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"Man, they love to travel."

I would acknowledge the individual that spoke those words, but I don't think there is enough room on this page for me to list everyone that KNOWS John and Elva loved to travel.  As far as I can tell, John has loved to travel since being a young child.

If you know the history of John's parents, you know his father Ernest Mays (better known as Slick) used to build roads throughout Texas.  Many a time did I hear about John travelling with his father to go down to the capital to "bid on a job" and then getting some treat before returning home.  Although he said it didn't happen "that" often, it made an impression on him nevertheless.

From a young age, there was always a thrill and excitement that John experienced when travelling.  Whether it was as close as the next town over, or a quick jaunt to Galveston to put the boat in the water, John was ready to go.

His wanderlust was only encouraged after meeting Elva.   


As a young couple on a tight budget, John and Elva became quite frugal when it came to travel.  John purchase a large station wagon, and that wagon saw much of the country.  There are pictures of John and Elva throughout the West and North West with the station wagon patiently waiting to take them on their next adventure.

When the station wagon finally gave up the ghost, a "new and improved" travel vehicle entered John's life.  He purchased a Volkswagon Bus, and the world was never quite the same again.  That bus went everywhere. And as us children grew older - we were religated to specific benches in the Bus.

There were many nights and long days spent in the Volkswagon Bus.  In fact, some of our favorite EARLY morning remembrances were of Anne and I going down into the bus in our pajamas and being told to go back to sleep.  Then when we woke up 4-5 hours later (yes - we'd often leave at 2 am), we'd find ourselves in a COMPLETELY different state than the one we started in.  Now living in the west, this is quite the feat.  

Once the children left the house, and Elva and John had more time on their hands, they learned the fine art of CRUISING.


I'm not sure how exactly it got started, but once it did, it continued like clockwork!  John and Elva found that cruising gave them all the adventure that they could handle, while still having the opportunity to rest and relax - while travelling!  John or Elva did ALL the driving when they traveled by road, so it was a pleasant and welcome change to have someone else do the navigating.

Then there were the "CRUISE BUDDIES".  Although John and Elva travelled with numerous couples over the years, they enjoyed spending time with one of John's mentors, Paul B.

Paul and Polly became part of John and Elva's itinerary.  If Elva wanted to go somewhere, she's call Polly and the trip would be arranged.  If Polly wanted to get Paul out of the house - she'd call John and OFF THEY'D ALL GO.

This travel took them around the globe.  They've been north to Alaska, and south to Cape Horn.  They've cruised through the Mediterranean and LOVED spending time in the Caribbean.

Along with cruising, trips with the Gideon's took John to South Korea.  Other mission trips brought them to Europe and more specifically France.

Elva loved France and she couldn't get enough.  John did enjoy France, but he had to assist with navigation, and there are a "few" stories of trips around France that took quite a bit longer - due to UNIQUE navigation.

As time passed, travel overseas became a little more complicated, so John and Elva returned to the simplicity of road travel.  


After moving to High Point, John and Elva got back to their days of road travel and began exploring the state extensively.  Having close friends in both their church and water aerobics classes helped spur their travel bug.

All of their friends were more than anxious to let them know about a "certain special spot" or a "hidden gem" that was "just down the road - a piece", so John and Elva would have to check it out.

As their granddaughter aged, John and Elva would pick Madison up from school on Fridays and drop her off at her riding lessons, then hop back in the car and go off on their next adventure.  About every 2 weeks was the timeframe of road travel.  

This continued until close to their 50th Wedding Anniversary.  For that occasion they went on one more cruise - this time to Bermuda - a place they both wanted to visit, but had never been before.

After that, time and health put more of a damper on travel and it was relegated to visits with the family and short day trips around the state.

Although the road has lost a warrior - the travel bug never left, and I'm sure John's enjoying his new found wings to get a little sight-seeing in.

Personal Note - It is with sadness I report that Paul B, John's travel buddy, passed away 3 weeks after John's death.  It seems that both their earthly journeys ended about the same time, but heaven has gained another great soul.

John R Mays