Sunday, August 14, 2011

Road Trip Re-Cap

So, Friday, I made a day-trip to Omaha, Nebraska to celebrate 9 years without self-mutilation.  I took my younger brother and my 9 year old niece with me.  It was fantastic!

I got up at 4:00am.  I would normally have gotten up closer to 4:30, but I have dogs. 

I showered, and dressed, and packed roadtrip snacks--fruit, oats, cheesesticks--and made my niece get out of bed far earlier than she's ever gotten out of bed before.  By 5:45 we were out the door and headed down the road.  When I realized that in swapping my usual bag for my shoulder bag, I'd fogotten the directions.

So, we turned around and headed back to the house, and I decided that instead of grabbing the map, I'd just take both bags, because you never know whent the urge to exegete a text is going to strike or when you might like to read a good book and ignore the people who are celebrating with you.  And a 3 hour 43 minute car ride can leave lots of time for reading and exegeting.

By 6:00, we'd picked up my brother and were on our way.

Mapquest told me it was going to take approximately 3 hours 43 minutes.  I figured if we factored in one rest stop, we were looking at closer to 4 hours.  That way, I'd be in Omaha looking at the sites by 10:00 am.

Well, my factoring in one rest stop did not take into account whining powers and indecisive nature of a 9 year old.  So, five hours later, we made it to our destination.  Sort of.  Because the website lied to me.  It said that the Mount Vernon Gardens were at 1001 Farnum Street.  Nope!  That's the office, if you want to reserve the gardens for a wedding or something.  But, luckily, there was a really pretty mall (think Washinton, DC mall, not your local shopping mall) with a fountain and swans.

We took some pictures, wandered around, found a library just across the street, and discovered upon a bit more research that the Gardens are actually at 6011 S. 13th Street.  So, an 8 minute car ride later, we were exploring the gardens, and the trail through the woods, where that genius 9 year old niece of mine spied two fawns!  She was calm, quiet, and very steady when she pointed them out.

She also managed to find hundreds of snails.  It was AWESOME!

Back in the Gardens, we happened upon strange vegetation, wilting but still lovely flowers, and some gorgeous Tiger Swallowtail butterflies.

Then, we headed to this amazing Indian restaurant.  I did not know they had a lunch buffet.  Exquisite happiness ensued.  The buffet did not have the same items that their menu offered.  Though I had intended to get a specific dish, which was not on the buffet, I was just as happy to have the variety.  My niece ate naan.  And nothing else.  Which was okay, because I ate everything but.

From there, we headed to the Old Market District to explore the shops.  It was fun.  There were a number of interesting shops with lots of overpriced but beautiful stuff.  Getting a bottle of water was highway robbery--$2.50 + state tax + mayor's tax for a bottle of water that would cost $.99 in any gas station or convenience store on the freeway.

Regardless, we drank and saw and delighted.

We headed home a bit earlier than we had planned.  But that was okay.  Because on the way home, I kept seeing signs for a Dutch Windmill in Elk Horn, Iowa.  Detour!

The windmill was closed, but we played around and took pictures anyway.

Next road trip.  It'll be closer to home and just as exciting.  And when that day comes, I'll be eating Thai food in Des Moines.

Maybe the best part of the whole trip was when my brother asked me, while were walking around the gardens, if I had an ability to appreciate the glory of God's creation in a way that I couldn't when I was cutting.  That was his experience, he said, in regards to getting clean.  In that one moment, I felt truly, deeply known.  Because that's exactly what I had been thinking in that moment.  That's what I think at least 3 times a week.  How in awe of the beauty of God's creation I am.  How grateful I am that I can fell such awe, because I couldn't nine years ago.  I am so grateful.

The only thing that could have made the day better was if I could have found a showing of Secretary on the big screen in Omaha.  But that's okay.  I'll go home and pull out my copy and find a couple hours sometime this week.

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