When Halls Converge

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Spent the weekend hanging out with my brother and his family from Arkansas.

Roughneck

Saturday, we planned on heading to the Caldwell Zoo. But the weather ended up being cold and drizzly, so we stayed inside and hit up the East Texas Oil Museum.

Oil men

The East Texas Oil Museum is one of those special places that is far cooler than it has any right to be. Something about the museum having:

  • A replica of an oil boom town. Complete with a muddy street that has cars and donkeys stuck in it. We learned that the donkeys have been with the museum for 40 years. Each of the donkeys has a name (there are 4 of them) and are real (taxidermy).
  • A mine elevator ride (puppets included).
  • And even an audio-animatronic lineman.

Learning about where oil comes from.

Not just a Disney thing anymore.

My sister-in-law said that the museum reminded her of Knott’s Berry Farm, in California.

The kids loved the scavenger hunt and resulting prizes for finding all of the listed items.

Post Office Boxes

My artsy shot.

Overall, we spent a good two hours at the museum.

After lunch, we let the boys hang out and play. They fought with their Beyblades on the trampoline. I’m not sure who “won”, but I know that Wyatt loved hanging out with his cousins.

Spidermans

Wyatt ran into some other Spider-Mans.

We ended the day with some trick-or-treating at LeTourneau University. Afterwards, we did some big eating at Papacitas, a two story Mexican food restaurant here in Longview.

Sunday, we hung out and talked. Even got my sister-in-law and niece to play a few games of The Mind.

I hadn’t seen my brother nor his family in over a year. The weekend was a great time to catch up with them, hang out, and eat.

Thanks, Mike, for driving down.

Mom and dad, ya’ll really need to come out and visit.

Adventure Is Out There – A Visit With The Arkansas Halls

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This past Friday, the Texas Halls took a trip to Norfork, Arkansas to see my brother and his family (the Arkansas Halls).

We had a good time:

  • Exploring the Blanchard Springs Caverns. I found it interesting to hear that the man who did the lighting for the caverns normally lit opera houses for a living. I also thought it was interesting that the Cathedral Room is long enough to hold three football fields. If you are ever in the Ozarks, I can’t recommend visiting the Blanchard Springs Caverns enough.
  • Sticking our feet in the White River/Norfork Lake junction. The water was freezing! Felt so good.
  • Eating some BBQ at Holy Smokes in Mountain Home, Arkansas. BBQ isn’t quite what I’m used to in Texas but the sauce was solid. The smoked macaroni and cheese–while good–screams for some bacon.
  • Mowing my brother’s yard on his new riding lawn mower.
  • Hanging out, swimming, talking, and launching fireworks.

I enjoyed getting to catch up with my brother and his family. Was fun to see where they live now and experience a little taste of their new surroundings. We will return… once my brother fixes his go-kart!

An Odd Week

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This has been one of those odd weeks. Our trip to Dallas, for Wyatt’s birthday, threw me off. Made me think that the weekend had come early, nope.

Got to hang out with my younger brother yesterday. He is in the process of moving his family from California into the wilds of Arkansas. It’s interesting what the allure of being able to live in a place with an affordable cost of living will drive a man to do. I 100% understand his thinking. I’ve watched my friends in Southern California buy $300k homes; homes that are plain, expensive, and lacking in character. Sure, the weather year round is nice but the cost of living is insane. Knowing what my dad made at his job, growing up, anywhere outside of the state we would have been considered rich. But in Southern California, we were poor… even though I thought we were middle class.

Came home and found this guy waiting for me the other night.

The weather here hasn’t helped this week either. We’ve had two rounds of severe weather. Thankfully nothing bad outside of high amounts of rain and 52mph winds. Nothing like being woken up at 2am due to how loud the wind is hitting the house. We’ve had a total of 9 inches of rain this month. A small pond has formed in my backyard. Just need to pick up some snapping turtles for the pond.

Haven’t been reading, watching, or playing much in the way of video games. How about you? What’s life been throwing at you?