Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Pocono Mountains...with the best family in the world!!

I had the best vacation of my life last week! We hiked, canoed, had a “Ladies Only” target shooting competition (my dad brought a .22 pump rifle & prizes), shopped, sang, played games, watched a family pictures slideshow & a great movie (Captain Corelli's Mandolin), got to see everybody at our old church, went to (my first-ever) karaoke...and ATE. And then ATE some more. (Followed by a dessert. Or two.)

Yeah, we definitely overdid it on the eating, but it was so tempting to be in Pennsylvania with all the foods from our teen years that we can't get in Texas (cheesesteaks, TastyKakes, apple cider & cider doughnuts, Gibble's chips, etc.). We went to the Shillington restaurant where I waitressed as a teenager (Paolo’s on Lancaster Avenue), plus we each took a night cooking dinner in the condo. (One COLD night, Russ made a roaring fire in the fireplace, whittled some long sticks, and we had S’mores.) We had wonderful family time every single evening!

(Do NOT let the paragraph above lead you to believe that we are Yankees; I was born in Texas to two native Texans. Just had to clear that up…)

Oh, and one night Dad treated everybody to a tasty dinner at Ye Olde Saylorsburg Inne (sic) in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania which you can see at . Their specialties are the homemade applesauce and “creamed cabbage” (think cole slaw!), but the eggplant parmigiana was yummy, too.

So many fun memories…we got to see Wesley and meet his girlfriend, Joelle. We went to a Cabela’s (my first time ever) and LOVED it. There aren’t words to describe “GARY-oke Karaoke.” Amanda Faye and I went to an Aquacize class. Once, Karen & I were seated in a tiny back room at Joe’s Hoagies in Wayne, Pa. (only three tables), and she gasped when she looked up and noticed that they had seated me *directly under* an ACU baseball cap. There were only about thirty caps in the room, and we thought it was so funny that A&M, UT, and my alma mater were all represented! When we were in line to pay, the owner told us that Tony Campolo himself had given him that hat!!

Karen and I also visited our old college campus (now a run-down School of Islamic Studies with “No Trespassing” signs everywhere…yikes), got lost in South Philly (and lived to tell about it), and tied for points in the shooting contest. (SHE WON, though, because she had TWO bullseyes, and I only had one. Annie Oakley, that girl!) Next to all the fun family time, though, the highlight of our trip was our canoeing expedition on the Delaware River. I wish you could have seen it…Karen & I were not so much Pocahontas & Minnehaha as Lucy & Ethel. My favorite part of the video taken from the river bank is when my 10 year-old niece, filming and narrating at river’s edge, announces to no one in particular, “They’re never gonna’ make it.”

BTW, Mom looked great and didn’t have to use oxygen once the whole week…quite a change from this summer when she had one concentrator for the house, portable oxygen tanks to carry over her shoulder, and a third machine for the airplane & car. Mom’s Virginia doctor is gradually reducing her steroids, protecting her with a flu and pneumonia shot as soon as she gets home, and keeping a close eye on her...especially as cold and flu season comes again. Another case of bilateral pneumonia could really set her back. (If you are the praying kind, please say a prayer of protection and health for my mom!)

I don’t have enough words to describe the magic of the week. Thank you to Kirsten for covering for me all week, my wonderful faculty who took up a collection which helped me buy Karen’s plane ticket, and to Mr. Beazley (and his calves) for the rental car. We had a Ford SUV instead of matching mopeds! :-)

Thank you, also, to Karen for being the ultimate traveling companion, and to my parents for the Poconos timeshare condo they have reserved the 41st week of the year…ever since 1978.

God has blessed me so richly. I am absolutely beaming!!!!


Steelerfan06 said...

It really was the best vacation ever, mainly because of the people who were able to make it. Thank you Kristy and Karen for sacrificing time away from Texas and your families there to make the trip. (We know Texans don't leave the state without a good reason.) Your presence made it awesome for the rest of us. We love you and can't wait to see you at Christmas!



Steelerfan06 said...

You're right, this was the best Poconos week ever. Thanks for taking the time away from your Texas families to come up, and we know how Texans feel about leaving the state. We all had more fun by you and Karen being there. We certainly filled the week, didn't we? Glad you're home safely, but missing you both already. See you at Christmas!


Anonymous said...

ok! i figured out who i look like. KAREN! look at that picture of you two with your targets. karen and i, identical.


Linda said...

What better therapy for my pulmonary problems than a reunion with all of our children? And even though the Poconos are beautiful, there's NO PLACE LIKE TEXAS! To all those "dear folks and gentle people" of Abilene, TX, who showered our Kristy with such kindness and helped to make this reunion possible, I express my sincere thanks! I also appreciate all the prayers on my behalf. I've made remarkable progress, but I still pray for a miracle.

God bless y'all, and God bless Texas!

Linda (Kristy's mom)