It's hard to know where to begin when so much has happened in the past few weeks. I guess I'll just skip to my spring break last week because that is most recent and exciting. My sister and mom have already wrote about it and almost completely captured my feelings of amazing. Yep, if feelings of amazing made sense, then that's what I would call my spring break. It was lovely, reflective, restful (not in a free-schedule sense, but in a happy full schedule sense), and full of fellowship with friends and family.
I first left with four of my housemates to Washington, D.C. My friend lives in a nearby suburb and we arrived saturday night to St. Pat's Day welcome baskets and her amazing dad who had prepared appetizers and (under his wife's careful instruction:) a meal full of green - split pea soup, irish soda bread, salad, pistachio salad, and mint ice cream. We were stuffed and oh-so-happy after the 10 hour drive...my friend's driving skills are superb, by the way.
Then, I'm convinced it was no coincidence that her church was having a missions conference that weekend! We got to hear missionaries from the U.S., Africa, and Europe, and also got to take part in a women's group listening to missionaries on Tuesday. I am so thankful! We, of course, also hit the monuments, memorials, and museums, and art galleries. I loved taking time to stop by each painting, sculpture, or flight exhibit and just stare. I guess it makes me feel cultured...isn't it funny that when you see someone admiring an exhibit you assume they have some vested interest or knowledge of the subject. I wish I knew enough to have a conversation about each piece, but I guess my stare is more trying to figure out how it got chosen above something else, or how in the world someone thought to put so many switches in the front of an airplane. Anyway, I definitely thought of my grandpa when I was going through the aviation exhibits. Aside from the fact that I was once convinced he flew a fighter jet in WW II (which he didn't, I guess i completely made that up from a dream or something), I know he likes planes and I was even caught up in the progress made.
Well, anyway, DC was great - I loved the time spent with friends and my friend's family. On Tuesday I got on board a train (not worth the $84 I paid) to NYC Penn Station. My last memory of a train was to Colorado and I was very little. All I remembered was drinking orange juice and enjoying the trip. This train ride was quite different. It was an elevated train and it made so many stops in between DC and NYC. I sat by the nicest man. He was from the Philippines, but had been living in the US for 15 years and working as a structural engineer in Philly for 8. I was instantly interested, because I had friends who were missionaries in Manila and I had learned some Te Galo - the language spoken by some in the Philippines. We talked the whole hour and a half until he got off. Everything from favorite dishes - his dessert was flan, which I later had with my sister in Port Chester - to my wanting to be a missionary and his discouraging me from going to Saudi Arabia because it was dangerous. It was such pleasant conversation...
This is getting so long, and there is so much more to write!
I think I'll save my adventures in NYC and last night's NICKEL CREEK concert for a new blog tonight or tomorrow.
SPECIAL love to my sister, the best hostess in the world, Ali - an amazing friend and tour guide, my mom - the most positive in the midst of confusion gal around, and to my friends from a sweet 10 hr road trip.