Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Road Trip!!!

 Bree, Trey and I love to plan road trips. Our dream vacation is a road trip that takes us to the Grand Canyon (where we are in such good shape, we hike down and back up) and then home again, never going through the same state twice.

We still haven't done that. But we did plan a road trip we got to take! It was a great time and showed the kids that plans can happen! That's two vacations in a row that we've planned and taken! We're on a roll! (Last year was Universal Studios)

This trip started in Tennessee. Our first stop was Dayton and two and a half days at Bryan College. I'd been asked to attend a conference as speaker and representative of Wellspring Living.

While we were there, we got to know some fantastic students, including these three: Amanda, Rose and Maddie. They are members of SSTOP (Students Stopping the Trafficking of Persons) and more than that they are amazing young women destined to change the world. While on campus I was super impressed with Bryan College's commitment to teaching the issue as well as motivating students to do something about it. The conference was titled "Freedom Matters" and focused on domestic trafficking. I got to speak to a class and then a luncheon. I lost count of the conversations with students and faculty. Bree and Trey had a great time as well. Everyone was amazingly welcoming!

No big deal but Katherine Chon (co founder of Polaris Project) was one of the speakers and I got to have lunch with her! I managed not to embarrass myself!

We moved on from Dayton to Nashville and got to see this girl! Jessica is a friend of mine and former coworker at Wellspring Living. She moved to Nashville several months ago and the office hasn't been quite the same without her!
I was a bit disappointed by our visit to Nashville just because lack of time and research meant we didn't get to enjoy a lot of the city. But, the one place we knew we had to visit...

We made our way from Nashville to Columbus, Ohio (our stop for the night enroute to Philadelphia) and hit a spot of wintry weather! Total respect for the salt trucks!!!

Cincinnati skyline...

So I have this resolution for 2013 to visit three states I've never been to before...however, I'm not sure West Virginia should be counted since we drove through and only stopped once for gas. Maybe that should be an opinion poll!
Pennsylvania...specifically Philadelphia and the Justice Conference was the goal.
The Pennsylvania Turn Pike toll is ridiculously expensive but I decided to look at it less as a toll...and more as the price of admission. Some of the prettiest countryside ever!

The Justice Conference gets it's on blog...
 The Sunday after the conference, the kids and I explored Philadelphia. After everything I'd heard at the Bryan conference and then the Justice Conference, seeing the Liberty Bell and thinking through all it represents, I got really emotional. There's been a lot going on the past few months but this trip concreted for me not only my passion but my mission...or my part of THE mission.

A day in Washington DC was the last stop before the 14 hour drive home (in the rain). I'd briefly visited DC before as a teenager but this was the first time I ever got to explore. I've always suspected I would love it...I was right. We spent about five hours on the mall, visited the Holocaust Museum, and the Capital. We're planning a return trip to see everything we didn't have time for (including the Smithsonian)

The Martin Luther King memorial is amazing. Again, after spending so much time discussing, hearing about and being immersed in the topic of social justice, freedom, etc this was an amazing moment for me. Luckily my kids love me and either understand or overlook my emotional lapses (lol)

The Lincoln Memorial. I was once told or read that the sculptor very deliberately portrayed two very different sides to Lincoln...the relaxed, laid back Lincoln on the right (stage left theatre friends) and the determined-and fatigued-side on the left. I looked at his clenched hand, his leg positioned as if to get up and I thought "The fight, Mr President, is now ours"

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