Friday, July 29, 2011

Original Baylor Beauty

Once we made it to Academy Hill, I finally got to see the columns up close and personal. It may sound silly but they really are beautiful and mean a great deal to the Baylor family.


While I have absolutely no idea exactly how many photos of them I shot, it's fair to say that this is just a representative sampling and that it is possible there are at least 15 waiting in my Photobucket account that have yet to be edited. :-)


And just for effect...


After the new students received the Baylor Line jerseys, they made it down the winding path...


...to the base of the columns...


...where they worshiped with their classmates in the shadows of one of the last remnants as the sun went down...


After a time of individual reflection, they came one by one through the columns to officially take their place in the Baylor Line.


After the last student had gone through, there was a rousing time of Baylor cheers led by the camp counselors ;-)


Everyone was pumped, y'all.


Of course, this post wouldn't be complete without the photo snapped under the columns with my co-workers...



And, even though I generally like to stay behind the camera, one sweet friend made sure I had a personal keepsake as well.


It was an absolutely amazing trip that I'm so thankful we were able to make. Getting home after midnight made the next morning a bit challenging but absolutely worth it.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Birthplace of Baylor University

After we got back from Sea World (Saturday evening), we rested up for a whirlwind week. Last week was C-R-A-Z-Y but we survived and even managed to get everything done. To God be the glory because that's the ONLY way it worked out!

Wednesday afternoon my co-workers and I headed out to Independence, Texas, which is the birthplace of Baylor University. About six years ago the University began offering Baylor Line Camp for incoming freshmen. It's a time for them to make new friends and learn all about the spirit, tradition and history of Baylor.

One part of the trip is a historical look and it actually takes place in Independence. We were blessed to be able to join one of the camps for this portion of the programming.

We drove around for a bit when we first arrived and saw Mrs. Sam Houston's home...


...figured out very quickly that this is a town FULL of history...


...and made our way to the original Independence Baptist Church where we would have dinner...


...but we got there a bit early so we had a chance to check out the interior, which - thankfully - does boast air conditioning...


...and also has Sam Houston's pew marked for easy reference. You could see where he had made carvings in the pew ahead. It was super cool.


There is also a small museum where the fellowship hall used to be...


...and there's Mrs. Houston's bell tower :-)


A number of benches were outside in memory or honor of special folks...and I happened to find one honoring my former boss and his wife ;-)


After dinner, which was sooooo good, we headed inside to learn some history. And, of course, this portion ended with "Sic 'em, Bears!"


Next up was Windmill Hill, which is where the men's campus was and is now Baylor State Park. You can still see the footprints of the buildings and some beautiful walking trails and landscaping have been added as well. Very picturesque...




This is also where Judge R.E.B. Baylor was originally buried. For some reason his bones were moved to Belton and can be found at UMHB but he was originally laid to rest at Windmill Hill. There's a wrought iron fence around the plot now marking his spot...


After some time being "about the town" of Independence, we headed to Academy Hill (originally the women's campus) for a very special time of worship and the official induction of our new students into the Baylor Line.

But that deserves a post of its own :-)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Farewell, Sea World!

And so the time has come to wrap up our Sea World sweat fest adventure. 

We headed in an hour or so after the park opened because we all clearly needed to sleep in a bit. The daytime Shamu show was first up on our agenda and it absolutely did not disappoint. Though we had seen what appeared to be a Baby Shamu the evening before, we officially met the little guy during "One Ocean."


There was more posing from the stars of the show...


...and much, Much, MUCH more splashing! There was water being shot from fountains and water hoses and the whales were really on fire, friends, when it came to the tail splashing.


They also did a little synchronized swimming...


...and, seriously, a LOT of getting folks wet...


Much to my child's dismay, we did not get wet at either Shamu show even though we were clearly sitting in the splash zone. Guess we have something to aspire to next time around...

Next up were the penguins...


...who have clearly learned to pose for the camera...


...as have their friends the puffins...


And here's where we get to the most interesting part of the little trip to SA. Three years ago I tried to get my then 8-year-old daughter to ride the Steel Eel rollercoaster with me. She hemmed and hawed and finally I promised to give her a dollar if she didn't like it because I just knew she would absolutely love it.

Well, I was wrong. REALLY wrong. She absolutely HATED it. So I gave her two dollars instead. And she has spent the last three years reminding me of this Mother of the Year moment. But the thing is that she's older now and had ridden (and enjoyed) the Superman at Fiesta Texas. She was still leery of the Steel Eel but decided to give it a go.


As soon as we got off she screamed, "I want to do it again!"

It was like sweet redemption. So we did it again. Then she got incredibly brave and decided to try the Great White, which does all kinds of loops and the coaster actually hangs from the track. 

And she loved it. So we did it a second time. I guess we can say Sea World is where my girl found her love for big rollercoasters. I, for one, am delighted since Tonto can't ride them anymore due to multiple concussions from bullriding.

And there you have it - our little trip to San Antonio. From beginning to end. :-)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

An Evening at Sea World

You know what's coming, right? I did warn you yesterday...where there's a morning at Sea World, there must be the follow-up evening :-)

When we arrived back at the park, we had some time to kill before the first show so we headed to the aquarium.



The INDOOR aquarium. Needless to say, there were a number of folks seeking refuge in the air conditioning by this time.


There were also a number of folks who had clearly had it up to HERE with their family by the evening. My guess is these folks hadn't left all day...bless their hearts, y'all...

Next we headed back to the sea lions area because they have a new show called "Sea Lions Tonite". It's very cute and is basically a day at Sea World through the eyes of Clyde and Seamore. Those are the two main sea lions...


They went from security to seeing the Elmo show...


...to donning 3D glasses, spoofing the Azul show...


...bring an otter out on a skate board for some reason unknown but, really, you can't beat the cute factor here...


And, of course, there was a manatee acting as Shamu. Hilarious, y'all. And my girl was super excited to see the manatee. He used to be in "Cannery Row Caper" and he did sit ups but now he's apparently taken his talents to a new stage...


...and developed some new tricks...


Next up was "Shamu Rocks" but we had a long walk across the park to make. Clearly there were flamingos along the way...


...and then it was time for the grand finale of the day!


There was a lot of splashing...


...some sweet posing and smiling...


...and even a kiss on the cheek...


...and, of course, more posing...


...and flipping...


...and flopping...


Once we found Tonto again after the show (we chose to sit in the Splash Zone; however, we didn't get a bit wet...there was one disappointed little girl...), we headed to Sonic for a sweet treat to cap off the night.

After all, we had purchased two day passes so there was clearly more fun to be had by all...

Happy Tuesday!