Fernando left again. He backed the SAT truck out of the driveway, put it in drive, and pressed his foot on the accelerator, and he was off. But something was different this time.
Here's Fernando, below, about an hour away from home, driving south to his next job. This was obviously not a selfie--see both his hands? That's because I took this picture with my phone. This week, I left with Fernando.
The afternoon before, Fernando got the okay for me to accompany him on this trip, which would be a good indicator of my ability to adapt to life on the road, life with my husband while he works, life in hotel rooms and not-so-healthy-but-take-what-you-get food. With just a few hours to prepare, I had suitcase and camera bag in hand. And last Tuesday morning, I climbed up into the passenger seat of Arctek Purple and left home with my husband at the wheel. God opened this door, and I walked through.
I actually rarely used my camera, since most of the views were as we drove along, heading south toward Texas, and work, and friends, and family. That first evening, after a rest, food, and fuel stop, somewhere in Oklahoma, we watched the sun set in front of our eyes. Colors from pink and purple to orange, red, and yellow spread from far to our left all the way across to the sun setting, then all the way as far as we could see on our right. As our route turned south, I opened the window to capture a fragment of the majestic beauty. We were truly on a new journey, to places we've never been, and God's presence is there, too.
This actually was a fun road trip, since I got to spend Wednesday with my dear friend and "sister" Janice and her daughters and granddaughter while Fernando did the uplink transmission for the NCAA college basketball game at SMU in Dallas. We had Thursday and Friday to make our way to New Orleans, so we drove through Houston to visit Fernando's cousin and her family. They fed us (a huge blessing, in my book!), even picking oranges and grapefruit from their backyard trees for dessert!! *happy dance*
On Friday morning, after a hearty breakfast with our cousins, we headed over to Louisiana and New Orleans for the next job. Bayous, swamps, lazy rivers, ponds--water, water everywhere!
Along I-10 in Louisiana, headed toward New Orleans.
We drove across so many bridges! As we headed toward, and past, New Orleans (had to stay outside of the city), we crossed this bridge below.
We missed breakfast at the hotel in order to arrive on site (Tulane University in New Orleans) by 7:00a.m. Arctek Purple is Fernando's work space, and that huge trailer is the production truck. These work together to tape the event (NCAA basketball), get the signal to the satellite, and out to TVs everywhere.
It was fun to watch Fernando work his magic. We like to joke that it's pixie dust that he uses, finding the satellite (the "bird"), tuning things (really, I have no idea), making sure the DSS is working and signals are correct and a whole bunch more of tech stuff I never knew existed.
My Papi Bear paused for a sweet pic before tip-off.
There were down times during the afternoon, so I had to get a picture of myself, too!
As we were preparing to leave, Fernando said his goodbyes to the production crew. One guy, who glanced at me, told Fernando, "You be careful now." A few looks and Fernando understood what he was saying. His response: "Um, that's my wife." The guy was dumbfounded. (Whatever...!) I think others thought I was his, um, "road buddy," if you catch my drift. No wonder I got some strange looks. We'll have to rectify that on the next job site. Sometimes it's funny that Fernando and I look so different, even in age, but sometimes it's tiring. Mostly we just laugh about it.
Seeing that Valentine's Day was the next day, I texted with a friend who has a brother in New Orleans to find a great authentic restaurant where we wouldn't feel out of place in jeans, and where we could celebrate being together this week, and celebrate the love the Lord has blessed us with these past 28+ years.
One lady walking by came up to the truck and I chatted with her, then asked her for restaurant recommendations: New Orleans Food & Spirits. My texting friend Cindy confirmed with her brother that was a good, and casual, restaurant. Even though it was north of the city, we decided to check it out.
Our local beers.
After I took a picture of our--quite impressive--drinks, the waitress offered to take our picture.
The food was amazing, the atmosphere hoppin', and the waitress helpful and so very friendly.
Together, at work and play--well, I was his road buddy, after all!!
Back to life,
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