I'm still trying to play catch up with all that has happened over Christmas break and getting moved into my Corvallis apartment and ready to start school again. So here is the brief overview of our Christmas trip, part 1:
Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Dad was in charge of the rotation on Sunday, but decided to take us all down on Wednesday to enjoy a few days relaxing in the Florida sunshine before the weekend. We arrived to our place Wednesday evening after a long day in airports, flight delays, and running to various gates. When Thursday finally started (yes we may have slept until 2pm), we lounged outside all afternoon in the pool and hot tub, drinking berry lemonade, and pretty much just having a blast together. That was our "free" day, according to Dad, before a campaign on Friday to see all there was to see at the Everglades. The two-ish hour drive to the Everglades was spent by some parties sleeping, by others listening to ipods, and by still others spotting the alligators sunning themselves in the swamp alongside the road. A few museums and a sack lunch filled the morning before our air boat ride through the Everglades-- advertised as a chance to see the mangrove forests and alligators up close. It certainly was that: our driver whipped us in and out of the narrow maze of mangroves, getting us a little wet and definitely wind-blown. But it was a blast and didn't disappoint... besides numerous birds, we saw an adorable little raccoon and an alligator.
Heading out of the Everglades we decided to stop at Shark Valley, a national park with a bike trail out to a huge lookout point over the savannah-looking terrain. We arrived close to closing time but decided to try out the bike trail anyway; we started out strong but the pace needed to finish all 15 miles in time slowly pulled people out of the running until just Kendra and I were left. We pedaled along a flat pathway, bounded by brush and grass on one side and swampy wetland on the other. To add a little excitement to the trip, alligators were sleeping on the banks of the swamp with their 4 foot tails stretched out into the path. The trail and viewpoint were gorgeous in the golden setting sun and the breeze we created from pedaling just made me glad to be alive!
Of course, the rest of the evening (let's be real... for the next 2 days) Kendra and I had terribly sore rears because guess who hasn't ridden a bike since summer?! We grabbed pizza on the drive back and then picked up Tiera, now done with her finals, at the airport. Saturday and Sunday were filled with more reading & relaxing & family time, with a trip to the beach snuck in there and some great dinners with church people and long-lost relatives. And then.... Monday morning we packed up and headed to Port Everglades-- ready for the main event.
To be continued.
I'm a twenty-something from the Pacific NW making home in new places as I follow where God leads.
My intent is to show Christ's love to the world and use business to solve some of the social problems we face: hunger, illiteracy, healthcare, economic hardship. For now, I'm in a stage of learning. A little adventuring, a few books, some good friends, and a whole lot of prayer and life runs on.