deep in the heart of texas.

ahhh, summer. the gift that just keeps on giving...when you're a teacher.

fortunately, i've never known a summer without a couple months off, and i hope and pray that i will never have to.

this summer i started off my travels with a trip with my friend kim to the great state of texas. we flew into austin, drove to san antonio, and ended the week in houston. in austin, we stayed with my wonderful friend jamie and her adorable family, spent most of our time on south congress ave., ate as much ice cream as possible, tried to keep hope alive in the midst of oppressive humidity, waited for hours to see millions of bats fly out from under a bridge, "learned" how to two step, and gave ourselves a tour of UT in the pouring rain. 

in san antonio we stayed with kim's cousins, ate (too much) delicious food, strolled along the beautiful river walk (just like the bachelorette), and remembered the alamo. 

we planned to head to the beach next, but our plans got interrupted by tropical storm bill and a whole lot of rain. never fear though! mathis, texas has a la quinta inn, complete with a gym and a continental breakfast! so it was pretty much the same as the beach. 

we ended our adventures in houston, where kim met up with one of her college friends and i spent the weekend with my wonderful family. it has been years since we had all been together, and i don't think words are adequate to describe how good it felt to be with them. the only way i can think to describe it is that it just felt like coming home. 

not only did i spend quality time with my aunts, uncles, and cousins in houston, but my sister and i got to visit our grandma who has advanced alzheimer's disease. although she couldn't talk and didn't know that we were her granddaughters, there was something so special about looking into her eyes, telling her we loved her, and giving her a kiss on the head to say goodbye. we played a song she love, gave her oreos, and filled her room with a lot of love and laughter.

i am so thankful for great friends, family, adventures, and the gift of time.

what a gift it is.