First stop, home: What I promised my parents about my journey

Arlington, Tx

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Hitting submit on my reporting assignment for the day was almost like hearing the school bell ring at three o'clock. I could feel my heart beginning to beat out of my chest as I stepped outside of the station doors. 

It was time! 

Walking through downtown Tyler to get to my car, I was doing everything I could not to look like I was doing the Wizard of Oz "off to the see the wizard" hop-skip. I called mom and dad to tell them, "I'm on my way!" The car was already fully packed and it was time to hit the road! 

It seems odd that on a vacation the first stop is "home", but that's the way this journey worked out! 

I drove straight into the Dallas sunset to meet my parents at their favorite local patio, El Arroyo, for some dinner and a celebratory margarita. 

Mom and Dad were great. They had no questions, only "comments"

Mom: "You go, girl!" 

Dad: "Have fun!" "Don't rush." "Listen to the suggestions people offered to you." 

I made a pact with them that I would come back in one piece and that I would adhere to their most encouraging comments. 

They didn't seem to be too worried about me or the trip... and that made me especially happy. 

I got in bed feeling especially warm and fuzzy. The margarita most likely helped enhance that feeling.  

While browsing through my phone, email, and messages from Yr.23, there was an overwhelming amount of support and prayer headed my way! Prayer and support that I never remember asking for! It was the most beautifully humbling thing to see. 

So, no matter how much I say I am going to be making this trip alone, that simply isn't true. I have the strength of so many brewing inside me, helping me advance forward each day! 

It was the shortest leg on my trip, but it's officially completed! One day down, a million more memories to go! 

Next Stop: Palo Duro Canyon, TX

Yes, 

Erika