Early last Tuesday, Matthew, Mom and I got in the car and headed south to visit Phil. We got there late in the evening and got sorted out for the evening.
Wednesday, Phil went to work and we sat around relaxing at the apartment. Mid afternoon Phil got home and we decided to go to the riverwalk. I managed to take off without my camera. Thankfully Mom packed hers.
The riverwalk is a beautiful blend of water, bridges, buildings, shops, and restraurants. *photo by Mom
But man was it hot. Matthew and Mom were dying and stopped for drinks. *photo by Mom
Matthew and I got to see the "knees" of swamp trees that we read about in one of his books. *photos by Mom
After this Mom's camera died, so we missed alot of photo opportunities. We found an icecream store, Justin's, that had gelato. It was good, but not nearly as special as I thought it would be. That stuffed me, so when we stopped at Mad Dogs, a British pub, for dinner, I really wasn't hungry. After that we were so tired and hot, we walked back to our parking garage and went home.
Thursday, in the late morning, we met Phil at his job at Brooke Army Medical Center. We ate in the cafeteria, which was yummy. Then we walked around with him, while he checked on things for work. We almost had to go home, because Matthew was walking on the little wall next to Phil in this photo and fell off. He skinned up his knee so bad, Matthew was convinced he couldn't walk. But he pulled it together. And thank goodness, because it's amazing the facilities they have for the soldiers and their families. It made me proud to be part of it. *photo by Mom
We went to Phil's favorite building, which is the Warrior and Family Support Center. It is amazingly beautiful and full of every convenience you could possibly want for the soldiers and families. And the most amazing part is that it was built totally from donations and is completely run by donation. If you are looking for a cause to support, this is the place folks. It is awesome. And very needed.
Above the fireplace, which is what you see when you walk in, is this beautiful butterfly art. It was designed by a recovering solider based on a story of something that happened to family members. The story goes that one particular unit had been hit hard and as a result, had many seriously wounded soldiers. There was a period of time, where some where dying. When the family members of the deceased would walk out of hospital, a butterfly would land on their shoulder. This happened every time someone died. Doesn't that make you smile and cry all at once? *photo by Mom
After our little tour, we went home and let Phil finish up stuff he needed to do.
After Phil got home from work, we traveled north out of town and arrived at Natural Bridge Caverns. We decided to take the Discovery Tour. This is a photo of the sink hole. Once upon a time, it was probably the upper room of the caverns.
Here is the natural bridge, the only thing really left on the surface.
Here is the beginning of the tour, where the tour guide announced that we should be wearing walking shoes and I'm in flip flops and a sundress. Lovely.
Descending down. We aren't allowed to touch the walls. It is so steep that we need to hang on and go slow. The path is wet and slippery as well, but Matthew only fell once and somehow I managed to stay up right in flipflops.
The formations were amazing. It was worth the steepness and fear from the wrong footwear. After we crawled up and out of the caverns, we headed back home and went to our favorite Mexican restraurant. Sadly they have a new cook, who doesn't cook to our taste, but it was ok. After we got home, we took Matthew to the pool and played in the water. Phil taught him more in one evening, then a whole week of swim lessons, last year. It was a great day!