In 2010 my parents owned a trailer in Port Isabel where they would stay in the winter months, fishing at the Gulf. They invited us to come visit and after some thought, we decided to make it into our first "band tour". We were well acquainted with the directors of GospelGrass Productions, and they were hosting a festival in South Texas, a few hours away. So, we loaded up our instruments and our new sound system, and headed to Port Isabel. On the way there we swung through San Antonio and enjoyed the Riverwalk.
In 2011 we decided to go again. This time we expanded the trip and went to South Texas and Arizona. While we were in Port Isabel we caught a show with the Links and the Readhead Express. It was there that I learned about the vast amount of entertainment in the Valley. We missed the Riverwalk because Michael threw out his back and the south got a deep freeze that week, but after the challenges of that trip, when everyone still found themselves loving the road more than ever, a spark that was lit long ago grew stronger. Since the beginning of our little band, I had this deep desire to someday hit the road with the kids, playing music, but we had to put in some years learning the trade first. By the end of that 2011 trip, the idea was so strong we started making plans. So, when Michael started to have health issues from his job, as well as the increased likelihood that this particular company location's days were numbered, increasing the chances of a layoff and pay cut, we put the house on the market.
We weren't even convinced the house would sell, but God gave us a push and sold it within a week of finding us the most unlikely event: a vehicle (bus) in our teeny-tiny price range. We could have talked a bank into a loan, but we realistically couldn't afford the payments, and when the job went away, we'd definitely not be able to afford payments, so we scraped up as much as we could, and Michael found Benny in a national search. A skoolie bus conversion has disadvantages - namely licensing (remember the DMV saga?) and finding a place to get insurance, but they tend to cost less, have higher mpg in diesel, they're built like tanks, and built to last.
So, with a bus and our house sold, we hit the road over a year ago. Due to vehicle troubles (or lack of one other than the bus), we didn't get back to the Riverwalk last year either, but we did today!
A couple of those kids have gotten taller, huh? One of them has some pretty big puppy feet right now too, so our next Riverwalk picture, should God grant our continued journey, may end up having one of them catch up or even pass the other two!
What a big girl! She loved every minute - especially the baby ducks.
I'm anxious to see where we are in another 3 years and if we'll get in another picture in the same spot.