Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Highlights from the Lonestar State

My good friend and former roommate Kyle and I spent the last 5 days traipsing about a few of the major cities in Texas, looking for fun and love. The love was planned out ahead of time, as we were there to witness the vows of our other two former roommates Ben and Luke. As funny as that sounds, there were actually two separate weddings. That’s where the fun comes in.

Our travel began in Philly of course, where brotherly love is clearly denoted by the 75 yards of security we needed to stand in before we could get onto our airplane.

That is Kyle in the dark blue sweatshirt and no hair.

We landed in Houston around 5pm and quickly jumped into Kyle’s fathers’ truck and began our 4 hour drive to Dallas. We passed the time listening to CD from the recent Auburn Avenue Conference where Dr. Richard Gaffin and Bishop N.T. Wright expounded their views on Justification. Sounds like tons of fun eh? For theology nerds like us, it was great. (I realized exactly how much of a nerd I have become when I woke up one morning before our ride back to Houston thinking “we get to listen to Q&A today!” – oi!)
This is the city of Dallas under the influence of a moving vehicle and digital photography.

I was quite taken with the phenomenon and took several photos in these conditions, but after looking at them again, I realized that I am not only a nerd, but also very easily amused.

We got to Dallas in time for Ben’s bachelor party. It was a rather tame night as far as bachelor parties go, but it was a long night full of fun conversations and reunions. The next day we witnessed the marriage of Ben and Martha Dunson.

Ben and Martha are honeymooning in London and Scotland. I imagine Ben will return far less Eyorish then any will remember him being.
Sex will knock the Eyor right out of a man.

After Ben’s reception, we began the second leg of our trip; another four hour ride; this time to Austin. It was late and we were tired, but we made it. While stopping for gas along the way we pulled in next to this classic piece of Americana:

Just in case you aren’t quite getting the full breadth of what you are looking at, let me make it clear for you.

Yes, that is a Three Dimensional crucifix welded to the hood of a truck. An astounding display of art… or idolatry… you decide. Needless to say we were astounded and I had to get a shot for our viewing pleasure.

We made it the rest of the way to Austin without incident, listening to the soundtrack to Garden State, which is wonderful. When we arrived Kyle’s brother Lucas promptly let us through the gate to his neighborhood where he kindly put us up in his apartment while we were in Austin. I was immediately introduced to this fellow:

This is Lucas’ dog Doyle. Doyle is just about the coolest dog I ever met. Lucas is cool too, except that he likes the Yankees for some reason. I can’t quite put the Texan/Yankee connection together in my mind. I mean… if he is going to like a NY team, he should at least join the guys from Queens.

The next day, after a lunch of barbecued brisket (yum!), we got ready to attend the second wedding. But before the ceremony we were treated to a reenactment of a sermon given by John Knox.

You can imagine the look on the faces of the folks in the pews… we were pretty frightened. He kept telling us we were going to hell if we didn’t stop eating our children. I didn’t get it…

Anyway, after the authorities had taken this man away, they got on with the wedding ceremony of Luke and Marianne Evans.

Kyle was quite the ladies man at the reception. A drunken married woman told him how wonderful he was after only 45 seconds of knowing him. He also got some digits – no, not from the drunken matron – and only after some severe prodding and peer pressure. She was a nice gal, but perhaps the timing was not right. Kyle did not seem very interested. Perhaps there was someone else?? Hmmmm…

Sunday morning we went to church with Lucas. It was a Baptist church, where for the first time in my life I was made fun of for being a Presbyterian. I’ve been ribbed before for lots of things, but this time I felt naked and exposed… not really. Hehe. At least now I know how Kyle and other Baptists feel going to a predominantly Presby seminary. The man who made fun of me made an interesting point saying that if circumcision was replaced by Baptism, Galatians would have needed only to be a postcard – I’m not exactly certain what he means, but that will make me go and read Galatians again.
The sermon was interesting, and the pastor made a great biblical theological connection between the crown of thorns Jesus was forced to wear and the thorns that are part of God’s curse on the creation in Genesis 3.
After worship we went and ate the biggest burritos ever at a place called freebirds. It was yummy, but I couldn’t get Skynyrd out of my head the rest of the day.

Later we headed back to Houston, listened to some Q&A from the conference (woo hoo!), and got back to Kyle’s parents in time to have a light dinner at the Olive Garden, which was lovely. Only after we watched the two hour season premier of 24, of course.

Kyle’s Grandmother made us a fantastic breakfast of eggs and biscuits. She has got to be the nicest lady on the face of the earth. I believe she’d house and feed the population of Texas if given the chance.

That day we flew back to Philly where we were met by my lovely wife, whom I am most pleased to be back home with.

But Texas was great. I recommend it.


Kyle said...

A first-rate post, my good man. I feel you have really captured the spirit of our romp through Tejas.

Greg said...

wow. im so bummed that these pictures are gone forever... not sure what happened to them, but this sucks...
I don't think i have them anywhere...