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Texas Tornados and Skydiving

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

Time for some record setting Skydiving with a little sight-seeing on the side.

About 4 years ago my husband Darin, my son Franklin and I went and jumped out of a plane! We live near Go-Jump Oceanside, so why not, right? This was so fun, the only scary part was watching my 'baby-boy' jump out! I know, I know he's not a baby anymore, in fact, he is more of an adult than I am. We do like our fun and adventures that include travel, hiking, motorcycles, skydiving, paragliding and whatever may be around the corner.

Mind you I have only jumped twice, it was very exciting and hope to go again. Franklin, on the other hand, drank the Kool-aid and has jumped A LOT! Which leads us to the purpose of this next road-trip. He is part of a record setting jump by a great group of folks in Texas at Skydive Spaceland Houston. So we just had to drive there and see that unfold.

Early afternoon on May 19, 2019 we decided to leave and look for a spot a few hours away to spend the night. Darin had just returned home from a trip to New York so we had a little time to sightsee, but not much. We stopped for the night in Arizona not far off Interstate 8 but far enough to not hear it. I'm sure I've mentioned that I'm an early riser... it is absolutely imperative that I get my undisturbed coffee ritual. It has become quite the routine by now that I get up, make coffee, prepare a cup for myself and Darin and then I enjoy my quiet time for a bit before I'm required to be human. So that is how we started our second day of travel, well that is how we start every day actually, traveling or not. Anyway, onward and eastward.

On the the 20th we got into New Mexico pretty early, we had decided one of our sights to see would be Roswell, NM. Traveling I-8 is much like traveling I-10, not much to see. We had Roswell on our list... New Mexico Military Institute just so happens to be located in Roswell. They have quite a list of notable alumni. We do like our weird sightseeing excursions. After Roswell, it is a quick trip into Texas. We entered Texas on Hwy 70 headed toward I-20 through Lubbock. I used to live in Texas and am in touch with how the weather can change dramatically. As we entered Snyder the skies turned dark and the electronics started squawking. We tuned in to hear that tornadoes were touching down and to seek cover. WHAT?!?

Hard to tell but within 10-15 minutes after driving through Snyder Texas, I was threatening bodily harm if Darin didn't get off the road! The sky started lighting up with rapid fire lightening and then got an eerie gray hue and the wind was whipping. Thankfully, we came across a gas station and parked along side it, soon to be followed by about a dozen 18-wheelers. We felt pretty guarded with all that around us but one never knows what a tornado might do. The noise was insane! We could hear our solar panels were getting hammered, Then just like that, it was gone. We waited until a couple of big rigs left before Darin got out and inspected our roof for damage... luckily there was none. So off we went toward I-20. The more frightening experience was on the freeway getting passed up by the truckers flying by us - they had to be going 95mph! I thought Californians drove fast, they don't hold a candle to the big rigs going through Texas. We stopped in a small town, had dinner and found a quiet spot to sleep for the night.

Texas is not necessarily my favorite place to visit, so when I'm there I try to take in all I can. I have a dear friend that lives near Dallas, we were able to swing up and see her briefly before heading south through Waco and Austin. Next stop, the Alamo. "Come and Take It" as they say at The Alamo!

We found a spot right downtown in San Antonio to park for the evening. We walked around a bit and took a boat ride on the river. It was nice to see San Antonio again through the eyes of a first-time visitor, it really is a nice place. After dinner, back at the van, we blacked out the windows and played cards before bed, just another night of camping, urban style.

The next morning we decided to stay awhile and see the sights. We visited a cool museum and other cool places then drove over to a nice park and just took our time getting back on the road.

We took I-10 toward Houston, made another detour to check-in on a friend's mom. What a rock-star she is! We made it into Houston to see Franklin around 8pm and he treated us to some Cane Rosso in The Heights. If you like Pizza, you'll love this place, be sure to get the Honey Bastard or the Honey Bitch. You won't regret it. The next couple of days were specifically focused on watching people fall out of the sky.

We watched and waited for the moment when they set a State Record for a Heads-up formation. The first day was a bevy of activity at the drop-zone, we watched as they took off in planes and dropped back down through the clouds. No Record on the first day.

Success on day two.

This was so exciting! I am very proud! I wouldn't have missed this for anything! Thankfully there was some time for us to relax and visit a bit with Franklin, Alisha and Leyna-The-Weim before getting on the road and driving west.

Our drive back was pretty quick, we did squeeze in a visit and dinner with another cherished friend in Surprise AZ...

Please come back soon. In the next post we'll have some special visitors and I will of course head back to San Francisco. We are also heading to the Grand Canyon very soon. In the meantime, I'll leave you with a short video of my fabulous father-in-law and his 5:30pm routine at the age of 94 in May of 2019.

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