day 1 // planes, palms, and presbyterians

It’s hard to believe that 16 ish hours or so ago, I was waking up in a potato* [❤🥔 *see previous post] with no power, blustery winds and no coffee.

My roommate and her dad dropped me off ever so graciously at the airport, where I met the rest of my mission team.

We made the trek through Security and through the food lines before our flight.

All in all, there were two stops before we got into Corpus Christi: one in Chicago and one in Houston. Filled with peanuts, ginger ale, copious amounts of nodding off, and great flight attendant humour [to be expected, because we flew Southwest…. but there were announcements like “we are celebrating an important birthday today– please join me in wishing happy birthday to a man who just turned 99 and this is his first flight– the pilot!” and “please be cautious when you open the overhead compartments because shift happens…!” or “We accept all forms of payment such as cash, credit cards, jewels… unfortunately, we will not accept your children.”]

There were some rough patches of turbulence, but not bad at all. 2 legs out of the three I had a window seat and MAN. Let me tell you that’s probably my favorite thing about flying. Not only do you get to see the landscape shrink and come into focus with takeoff/landing, but you get to rest against it and feel the warmth of the sun radiating through the thick glass. Wonderful. Oh, and some great photo opportunities of course.

When we finally landed in Corpus, we got our bags and then headed to the place to get the rental car– a bright white 12 seater van which has lovingly revived the name “VANterbury”. Ha.

Stepping out into the warm Texas breeze was heavenly. It was around 70 degrees, a bit cloudy, and humid enough to mess up our hair and make us feel damp.

A half an hour or so later we arrived at the church where we would be staying– a Presbyterian Church maybe 2 blocks MAX from the bay shore. 😍

I did not, however, expect it to look like some extravagant Spanish villa populated with these gorgeous palms, a fountain, and a stellar view of the water.

We took some time to explore and unpack before we headed back out, this time to venture for food. The Texas “must-eat” of the night was WHATTABURGER, recommended to us by one of our mission members and our priest.

We all ordered and opted to sit outside– it was so gorgeous out and after being held hostage by the blustery winds and chilly temperatures back home, this was one heck of a welcoming climate. I also really liked their slightly spicy sauce! [you can buy it at the local grocery stores, apparently…?].

We left then to go hit the store [a chain called “HEB” which we promptly found out stood for H. E. Butts…. xD] to get items for breakfast in the morning, but not before getting directions there. Our priest had to pull over in a parking lot to get oriented which gave us the opportunity to jump out of the van and run down to the bay shore [we had stopped really close by a beach area]. The sand felt HEAVENLY and when I let the waves lick my feet, I was surprised to feel water warmer than I’ve ever felt on a shore before engulf my ankles. [Apparently, it’s 80 degree water year round….?!] it was fantastic. We stopped at the foot showers afterwards to get the sand off and then got back in the van.

On the way home from HEB we took a pit stop in front of a church that we had noticed was glowing bright purple when we had driven by earlier. The church itself had stunning architecture, but the statue out front was nothing short of powerful and magnificent– it was of Jesus, arms outspread standing majestically, with the inscription beneath saying “It is I“. Pretty breathtaking.

After our sightseeing detour, we headed, yet again, back to the van. On our way back, our priest pointed out a huge fire-ant hill [by stepping on it briefly to show their activity] and colouring to warn us].

Over the bay, a barely full moon was rising over the water [it was full a night or so ago, it was on the waning way down] but it was stunning.

We wrapped up the evening with much needed showers and a brief bout of cards against humanity, until we got tired [the time change did weird things for all of us.]

Plan is to wake up the next morning and go to church at the local episcopal church and then meet with the other students who will be coming down to stay with us and do mission work starting Monday.

A pretty solid first day in the Lone Star State [: 🤠🌤

xx

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