Stop #31 – White Sands, NM

We decided to be in San Diego for Christmas, since Carrington could easily fly into the airport there from Richmond.  We thought it would be fun to then drive to Los Angeles, especially since her roommate lives there and would be home during their Christmas break!  The plan looked doable, but we had a lot of ground to cover before then!

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Stop #29 – Walmart, Ft. Stockton, TX

Some dude we had met told us that driving the length of Texas would feel reallllly loooong.  I’m sure that’s true if you’re trying to drive it straight, or if you’re just trying to make it to the other side, but we’re all “Life’s About the Journey” over here, so it wasn’t bad!

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Thanksgiving 2017

What is Thanksgiving without friends or family?  SADNESS.  Sorry to be so dramatic.  I knew that no matter WHAT we did for Thanksgiving- in the kids’ eyes, it would never, ever live up to our normal celebration (we usually host).  At least I planned ahead.  I figured that instead of trying to compete with their expectations, it would be better do something entirely different, something we wouldn’t normally do because we’re busy hosting.

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Aaron Franklin, of PBS fame, is THE bbq king, and his famous bbq joint is in Austin.  This was Billy’s #1 on places to visit for the entire trip.  Billy started smoking meat after watching his show and receiving Aaron’s book from yours truly last Christmas.  He may or may not keep it on his bedside table next to his bible.  We had been really bummed because their pit room suffered a fire in August, and was closed until further notice.  BUT… luck was on our side, and they reopened the Tuesday before Thanksgiving!!

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San Antonio, TX

My cousin John, his wife Lori, and their two kids live in San Antonio, so we took a day trip to hang out and scope out the city!  Lori was the sweetest hostess, after treating us to lunch, she took us downtown.

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Stop #28 – Austin, TX

Austin is one of the cities we were most looking forward to visiting on our trip.  We had heard really good things, and of course it’s home to Franklin BBQ, and that had Billy really excited.  We had a pretty long drive from Crystal Beach, and we added to the length by throwing in a stop at the Houston IKEA.

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Stop #26 – NOLA

We made it to New Orleans!  Bring on the gumbo!  And jambalaya!  And muffaletta!  And… mosquitoes. Read More


You guys.  The adjectives do not even exist to give this store its due praise.  We went at least four times during the week.

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