Yeah…When I think back on the chaos that overtook our home for two weeks, I am amazed that we got through it. Back in August we had six of our students from Café Inglês over for a visit. Did I mention it was for two whole weeks? And that they all stayed in our home? And that Mg’s dad was still sick? And that our kids started their new school during this time (lots of transition)? And that we somehow took them to New Braunfels, San Antonio and College Station along with numerous fun places around Houston? Do you think we’re crazy yet?!
We really did have a blast though. We KNOW that this was the opportunity of a lifetime for these guys and gals and so we were happy to provide that for them! We received TONS of help along the way and so to all of you who donated funds or food, or opened your home up to us, or prayed for us…THANK YOU! I know we tried to get thank you letters out…but again, the time was so hectic…I’m sorry if we missed you. Please see this post as a giant thank you! Know that these guys loved every minute of their time in Texas and if you helped make that happen in any way…be glad today!
When they arrived we gave them a little goody bag with some Texas music, a Texas themed starbucks gift card, chick-fil-a coupons and some snacks to put in their backpack throughout the week. First stop…out for an all American breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Gabi said, “who ordered the pancakes with ice-cream?” They’d never seen butter in such a large quantity
Next stop…enjoying the all American past-time! My parents and “other parents” (Pete and Sandy) went with us. Portuguese have never been able to figure out why us Americans enjoy baseball so much. After this, these guys understood. It’s just good fun for the whole family. Diogo said it was probably his favorite thing he did in America Diego said Fernanda has always dreamed of eating an American hot-dog. As you can see…we’re in the business of making dreams come true
Next on our list…New Braunfels/Gruene, Texas. My brother’s church graciously provided us with lunch at the famous Gristmill. Then we got to enjoy walking around town, strolling through Gruene Market days, listening to live country music in Gruene Hall, stopping for ice-cream and then later that night went to my brothers laid back 6 p.m. church service before heading to our hotel in San Antonio. Fun filled day!
And really, what’s a trip to Texas without a visit to it’s most beloved monument…the Alamo Somehow, this is the only real group picture I have from the day, but they also loved visiting the river walk before we had to head back to Houston. On our way home though we stopped at none other than Buc-cee’s! It did not disappoint!
After our whirlwind roadtrip we decided to take the next day kind of easy and let them catch up on some jet lag. We introduced them to chick-fil-a, played at a nearby park and went for a hike through a marsh, probably did some shopping and then came home to do s’mores (a first for them)!
The next day I took them down to Galveston where I have to admit, they were not impressed with the beach. Although, why should they have been…they live in beautiful Portugal. But the shops along the sea-wall and the Strand were lots of fun. Probably the highlight of their day though was this guy. We saw him over and over again throughout the day and could not for the life of us figure out why he was dressed this way with his unlit cigar. The group lovingly refers to him as “Uncle John” and thinks he is the best American ever
Things kind of become a blur after this. I can tell I must have been tired because my pictures are fewer and farther between. I know we tried to spoil them with eating out though. Here are a few pictures…Jamba Juice, Five Guys and Rudy’s. We also hit up Papasito’s, Which Wich, Amy’s Ice Cream, Freebirds, Shipley’s donuts, Pei-Wei, Jason’s Deli and the list goes on. They now understand why Americans have a reputation for being so fat…because our food is so good it is hard to resist. And the portion sizes are quite ridiculous…but like I said, so tasty you just keep eating
Fernanda is a Nasa FANATIC. So, one day we dropped the group off at Space Center and took a much needed day of rest/preparation for school for ourselves. They were all so excited when we picked them up and went on and on about the fun they had. Later that night my mom surprised us with a yummy cookie cake for desert.
Let’s see…another day Mg took them to the Houston museum of Natural Science while I ran errands with the kids. Another day we took them to the Galleria and let them get their shop on. I really wish I had a picture of them in front of Macy’s. To say they LOVED that store is an understatement. We took them to Target and Walmart (which to my disappointment, they did not seem impressed by). We took them to my moms mega church and then to eat desert at my friend Crystal’s home and dinner at another families home. They enjoyed getting to experience being inside some Americans homes.
Of course we took them to Kemah one night. It was such a great night. The guys got sucked into some of the arcade games trying to prove their strength and we all rode a ride…I won’t say who, but some of them are weenies and are scared of practically everything. They rode the carousel with Cal
Mg took them to College Station. Can you say “whoop”? They went on an official tour and got to walk on Kyle field. They enjoyed lunch and a game of shuffle board and scratching their names in the tables at Fitzwilly’s. They relaxed at Sweet Eugene’s, got to meet our friend Glenn, and got to attend a packed out Breakaway (college wide Bible study). They came home completely in awe of the campus and the pretty girls on it. João is going to try to transfer
On their last day we went and had a true Texas picnic, stood in awe of the Battleship of Texas, toured the San Jacinto Monument and surrounding grounds, and then went for a free boat tour through the Houston ship channel. It was lots of fun but also hot and the last day of two weeks constantly on the go. The purring of the boats engine put poor João to sleep
Whew! Would we do this again…certainly. This was our first time though…so did we find some things we’d do differently next time…certainly. Just to know that we put these guys back on their plane to Portugal with some memories that will last a lifetime…certainly worth it!