Prepping for the trip

Ah…family vacation. Our first real one in over three years. And our first with Sophie. Of course I’ve been scrambling this week to get the van ready. Murphy’s Law kicked in and the ABS system went out. So Tuesday I had to replace that for $975 and decided while I was there I just as well get two new tires put on as well. An extra mortgage payment spent, but better safe than sorry. Peace of mind isn’t cheap.

We’re leaving in a few hours and getting the final items packed. Nolan and I picked out some movies for he and Jonah to watch and I’m about to select some music for the parents. Funny thing is that for 3/4 of the trip we won’t be watching movies or listening to music. I need to finish packing and have two books ready. I’ve got about 200 pages left of Island of the World which has proven to be one of the best books I’ve read in ages. I’ll have to review it sometime. I’ll be sad when I’m finished. I’m also going to bring along Henri Nouwen’s Spiritual Direction. I had taken Nouwen’s Return of the Prodigal Son along in 2005 on our vacation and thoroughly enjoyed it. I felt it time to take a different Nouwen offering on the road and this book on “wisdom for the long walk of faith” seemed perfect for me at this time in my life.

We’re going to West Bend, Iowa on our way north to Minneapolis in order to visit the Grotto of the Redemption that looks very interesting. I figure that some solid prayer during the first leg of our trip would be a good thing. And then on to our friends in Minneapolis. Jan and Bryan’s son is getting baptized on Sunday and we’re looking forward to being there. I’m unsure of their denomination but Levi is around 10 or 11 and made the decision this year. After services on Sunday I believe we’re headed for a lake for the baptism and a picnic. This family is a real blessing to ours and we’re happy that our timing worked out so we could be there.

Then it’s on to Duluth to visit my transplanted Kansas cousin and her family. I haven’t seen Terri or Marty since they were engaged and living in Houston over 14 years ago. Talking to her on the phone I could tell that the 12 years of living in Duluth has definitely affected her southern Liberal, Kansas, accent. But she flashed it for me when I pointed that out. She’s bilingual in accents. 🙂 

Plans are to explore the North Shore of Lake Superior, visiting lighthouses and some waterfalls along the way. According to weather.com it’s 20 degrees cooler during the day so that alone will be a welcome reprieve from our Nebraska heat and 95 degree days.

We’ll be back before you know it to begin football practice for Nolan, have our end-of-year baseball picnic, and help two sets of families move into new homes over the weekend. One is moving about 20 blocks…the other is moving back to Lincoln after five years in Atlanta. No rest for the weary, eh? Fortunately both sets of neighbors are home and watching our house for us (and taking care of Nolan’s hermit crabs) so again…peace of mind.

See you soon! I’d better go finish packing.

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