Vacation Journal, Part I

Oh my, two months with no blog.

I think the main issue here is that I feel like I need to have something lengthy or deep to say. But its my blog! If I want to write that I had a bowl of Kashi with skim Promised Land milk for breakfast and enjoyed it very much - I can! Sure, it isn't as exciting as say, the daily life of a talkative toddler, but its my life. Which hopefully someday will include a talkative toddler, but not today.

I just got back from vacation! I haven't gone on a VACATION vacation since, maybe my trip to Washington DC in 2006? I guess that isn't all that long, but still. Tim, who was at the time my wonderful boyfriend but is now my wonderful fiance (more about that later!) encouraged me to keep a journal of the trip. Much more interesting that breakfast, I assure you. And now perhaps I can stay in the habit of journaling. So no more stalling, I share now.

September 7th, 4:06am
We left my apartment! I love getting up so early for something as exciting and fun as a trip like this! We prayed (well, Tim prayed for us) before starting out (with a brief, muffled interjection by Karen - my GPS - from her crypt in the console).

I'm afraid we ALMOST started out on the wrong foot. I had just finished washing my face, and noticed Tim had loaded up the car - but my suitcase wasn't in yet. Worried about the large case going in the trunk last, I said something - not meaning it as a criticism of his lovely packing job, but I'm afraid it might have sounded that way. Hard to tell these things so early in the morning.

Karen says we'll arrive to Chris (Tim's sister) and Kevin's (her husband) at 6:02pm.

Just crossed the Red River into Oklahoma, and the first thing we see if a huge casino.

Karen says 6:51pm (we had to force her to take I-35).

Just got gas at a Love's station in (I think) Tonkawa, OK. We had breakfast at Denny's in Armore with a waitress of was the epitome of the sassy southern diner waitress who calls everyone "honey" or "sweetie." At this gas station (well, across the street) was a truck repair and chrome place with a semi standing on its nose as a sign.

There were some beautiful, rocky, ALMOST mountainous hills in Southern Oklahoma, but now we're in the "where the wind comes sweeping down the plains" (imagine sing-song voice) part.

Karen says 8:16pm now.

We're in Kansas right now, which Tim says is his dad's favorite part of the trip - the Flint Hills. I guess I did see what looked like flint-type rocks, flat and gray, along the roadside. The hills are low, rolling, and grass covered - very beautiful. There are still some blanketing clouds, but they're mostly gone.

We adjusted Karen to avoid Kansas City, now she says 8:57pm.

Just stopped at a "service center" (gas station/food where you don't have to exit Kansas' massive toll road) for lunch and potty. Kansas is very pretty, lots of pasture land. We listened to one of Mars Hill's "Peasant Princess" podcasts. I am feeling so thankful and have so much hope that we both want to seek God, His will, and how to be closer to Him and show His love to one another.

Tim was walking to the car from throwing some trash away, and I just had to hug him before we drove some more! I am so in love with and excited to be with him through, hopefully, God willing, MANY adventures!

We're not in Kansas anymore! We're in Missouri! I think I see aspen trees? There are starting to be more trees, it reminds me of East Texas a little. Some of the trees are starting to look a LITTLE yellowish, maybe we'll see some fall colors!!

I drove for a while, so pardon me for not penning while driving from an odd gas station in Missouri to Austin ... Minnesota! where we stopped to eat at Perkins (no pumpkin muffins yet) and get more gas. We saw LOTS of corn in Iowa, and even a few "hidden" chicken houses. I see all of that in a different light since watching Food Inc. We also saw lots of "wind farms" with the turbines (even two big turbine props in transit along I-35). I think they're graceful. Its dark now though, and they're a little eerie at night with their synchronized blinking red lights.

Tim read to me from our BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area) books [Woman of the Boundary Waters: Canoeing, Guiding, Mushing, and Surviving by Justine Kerfoot, and A Wonderful Country: The Quetico-Superior Stories of Bill Magie by Dave Olesen]. I love listening to his voice and being able to reach over and touch him! We didn't stop in Iowa at all, but it was pretty.

*Mental note, there is a free SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota - weird!

The temperature is in the 50s now, it feels cold but I love it! The part of Minnesota I've seen so far is very pretty - a lot of evergreens, and a lot of open, rolling land. We were treated to a beautiful sunset while we at dinner at Perkins.

We listened to another Mars Hill podcast and talked about our thankfulness for each other, and how our relationship is so different from others we've been in, including and perhaps especially our previous marriages. With God as our foundation, we can build our dreams together.

Tim said Don had asked him if coming home gave him a since of peace. He said it does, but somehow it feels that way to me too and I've never been here before. I forget what time we crossed into Minnesota, but we kissed RIGHT THEN. There was a nice welcome sign :-)

We just crossed an old steel lift bridge (over the Mississippi) into Wisconsin! Almost to Chris and Kevin's! We're getting sleepy, but we're very happy and excited.

To be continued ...