Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Month Long Trip Part 2- Visiting Friends!

So…. after we finished visiting our relatives we stopped by Niagara falls on the way to visit our good  friends in Tennessee. And so begins part 2 of our 4 part Month Long trip.

 It had been quite a few years since we had been to Niagara falls, and so it was very fun to see it again. 

First time ever to see a black squirrel. It was very beautiful in a unique way.

We went to the American side of the falls this year, which was a first for us.

There's always a beautiful rainbow in the mist.

Evan and I enjoyed exploring the different viewpoints.

Here we all are near the side of American falls.

Here's Evan and I on the walk to Horsehoe falls.

We thought this sign was simply hilarious.
Evan decided to attempt climbing the wall:) j/k

Here's one of the better views of the Horseshoe falls.

Family picture by the falls. I think it's funny how it looks like my Mom is about to drop her iPhone over the edge:)

The Maid of the Mist boat tours go very close to the falls. We saw people coming back soaking wet even though they had ponchos on.

Evan and I took the opportunity to do some funny pictures of us attempting to jump over the falls.

I take NO credit for this photo:) 

On the way back to the car we walked along the beautiful river. It was SO pretty with all the fall trees nearby.

We got to go up into the observation tower to view the falls from a distance. This picture doesn't even begin to capture the view, and the sound was amazing!

I thought this tree was really pretty!

Now you can see why they call this boat the Maid of the Mist:)

Evan and I capturing one last picture before we left the falls.

After we visited Niagara Falls, we drove to Northern Ohio to spend the night with a very nice family from the A Candle in the Window Network. We enjoyed a nice evening talking and getting to know each other, and then had a good sleep. The next morning we enjoyed talking more, helping them with chores, having a delicious breakfast, and then enjoyed playing music together, and hearing them sing as a family. Then we said goodbye and headed down the road to Florida!

The family we stayed with in Ohio told us about this really amazing grocery store named Jungle Jims that they said we had to stop by on our way out of the state. We decided to check it our, and ended up spending 4 hours ( not nearly enough time) in the store. 

Here's Evan and I taking a picture near their world famous restrooms. They looked like simple outhouses from the outside, but they were really full service normal public bathrooms on the inside. It was hilarious!

We had SO much fun exploring Jungle Jims, and were amazed by the tremendous selection of items they had for sale.


Evan and I took a picture with the singing monkey….which was supposed to be Elvis, but we sort of overlooked that part:)

Evan was overwhelmed by their selection of Ice Cream! And then we realized we couldn't buy any cause we had to drive 6 hours and we didn't have a cooler.

Throughout the store they had fun displays of different things from around the world.


We were amazed by their fruit selection.


They had many exotic fruits.

And even their "normal" fruits were amazing!


We thought this display was really fun for their hot sauce section….they had 4 isles of hot sauce.

And when you go to the international section, (which was huge) they had this fun Robinhood display.

And here's maid Marian. The display was complete with sounds, and motion.

And for the smaller countries they had little houses that you would go into to look at the products for sale. It was so cute:)

Evan and I liked the Holland section best!

And then we came to the soda section! It was HUGE! 

They had more sodas from all over the world, and some old brands that my Mom said she remembered having when she was younger.

We really enjoyed our time in Jungle Jims and we were more than glad that we made the stop. If you're ever in Cincinnati, Ohio be sure to carve out a few hours to stop by this store. You won't regret it:)

After Jungle Jims, we drove on towards Tennessee to visit our friends that used to live in Oregon!
On the way there, we saw this working coal plant.

And this beautiful old Steam boat on the Mississippi River.

And when we got to Tennessee we stopped in Hillsboro TN ( I think that's fun cause we live in Hillsboro too) to get dinner before heading to our friend's house for the evening!

We arrived at the W.'s house and had a great time talking and fellowshipping before heading off to bed for the evening. It's SO much fun to see them each year, and see how much God has been working in their lives. It seems like we just pick up right where we left off, which is great:)

The next morning Evan and Ian went for a nice long run……without me(; actually, I was catching up on sleep I hadn't had for quite a while, and we were being extra careful to not get sick before the Bible Bee. (thankfully we didn't)

And when they got back from the run, we had a delicious breakfast. But I'm not quite sure what happened with this picture:) 

Then we went outside to play volleyball in 75°weather in late October:) what are the odds of that? It was SO much fun!

And it was fun to take a group sunglasses picture:)

And here's Mom and I with sunglasses:0 

We had SO much fun playing volleyball, and enjoying spending time together. And it was SO warm we even got some sunburn:)

Here I am with Alyssa and Tirzah. They've grown up so much in the past few years. It's amazing to see them becoming such beautiful young women with hearts to please God above all.

And then after the volleyball game, we attempted to take a group photo…..

…..But, Lady (their dog:) kept distracting us. I think this is about as close as we came to a good photo:)

After that, we headed into town to go bowling and do some shopping together:)

We played a couple games together, and then we ladies went shopping at the nearby Goodwill, while the guys finished off their match.

Evan and Ian have many things in common, including liking Converse shoes:)

I happened to have mine on that day too:)

I really like the perspective in this photo:)

The guess which leg belongs to which shoe photo:)

Then after bowling and shopping, we went to Chick-fil-A


We always enjoy getting pictures with the cows:)

A three way back rub:)

This is what happens when you want to share a milkshake:)

Evan and Robert and I got to go inside the glass and take a picture with the life size cow:)

That was really fun:)

Then we went back to their house, and enjoyed singing LOTS of songs on the way there;) It was SO much fun, and we had a great time harmonizing together. Once we arrived at their house, we enjoyed playing games before going to bed.


The next day, we went to their church nearby, and heard a good sermon on the prevailing problems in our culture, and what we need to do as Christians to be prepared to withstand the challenges we might face.

We got there early to setup for the service.

And then we had extra time to talk before the people arrived:0

Evan and Ian after the service:)


We enjoyed talking and fellowshipping with many of the people after the service, and it was great to get re-acquainted with people we had met a few years ago. 


After church, we headed towards Franklin (otherwise known as my favorite town in TN:) to visit the town, and see if we could stop by a musician's house I knew lived there. 

Turns out, we were able to find his house, and by a random run of events we actually met his wife, and talked with her for quite a while. It was amazing to see that such a famous person was willing to take the time to talk to total strangers, and encourage us in Christ! It was a BIG example to me of how I need to be with the people around me! I'll let you guess who's wife this is! (And if you already know cause I told you, please don't guess:)

After that, we went to downtown Franklin and walked the streets. Ian and Evan saw this nice Mustang!

And then we got ice cream to celebrate Robert's birthday!

And apparently we went a little crazy with the pictures;0

This is what happens when you try to do a group photo with energetic people;0

Alyssa outside of the theater in Franklin.

Us walking the streets of Franklin!

And being silly…..again:0

Here's a picture of our families at the town square monument in downtown Franklin. 
Overall, we had a wonderful time with the W. family, and were SO grateful for their hospitality, and friendship for so many years. God is good to bless us with such special friends.

Stay tuned for part 3 of our month long trip focusing on the National Bible Bee. And don't forget to guess who the famous musician's wife is that we met:)

Here's a verse that has been really encouraging to me recently!
"Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee."