Tag Archives: trip

A Trip to Waco

April 2012 – We had been living in Texas for ten months before we made an overnight trip (as a family) to any other location in Texas.  In November 2011, we made a trip to Mississippi.  In March of this year, we made a trip to Mobile, Alabama and to Gainesville and Ocala, Florida to visit family.  But we had not done much traveling around Texas.  We had driven up to Houston several times, Galveston and even New Ulm, but we never traveled so far that we had to spend the night there.

One afternoon, Stephen came home talking about the BCS varsity boys’ baseball team being invited to the state championship games in Waco and Belton, Texas.  Stephen wanted to travel with the team to attend the games and then asked if he might be able to take Jared with him.  I thought about it a while and then asked him why not all of us go up there together.

So, we made our first family trip up to Waco, arriving there just in time to watch the team with their semi-final game. The final game was to be hosted in Belton the following afternoon.  We found ourselves a hotel on the outskirts of Waco, at dinner at a nearby IHOP and then took advantage of swimming in the indoor heated pool (since it was still too cold to swim outdoors).

The following morning, we took our time leaving the hotel and then had a picnic lunch in the park area of a Ranger Museum.  The picnic table was underneath a perfect climbing tree and we all took turns getting up into the tree.

We missed most of the final baseball game because Stephen didn’t realize that Belton was a city about 45 minutes south of Waco.  When we got there, we were there to watch the final innings in which the BCS team won the state championship for the first time in many years.  Everyone was excited about the victory.

We made our way back home that evening after stopping to pick up some dinner.  It was a short trip, but it gave us a chance to see something new in Texas.

Summer Plans 2011

Once school ended on June 17, we were in earnest to get all our packing done so that we’d be ready to leave Ecuador on the evening of June 24.  Here is our traveling itinerary in case you want to know where we will be traveling before we end up inLake Jackson,Texas. 

Cell phone in theU.S.= 352-215-4524

Meier Traveling Itinerary

(Friday & Saturday) June 24 –25 = Leave Ecuador / Arrive in Florida

Flight Information:
LanEcuador516 @ 6:30pm leavingQuito
LanEcuador516 @ 11:35pm arrive inMiami

Travel Information:
Rent van in Miamiand drive to Gainesville, Florida(on the road 8 hours)Approximate arrival time between 10am -12pm on Saturday, June 25
Drop off rental van and pick up van in Gainesville 

Saturday, June 25 – Wednesday, June 29 = In Gainesville, Florida
*Staying with family, visiting, etc. 

Thursday, June 30 = Travel to Virginia Beach, Virginia
*On the road (14 hours) 

Friday, July 1 = In Virginia Beach / Travel to Northern Virginia
*On the road (5 ½ hours) 

Saturday, July 2 – Monday, July 4 = In Winchester / Stephens City, VA
*Visiting friends, church, etc.
Pick up storage items from Griffin family 

Tuesday, July 5 = Drive to Mobile, AL
*On the road (18 hours) 

Wednesday, July 6 = In Mobile, AL
*Visiting with Blanton family 

Thursday, July 7 = Drive to Lake Jackson, TX
*On the road (10 hours) 

Friday, July 8 – Sunday, July 10 = In Lake Jackson
*Settling in, buying furniture, pick up shipped items from Quito, prepare for Stephen’s first day at work

Monday, July 11 = Stephen begins working at BCS in Lake Jackson, Texas

A Voyage without Immediate Results

Stephen helps decorate our family Christmas tree on the weekend before his trip to the U.S.

Two days after Thanksgiving break, Stephen was taking an international trip to the U.S. He had two major destinations.  First, he was traveling to Naples, Florida, where he was being considered as a possible candidate for high school administrator at a church-based school there.  He was to spend two days there and then he would drive up to Atlanta, Georgia, to attend a job recruitment conference hosted by the AASSA international association of schools located in central and South America.  Basically, several schools from countries in central and South America, would be sending representatives to this fair to recruit people for different administrative positions at their schools. 

Stephen had already connected with several of the schools through the recruitment website, and was highly confident that he would receive several job offers while attending the conference.  However, the fair did not turn out quite as he had hoped.  Although he was able to make some valuable connections with other administrators there, he was not officially offered a job position by any of them.  There are still a few schools who are still “considering” Stephen among their top candidates.  But Stephen is learning that even if one is considered “second” among the candidates, it makes no difference if the person considered “first” accepts the job.

Such was the case with the Christian school in Naples.  Stephen was told that he was a definite “second” choice, but they were waiting to hear back from their number one choice.  Two weeks later, they received their confirmation from that candidate and told Stephen that the position had been filled. 

So, here we are, once again, wondering where God will send us next year.  The only thing we know for sure is that we will be leaving the Alliance Academy International.  Stephen’s replacement has already been chosen and announced to the current faculty and staff.  There is no turning back.

Our biggest challenge right now is finding positions that will offer Stephen enough of a salary that we can pay off our loans and mortgage, and so that Cristina does not have to work for at least a couple years while their children are under school age. 

One school in Honduras was at the point of offering a position to Stephen, but he found out that we would need to rely on donations and financial support gifts.  Raising support has been increasingly difficult in this past year as many of our friends and supporters struggle to meet their own financial burdens.

There is another recruitment fair in Chicago, Illinois during the second week of February.  Stephen is still considering whether he should attend, because we really don’t have the funds to send him on another week long trip to the U.S.  However, he may have to attend if nothing opens up between now and then.

Summary of our Summer Travels

Our summer officially began with our summer trip to the U.S.  We left Quito on the morning of Saturday, July 3.  We arrived at the airport shortly before 6am with four suitcases, two car seats, two backpacks, a diaper bag and a stroller.  Luke was strapped into the stroller and Jared did the big boy thing and walked beside us.  After lugging our entire luggage to the international airport, we found out that we really had to check in at the national gate, because our first stop was in Guayaquil (a coastal city in Ecuador). 

After we finally got checked in at the correct location, we didn’t have any major incidences until we found ourselves waiting in the airport in Guayaquil for our next flight to Miami, Florida.  Our flight was delayed for over an hour.  This made us a little nervous, because we had a connecting flight in Miami to Orlando. 

We arrived in Miami with about 50 minutes to find all of our luggage, recheck all our luggage to the next flight and then go from the international wing of the airport to the national wing to make our flight to Orlando.  The ladies in Guayaquil had suggested that if we didn’t make our schedule flight that we could always take the 10pm flight to Orlando which would arrive at 11pm.  We weren’t too thrilled about that idea, because we still had a two hour drive from Orlando to Gainesville where we would be staying with family.

Somehow we managed to make our scheduled flight and arrived in Orlando as planned at 8pm.  However, not all our luggage made it onto our flight with us.  Fortunately, both car seats did arrive.  But one suitcase had been bumped to the later flight.  It was the suitcase that had all of Cristina’s personal items and all the mail we were planning to drop off in the post office for people at school. 

The representative at American Airlines was very helpful and told us that they would personally deliver the missing piece of luggage to the place we were staying in Gainesville.  As promised, someone came by at 5pm the following day with the suitcase. 

Thus began our adventures in the U.S.  We spent a couple days in Florida visiting with Cristina’s brother and sister in law, her sister and brother in law.  They had each given birth to their first sons.  It was fun to spend some time with the new nephews.  Cristina’s bachelor brother, Tim, also spent some time with them.

After spending 4th of July in Florida, Stephen and Cristina packed up their rental car and two young sons and drove up to northern Virginia.  The on-line directions suggested it would be a 13 hour trip.  With two babies in two, it ended up being a 16 and ½ hour trip.  But we all made it to the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia in one piece.  We took a week to spend time with friends, supporters and members of our ‘home’ church who lived in the area. 

We were also able to meet our new realtor while in Virginia.  At the time that our tenant decided to leave our home, our realtor also told us that we would need to find someone else to take care of our property for us.  It seemed that God worked out the timing perfectly, because we were able to meet our new realtor in person a week after we signed a contract to have them care for our property.

During our time, we were able to attend church for their Wednesday night service and all of their Sunday services.  Our sons also got to participate in the first night of the church’s VBS program.  Jared rode a horse for the first time in his life.  Luke really liked to songs that they learned that night.

Link on Facebook (you’ll need to be a member of facebook and be on our friend status)http://www.facebook.com/Stephen.CristinaMeier?v=app_2392950137#!/video/video.php?v=423053256650

Monday morning, we left Stephens City, Virginia and drove to Marietta, Georgia to visit some friends.  It was a good half way point between northern Virginia and Mobile, Alabama.  The following morning, we traveled down there to spend time with Stephen’s sister, Susan and her family.  It was a short visit of about 24 hours.  But Jared and Luke enjoyed their time with their cousins, Zoe, Connor and Gavin.

Link to a Kodak Album: http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/sharing/shareRedirectSwitchBoard.jsp?token=881696395506%3A251583500&sourceId=533754321803&cm_mmc=eMail-_-Share-_-Photos-_-Sharer

Wednesday afternoon, we drove back to Gainesville, Florida where Cristina’s relatives were waiting.  Cristina’s parents, Steve and Helen Cobb, had also flown up from the country of Guatemala to spend a few days with them.  We hung out, celebrated Jared’s third birthday a little early and took a trip to Neptune Beach.  Jared and Luke had a lot of fun playing in the sand.

For our final week in the U.S., we stayed in the Gainesville area, finishing up our shopping and enjoying some of the local sites.  We took the boys to a local splash park one morning.  The boys really enjoyed playing in the water.  We also took the boys to a museum located in the University of Florida.  Jared especially enjoyed the live butterfly exhibit.

We flew back to Quito on Saturday, July 24.  It was the most stress-free trip I had experienced yet.  The only delay was in leaving Miami.  Our flight was delayed for about 45 minutes due to cleaning of the aircraft.   But we still arrived in Quito before the boys’ bedtime.

Meier Family Travel Plans – July 2010

Yes, we finally purchased tickets to leave Ecuador for three weeks of July. We will be flying out of Quito on July 3 (Sat) and we return on July 24 (Sat); which is exactly three weeks.

Here is our tentative schedule:

July 3 – Leave Quito at 8:20am on LAN 1505. After a brief stop and change of planes in Guayaquil (AA 958) and again in Miami, we arrive in Orlando on American Airlines 588 at 8pm.

*We plan to drive to Gainesville, Florida that evening.

July 4-5 – Spend time with family in Gainesville.

July 6 – Drive to Northern Virginia (Winchester, Stephens City area).

July 6- 11 – Visit friends and our home church (Shenandoah Valley Baptist Church).

July 12 – Return to Florida (or make some stops along the way with friends and family.

July 13 – 23 – Spend time with family in Florida.

July 24 – Return to Orlando airport and fly to Quito on a 2:30 flight on AA (1485). We have a brief layover and change of planes in Miami and then arrive in Quito at 7:40 on AA931. This is still a very tentative schedule. Let us know if it might be possible to visit with you in our travels, especially if you live somewhere along the east coast between Florida and Virginia.

Planning Our Summer Trip

As some of you already know, we have decided to come back to the U.S. this summer for about three weeks to visit our family and friends. 

We purchased our plane tickets at Easter and we are currently trying to nail down the details of our travel plans.  Below is our basic plan for travel.  We would love to visit as many friends and family as possible.  Please let us know if you are available and within traveling distance to the locations where we will be. 

**To Contact Us**
E-mail – crcmeier@yahoo.com
Vonage phone – 352-505-9276 

TRAVEL PLANS
==============

Tuesday, June 23 – Flying from Quito to Miami (stay in Miami overnight)

Wednesday, June 24 – Flying to Portland, Oregon

June 24-June 30 – Visiting Stephen’s family in Portland

Wednesday, July 1 – Flying to Orlando, Florida

July 1-5 – Staying with Cristina’s family in the central Florida area

Monday, July 6 – Driving to Mobile, AL
*driving through the Florida Panhandle toward Alabama

July 6-7 – Visiting with Stephen’s younger sister and her family

Wednesday, July 8 – Driving to GA (spend the night with friends)

Thursday, July 9 – Driving to Virginia Beach, VA to see some friends and visit Regent University
*driving through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia

Friday, July 10 – Driving to northern Virginia

July 10-12 – Visiting friends and our church (Shenandoah Valley Baptist Church)
*traveling around in Winchester, Stephens City, the eastern panhandle of West Virginia and possibly the D.C. area

July 13 – Drive back to Florida and spending the night in Jacksonville with Cristina’s cousin and her family
 driving through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia

July 14 – Drive back down to Gainesville, FL

July 14-15 – Visiting with Cristina’s family in the central Florida area

July 16 – Traveling back to Miami to fly back to Quito in the late afternoon

A Beach Trip for All

The Meier boys on the beach

The Meier boys on the beach

It was mid-April, when Stephen came home with some interesting news.  The seniors had voted on which of the three school administrators to invite to their senior trip.  They had chosen Stephen to join them.  They would be flying out to the coastal city of Guayaquil and then taking a bus to a tourist beach known as “Salinas” to spend a week there.

After trying not to feel jealous, I told Stephen that he should find out if I could come with our sons.  At first, Stephen thought the idea would not be well received by the senior class.  However, I continued to implore him to simply ask the class officers and see what might be possible.  About a week later, he came back to tell me that the class decided that I (and the boys) could join them and the school would pay for our tickets.

I was so excited to pack up and leave school for the final week of May.  We took off on Monday, May 25 and spent five days and four nights at the beach.  I spent the week chasing Jared around, trying to keep Luke well-fed and trying to find time to relax in the midst of it all. 

Jared and Luke experienced the beach for the first time in their lives.  Jared loved the sand, but hated the ocean waves.  We couldn’t get him to get anywhere near the water.  But he could sit in the sand and play contentedly for hours, if we let him.  In spite of his fear of the ocean water, he had no problem with the pool water.  Every time we were near the pool, he wanted to play in it. Luke just took it all in as an average 4 and a ½ month old.  As long as his belly was full, he was happy to lay on his back, suck on his fist and watch the world go by.

We returned to Quito on Friday afternoon, May 29, and ready to have another weekend before heading back to school for the final two weeks before summer vacation begins. 

School Schedule –
June 1-5 – Final week of normal classes / Academic Week Begins
June 8-12 – Final Exam Week
June 12 – Class of 2009 graduation @ 7pm
June 15 – Final Teacher Work Day