The ranch

Last year my aunt Joyce invited us to visit the ranch she shares with her husband Ted and my cousin Dion. I have never really visited a ranch in Texas, so I thought this would be a cool opportunity, especially for the girls.

We made the pretty drive into the hill country to a little town called Kendalia. Uncle Ted and aunt Joyce met us there on their motorcycle and guided us the rest of the way to the ranch.

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2nd Great Road Trip: Houston

Driving to San Antonio from St. Louis is a 16-17 hour affair. Our strategy for this trip was much the same as when we traveled out to Washington. We would visit various friends/places along the way to break up the trip and make it easier. As mentioned in our previous blog post, the first day of traveling took us to Texarkana. On the second day, we drove south through Tyler to visit Bullard, my old hometown.

After Bullard, we kept going south to Houston, where we stayed with one of Yoli’s American friends from Bolivia (yes, you read that sentence right), Sonja. Sonja and her husband Jody have three kids, close in age with our kids.

(Keep reading for photos and video)

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Back in Bullard

The Renaud traveling imperial caravan is on its way through Texas. Our final destination is San Antonio by way of Houston.

We started Monday off in Texarkana, Texas, where we had stayed the night before in a hotel. Before we took off on the rest of our trip, we wanted to get a quick photo in front of the town’s famous post office which straddles the Texas-Arkansas border.

Then it was time to head down to my old hometown Bullard, which is a small town south of Tylerin northeast Texas. I lived there in the mid 1980s when I was in kindergarten, first grade, and part of second grade. I have a lot of memories from that time and since it was on our way to Houston, i thought it would be fun to stop by and show the girls our old house.

Here’s the house. The subsequent owners made some changes, the most notable of which is a second story above the garage. Otherwise the house looks much like I remember it, though the yard seems a little more wild.

Once upon a time, my dad built us a treehouse in the backyard. It no longer exists, but I looked for it just in case.

This sandy spot is the remains of a place in the yard I always called “the beach.”

The best part of our stop was dropping in on one of our neighbors from the old days (and surprising him). We had a great time swapping stories and visiting.

Yet another apology

Here at the Renaud Empire, there has been no shortage of stories to tell the world at large. There has been, however, a shortage of time in which to write said stories. So, yet again, I am apologizing for a lack of updates here.

A few days ago we returned from a trip to San Antonio to visit family and relax. It was really wonderful. The weather was hot and dry, although we were thankful to see the parched land receive some rain while we were there. My Nan’s pool was loads of fun, and all three of the girls greatly enjoyed it.

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Houston, we have a Jadzia

Well, we have been enjoying the Republic of Texas for the past 2 days.

On Sunday we flew into Houston to visit with Yoli’s friend Sonja and her husband Jody and their two children. The flight itself went very well with no problems from Jadzia or Ludi. In fact, this may have been one of the best flights we’ve had in our post-childbirth era. ­čÖé

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Deep in the heart of Texas

This year we went down to San Antonio to introduce Jadzia to all her family down there. She met her grandmothers, many great aunts and uncles, and cousins. She also got to participate in a surprise 70th birthday party for her Grandnanny. Jadzia also went swimming in her Grandnanny’s pool almost every day. It was a wonderful trip and we enjoyed every minute of it. We just wish it would rain down there and the drought would end.

Jadzia above the water, as seen from under the water.

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