Returning to my homeland, no longer a “lone star”

On Sunday night, Yoli and I will hop on a train and take it down to San Antonio, Texas, the romantic city where my parents met and married.

It’ll be Yoli’s first time there, and her first time meeting most of my family members who live there. Should make for an interesting trip.

Speaking of trips, we’ve been taking a lot of them lately.

Our most recent excursion was to Illinois to celebrate her birthday. We took the River Road from Alton to the little village of Elsah, where we stopped and took a nice walk. This little town is quite beautiful and almost every house and building is historic.

From there, we headed to Grafton to eat at the Fin Inn, the restaurant famed for the in-wall aquariums next to nearly every table.

After that, we drove to Pere Marquette Park and spent some time trying to find the Rent-A-Cabin I had secured earlier that day. They weren’t easy to find because they weren’t shown on any maps we saw. But eventually we made it. Our plan was to watch the meteor shower late that night, so we staked out several viewing spots in the park, but couldn’t find any that were open enough. Instead we found a spot not far down the highway behind some cornfields that was wide open and had no artificial lighting near it.

We woke up at 3 a.m. and headed to the field with our blanket, telescope, flashlight, and star maps. It was really beautiful and we saw a lot of meteors. Eventually the clouds rolled in and slowly squeezed out the stars, but we stayed out for an hour and a half before calling it quits.

Other recent trips: In the past few months, we’ve driven to Nashville, Tenn.; and Angola, Ind.

In Tennessee, we met with one of Yoli’s friends from Bolivia. In Indiana we watched an incredible reunion concert performed by Christian rock band Petra.