Friday, August 27, 2010

Eat, Drive, Laugh ~ A Real Life Experience part 1

Just returned from a 5 day road trip from Chicago back to the Central Coast of California. My sweet friend had driven her one and only son to Moody Bible Institute to begin his collegiate career and I had the privilege of flying in and joining her on her journey back. Truly my post title says it all!
I arrived at her hotel at 11:45 p.m. after a day of 6:45 a.m. train trip to LA and a short car trip (truck actually!) from the train station to the airport (thanks to my son who is in his senior year at Biola) and a flight to O'Hare. One would think I would opt for sleep but NO! We decided to take a walk on the streets of Chicago at almost midnight! What did we do you might ask? We walked to Portillo's, a famous Chicago eatery and had a Chocolate Cake shake. Not just the flavor of a chocolate cake mind you; blended slice of chocolate cake! Oh my we were off to a good (or bad) start for our trip home!
When we had planned our road trip we decided to look up some of Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives locations between Chicago and SLO Town. We decided to make three of them destinations for our road trip experience. Portillo's wasn't on the list so our shake was just an added extravagance! Our first destination for dining was in Kenosha WI. A historic train car converted to a diner two blocks from the shore of Lake Michigan, Frank's Diner serves some crazy breakfast and lunch dishes. We shared a signature "Garbage Plate" made that day with chorizo. We only ordered the half size because not wanting to miss out on a gastronomic experience we also ordered "Banana Bread French Toast". A.Ma.Zing! This is the view back toward Kenosha from the breakwater on Lake Michigan.

Driving across country is a long arduous trip; we have a big, beautiful country to traverse! In order to get home by a certain time we knew we would have to have long days of driving with minimal breaks so we tried to plan our final day's destination around some type of noteworthy stop. Our first day began with the fun destination however. We ended our day's travels near the western border of Minnesota! Three states in one day. Almost as much driving as San Diego to Eureka CA.

Some of you might be more adept at the self-portrait shots that my sons' generation can do so well but here for your enjoyment is one of our attempts at the same: hence the Laugh part of my post title!

What we were really trying to capture was our arrival at this world famous destination!

We had so much fun looking at the state and territory flags, eating (yes again!) and staying for the lighting ceremony which I highly recommend.

It was a surprise when the ranger leading the evening's events asked all current and former service men and women to come forward to participate in the retiring of the colors. There were over 100 veterans and current military in the audience on a Sunday evening in late August. It was a privilege to clap for all of them as they made their way forward to the stage area. It was a memorable evening recognizing and remembering that the freedoms we have in this country were hard fought and definitely not free.

The next morning the weather had changed; the temperature was much cooler and the cloud cover made a beautiful sunrise:

Doesn't God do amazing work for us? Have you ever stopped to think about how He creates beauty for us to enjoy on a regular basis? Really awe inspiring vistas, colors, sounds, wildlife... truly amazing!

What recent experience caused you to stop and marvel at the goodness of God?

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