On Friday morning, my parents picked up our kids about 9:00 and off they went to have a fabulous weekend with them. They kids had a blast & my parents said they were very well behaved all weekend. (whew...always good to hear that!!)
Larry & I left soon after and headed to Dallas Love Field.
We decided to go cheap & parked in the "B" garage. There was a $3/day difference between that & the "A" garage. Here's a tip if you ever go there & fly out on Southwest: Pay the extra $3/day. It's worth it. It turns out that the "B" garage was nearly a mile from the main terminal and when you're lugging a 50 pound suitcase, well...ouch. We found our way through the airport & into the right gate only to sit & wait for a while. The plane was scheduled to take off at 2:05 but it was later than that before the plane arrived. They quickly got all the passengers off and loaded us into the plane and we took off. I think it was about 2:30 when we left Dallas. When the plane's tires lifted off the ground, I thought I might fly around the plane too. I was so happy! The trip was officially underway! I couldn't help but think "I'm on the way, Bethany!!!".
We arrived in Kansas City about 4:00, found the rental car place & left to head toward our destination about 5:00. It was about 7:40 when we got to Bethany & Chris, who were waiting for us in the parking lot of a gas station. I knew this would be an emotional trip but I never expected to cry right off the bat! When we pulled up, we had one of those moments that you see in movies & on TV where 2 people run to each other, embrace & boo-hoo. It was awesome. Both of us were crying & so excited. Our poor guys had to introduce themselves to each other while Bethany & I had our moment. When we perked up & let go of each other, they took us to Hu-Hot or Ho-Hut or Hoo-Ha. Something like that. ha ha! I kept messing up the name. It's this Mongolian grill place & it was really good! You get a bowl and go to this buffet-line style thing where you pick out your meat, your noodles/rice, veggies, sauces & toppings and then you go to this big grill thing where the chefs throwyour bowl of stuff on the grill & cook it. It was fun to do something completely different right off the bat. :) We sat at the table talking & goofing around with our chopsticks. It was like we'd never NOT known each other in person. It was totally comfortable. (That was one of my fears before we left, that we'd have some uncomfortable, awkward thing. But it wasn't like that at all!) As you can see, Bethany & Chris were kind of shy at first.
It didn't take them too long to warm up to us, though. ha ha!
Larry & I were acting silly too. We were doing the walrus teeth with our chopsticks. In fact, sometimes walruses fall in love.
We got a few pictures of Bethany & I, but it was interesting...we were always either laughing hysterically or not looking in the right direction or giving each other bunny ears.
After eating, we went to the hotel & checked in. We got into our room & got showered & cleaned up, PJs on and then we pulled back the sheets. And well, let's just say that the sheets hadn't been changed since the last visitors. Yuck! The hotel upgraded us to a jacuzzi suite for having to move & swap rooms at 11:30pm!
Saturday morning, Chris & Bethany came to the hotel to pick us up at 10:00 and we headed to The Pinnacles. It's a park of some sort & wow...it's beautiful! We hiked & climbed all through the trails, across the creek, up the side of a bunch of rocks & stuff. Wow. Perty! We were all sweaty & yucky by the time we were done, but it was so worth it.
We left there & went back to Chris & Bethany's house for lunch, then back to the hotel to shower & change into our clothes for the evening. Larry was sleepy, so he took a short nap while I read magazines & hung out.
Saturday evening we went back to their house to have a cookout/BBQ with them and some other friends. I've met Mindy on myspace through Chris & Bethany, but this was the first time to meet her, too. It went really well. We had some yummy burgers & some awesome fruit pizza.
We finally got some serious pictures of Bethany & I that night. Well...and maybe a couple more silly ones.
When the night was over, we headed back to the hotel & packed up because we knew that Sunday would be a short day together. It was a little sad to pack everything because I wanted to get to hang out a little longer. The trip was entirely too short.
On Sunday, we ate breakfast & then headed over to their house for our final hours together. Chris had to go to work at noon. Bethany took Larry & I on a tour of the "big city" of Moberly. (For those of you who live locally, it's similar in size and age and everything to Jacksonville, so you clearly see the joke behind me saying "big city".) We came back to her house for a few more minutes with her and Lucy, her sweet doggie!
All too soon, 3:00 rolled around & it was time for us to leave. We shed a few more tears in her driveway, hugging & saying goodbye. I decided I needed to get in the car & go or I'd just stand there and cry with her all day long. We had not made it far from her house before we got a text message saying "come back! I miss youalready!". :*) Sure was hard not to turn around & go back! But I kept telling myself something I read online last week --- "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened!" I love that! We made the long trip back to Kansas City (it's about 3 hours) and got into the airport on time. As we sat at the gate waiting for our 9:30 flight, we watched a beautiful sunset. I had to snap some pictures. It seemed fitting to see God put such a pretty ending on our trip.
One last picture before we got on the plane.
As the tires on the plane lifted off the ground, I got teary again. The trip was officially over. As we flew off into the dark sky, I bid goodbye to Bethany one last time. Our trip was awesome & I'm sad to see if over, but I will not forget it and the memories made! I love you, Bethany. Come to Texas soon!
(I have lots more pictures in an album on snapfish.com, but AOL will only let me post so many, so feel free to email me if you'd like to see the whole album of pics!)