Tuesday, July 15, 2008

An Aussie Friend in Texas

Soon after my two-month mark in Texas, my dearest friend in Germany, Michelle, came to visit for two and a half weeks. Although we're having lots of play time, technically her trip to Texas is so that she can get some experience required for her law degree by working with my dad for two weeks. We met soon after I arrived in Germany at our church, and she and her husband are some of our dearest friends. Plus, I always like to have an Aussie friend wherever I go and she and Dave fit the stereotype (once again like all my Aussie friends) of being super fun. laid-back and absolutely hilarious and up for anything. Can't go wrong with friends like that!

After arriving on July 8th, she worked for a whole two days before we departed on a mini-tour of the Texas hill country. We went to Austin for a Thursday night downtown with Laurel and toured the city, including the capital and lunch at Hula Hut on Lake Austin Friday.

That evening, we departed for the ranch for the weekend. It was a jam-packed weekend with all the usual ranch activities (boot-scootin', horse riding, four-wheeling, etc.) plus a family reunion on Saturday at a ranch with tons of exotic game. Although Michelle is originally from South Africa and recently vacationed there, she did get to see at least a few animals she didn't see, such as zebra, buffalo and even kangaroo (in Texas?). It seems we have a bit of the land down under in Texas as well!

Michelle was able to buy boots and a cowboy hat in Bandera and we had a great time visiting the honky tonks and doin' some two steppin' Saturday night. It looks like she could be a real cowgirl to me!

After a good 'ole country weekend at the ranch, we headed to San Antonio for the day on Monday and visited the River Walk, the Alamo, and Mercado. Michelle was quite impressed with the city, despite the intense heat walking around everywhere.

No trip to Texas would be complete without a visit to the fabulous outlet malls outside of San Marcos. Well, at least a tride and true shopper like Michelle would think so! She was amazed at all the good prices and compared to the Euro right now, it really is quite a steal - lucky for her!

We have two more weeks on this adventure in Texas and I'm loving every minute of showing her around my beautiful state, catching up about our incredible times over the past year in Germany, and making plans for many more after I return there this fall. It is such an amazing thing to be able to have a friend who is a part of my new life abroad visit my home and friends of my former life. Although my setting changes often these days, one thing is for sure, no matter where in the world I am, I have the most amazing friends.