the driving. Luckily Dallas has an amazing place to burn some energy...
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science was fantastic! Lots of fun and interesting things to see and do, several in line with what people are studying (homeschool science, check!). Best of all, admission was FREE - reciprocity with our Science Center membership. On the way there we even drove past the site of Kennedy's assassination - double bonus.

for the kids studying astronomy

for the kid studying botany

corpse flower...puke

building things

building more things

H2O molecules

xylo court

and because it's Texas, there was a random cantaloupe plant growing in the parking garage behind our car. It wasn't intentional, it was growing among the weeds...someone probably just tossed a seed there when they were eating and sun/rain/God's handiwork. There were even baby cantaloupes on the plant!

Saying goodbye to Dallas, we got back on the road due south. It was a short driving day and Waco, our next stop, was less than an hour away. We stopped in West, Texas (yes, that's the name), about midway on our journey. West is the site of a deadly fertilizer plant explosion in 2013 but also the Czech capital of Texas (promise, I can't make this stuff up!). With Czechs come kolaches...mmmm. We stopped at Slovacek's, home of the Kissing Pig Cafe!
No idea...she was inspired.

A-maz-ing. They also come in savory. YUM.

So cute! Come back next time when we arrive in Waco :0)

We are blessed.

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