Warning: this post will be long and rambly and most likely filled with confusing tangents, because I’m writing it almost more for myself than you guys. Just so you know where I’m coming from.
My big silvery purse was my trusty companion throughout the road trip. It held almost all of the souvenirs I picked up along the way and so I thought it would be fun to dump everything out, photograph it, and then talk about the road trip by referencing the different church programs, books, and other paraphernalia that I collected along the way.
Our journey started in Michigan, where we visited a pastor’s family that was close to Mom. We attended their church – Westside Bible Baptist Church – on a Sunday and you can see the program in the second photo (it’s the white one with a picture of their church on the front).
After Michigan, we left to see Rachel/Hamlette, a great event that she and I wrote about in this post. She truly is like a fairy godmother and didn’t let me leave her house empty-handed: in the first photo, you can see a copy of her new book, Cloaked (it’s autographed!), as well as a DVD of Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as Hamlet (*swoon*) and John Williams’ epic score for The Patriot. Wedged in between the pages of Cloaked is one of the maps she provided my family with when we went to Washington D.C. She was the best tour guide. And I picked up those two ‘Identification’ cards (second photo) off the ground in D.C. They’re related to the Holocaust, so, yes.
Oh, and you see that tattered, folded-in-on-itself piece of lined paper beside Cloaked? It holds some of my first notes for Shoes & Spies, my NaNoWriMo project, and the reason it’s been ripped out of its notebook is because my little brother was whining about not having any paper left to color on…so I ripped out the one page I’d used in my notebook and gave the notebook to him. He filled it very, very colorfully.
When we left Michigan, it was on to Tennessee to stay with my second cousin for a little while. She and her husband are some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met and before we left their house, she gave me a copy of Frank Peretti’s Prophet (shown in the second photograph). Which was awesome of her – I love receiving books as gifts.
Our next stop was also in Tennessee and we stayed for several days with a pastor and his wife. Everybody was wonderful to us on this trip, but the Morrises are some of my family’s dearest, best friends and we had an amazing time with them which included an eating-four-packets-of-hot-sauce challenge, a delicious trip to Starbucks, ‘scary’ stories, deep conversations, good preaching, fun and games, and a ginormous, slobbery dog. Oh, and tons of good food. Seriously, the food was the best I’ve ever eaten. My souvenir from their home was the big purple notebook in the first photo – the itch to write was strong and I had nothing. Mrs. Morris provided me with that notebook, though, and it ended up holding the first few pages of Shoes & Spies.
(I also got my BatBear Build-A-Bear while in Tennessee.)
The Ark Encounter was next. Mom originally wasn’t going to take us, but thanks to the generosity of several people, we were able to and I’m incredibly thankful for that. It was a stunning, enormous, breathtaking experience and…yeah. I’m still blown away. There’s lots of pamphlets and that sort of thing from the Ark, plus our tickets, plus that adorable red panda who I’ve named Shifu Jr. (and also Hamlet – I know, he has two names).
Then we traveled to Indiana and stayed at the Williams’ home. Mom has known them for decades and it was so neat to make friends with a new generation of the family. We laughed, talked, watched movies, drank loads of coffee, and ate so much good food. And left their house fast friends. Awesome. The church program in the first photo that says ‘Abiding’ is from the Williams’ church. Also, the tiny box of Tic-Tacs beside the program (they made us a care basket).
The second-to-last stop in America was in Illinois, where we stayed with my aunt and uncle and their family for almost a week. It was crowded and messy and showering was a bother (don’t ask), but I would’ve stayed even longer. We went to two great history museums while there and hung out at home and watched Gladiator and ate a lot of cold cereal. Our uncle is a ‘funcle’ (fun + uncle) and our aunt is one amazing woman and our cousins are hilarious, so we had a lot of fun.
Our very last stop in the US was with a pastor and his wife, both of whom were friends of Mom, but all of us children liked them a lot, too. The pastor was a Vietnam veteran and it was amazing, humbling, and chilling to hear the stories he told. The program in the second photo, the one with a maple leaf on it, is from their church.
Then it was on to Canada and our new home! The hotel key card leaning against Prophet is one that I accidentally kept at one of the many hotels we stayed at on the way home. *shrugs*
So, that was our road trip. I ended up going to thirteen states, plus Washington D.C., which I think is awesome. ❤