After a week of traveling, we arrived in Pensacola Sunday morning about 4:00.
We did our final packing and and were ready to hit the road about 11:00 am. We planned to have breakfast with some friends. Because their phone was not working, we never did get caught up with them. So we had breakfast by ourselves then swung by their house to say our final good-byes.
As a travel day, we did well on Tuesday. We did not make it as far down the road as we had anticipated, but we also left a few hours later than we wanted. After 10 trips through the city, we finally found the hotel district of Villahermosa. We have stayed in various expensive hotels on the periphery of the city, but this time located the cheap hotels near down town. Getting our truck and trailer into the parking lot was a bit of a challenge, but we were thankful for a gated parking area.
Because of our late departure on Tuesday, we were about 2 hours behind schedule on Wednesday. We made that up by getting on the road early. We arrived in Poza Rica, or planned destination for the day, and found a hotel with a nice parking lot. We drove around looking at hotel parking lots and then decided if we wanted to check on the price of the hotel. The one we stayed at had a very large lot where we were able to park our truck way back in a corner and not have to worry about losing anything.
This was a sad day for us as the hamster that was traveling with us was not able to make the trip. We had read that they can easily be stressed. Apparently the stress of traveling got the better of him. He was the younger, stronger, healthier of our two hamsters. We left the old one with friends and took the young one on the road. He did not get a proper burial, but we did the best we could at the gas station.
We made the final leg of the Mexico portion of the trip just fine. We had no problems on the Mexican side of the border; we just had to fill out some paperwork to cancel our immigration and vehicle paperwork. The US side of the border was a different story. We waited in a long line to get to the Customs officer. She had us pull over and unpack the truck and uncover the trailer. Everything passed inspection, even the rabbit.
There were friends waiting at a restaurant for us that evening. We were glad to spend time with them. They were 2 missionary families working with the Deaf in Mexico. One family lives at the border and the other happened to be passing through at the same time as we were, so we enjoyed the evening together.
We celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary by crossing into the US.
We drove from the border to Killeen, Texas to visit with an old friend. She is someone with whom we had worked for several years, but it has been 6 or 7 years since we saw her. She had a pleasant surprise for us when we arrived. A mutual friend was passing through at the same time and she invited him to spend the night with all of us. We all previously worked together and enjoyed sharing stories of days gone by as well as catching up on our current ministries. All of us are still doing the same type of ministry we were when we worked together, just in different locations now.
We lingered at our friend’s house too long, but enjoyed every minute of it. We anticipated being in Pensacola between 10 pm and midnight. By the time we got through Houston, we knew that it would be closer to 1:00 am on Sunday, but not much of a problem.
Starting in Houston, we noticed the long line of cars headed west. This very packed traffic continued steadily from Houston to New Orleans. However, we, headed east, did not have any traffic to deal with. At least till we hit just north of New Orleans. At that point there was no one headed west any more, they were all headed east. Traffic then crawled from New Orleans to Mobile, Alabama. The normal 3 hour drive from New Orleans to Pensacola took us 6 hours. We were part of the 1,000,000 people who evacuated the state of Lousiana on Saturday in anticipation of Hurricane Gustav.
By getting to Mom and Dad’s house at 4:00 in the morning, we did not quite make it out of bed in time for church that morning. We also took a long nap in the afternoon and were even a bit late to church that night.
We have landed. Now it is time to find a house to rent and get settled in over the next two weeks while getting prepared for our travel year starting the middle of September.