It’s not that I had a craving to go on a road trip again, but the fact that I drove my car to Georgia at the beginning of the year makes it somewhat necessary to jaunt back across the country to return my car to its registered state of Washington. So Leslie, Caleb and I set out from Jubilee almost three weeks ago and now find ourselves in Ohio at Leslie’s family’s house. I can almost see the moisture as I look outside. If I’m not at Jubilee, then I’m really not interested in being in a place with humidity. Sorry, Midwest…
The road trip had to be a bit modified with my last minute knee injury (an MCL tear for those who haven’t heard the official word), but we’re still managing to see some great places. Our first stop was Clarkston, GA where many of the refugees are living once they leave Jubilee. We were able to see two of the families we got to know at Jubilee, ate some great Karen food (we thought rice would come out of our ears there was so much!), and even joined them for church in Karen. It was a little taste of our own medicine as we didn’t understand a word they said until a familiar hymn was sung. Our next stop, a trip to the Smoky Mountains was ditched due to the inability to hike, so we redirected for a few restful days in Toccoa, Georgia at Leslie’s friend’s house.
After catching our breath there and reconnecting with consumer America (Barnes and Noble, baby!) and modern-day technology (we watched several movies in one day!) we split up. I dropped Leslie and Caleb at the Gesundheit! Institute where they spent a week volunteering in West Virginia. In the meantime, I drove to Washington D.C., left my car at Lucas’s house and jetted off to Spokane, Washington for the Krista Foundation Annual Conference. I could explain the Krista Foundation in detail, or I could make this entry a little shorter and say, “Hey, if you want to know about that look here: http://www.kristafoundation.org/ ” It’s a great organization and I’m excited to be a part of it.
So I headed back to Washington D.C., picked up Leslie and Caleb, stuffed Lucas and his things in my already packed car and we all headed up to Portland, Maine for the weekend. Lucas and I spent time in Portland with our great friend Emma from Gonzaga who is currently living in Portland serving with JVC. Emma was a spectacular tour guide leading us to Cape Elizabeth to see the Portland Head Light, eat some lobster, and she showed us around the “Old Port” part of town. It was an EXCELLENT weekend! Leslie and Caleb, in the meantime, headed up to Caleb’s great-uncle’s lake house just an hour north of town. I got to join them for dinner and a sunset boat ride. Every house along the lake was worthy of appearing on the cover of “National Geographic Traveler.” It was a beautiful place to say the least. Lucas and I finished off the weekend in Portland by attending his cousin’s wedding. I just accompanied him as his “plus one,” but I ended up playing a crucial role when we were the life of the party at the reception, getting the dance party started. Lucas had all his aunts and uncles up dancing with him to Lady Gaga. It was a beautiful sight. I practiced my one-leg dance moves, and I think by the end of the night we had made quite an impression. Based on the number of camera flashes I saw go off and the people who were holding their phones up to video Lucas’s moves, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some documentation of it online somewhere.
So from the far corner of the country, after dropping Lucas at the airport to return to D.C., the L.C.L. crew continued on to upstate New York, I mean we were really upstate, we might as well have been in Canada, to visit our friends Ted and Jan, who are retired high school teachers and were volunteers with us at Jubilee. Ted and Jan happen to live in Adirondack Park in Saranac Lake and are excellent tour guides! After a great dinner and game of hearts on Monday night, we headed to the top of Whiteface Mountain. OK, we drove to the top of Whiteface Mountain… again, no hiking for me yet. GREAT view of Lake Placid up there, beautiful green mountains everywhere, and it was 35 degrees, no humidity, just windy 🙂 Just right! T&J continued our tour with a trip to the Olympic ski jumps and a jaunt around town. Beautiful place, great people. All-in-all, we agreed it was a wonderful stop!
Wednesday morning we hopped in the car and a short 13 hours later we found ourselves nearly in Kentucky. I mean, we found ourselves outside Cincinnati, Ohio at Leslie’s house. And here we are still today. We have been taking it pretty easy, catching up on sleep, enjoying meals together, and of course the pool in the backyard. So after all this sitting inside on the computer, it seems like about the right time to jump in. Or slowly wade in as the case may be for me and the knee…
Next up, Sunday we’re headed to Wisconsin to visit Caleb’s family where we will then say our goodbyes in a few days. I’ll head to Missouri for some family time with the grandparents and dad after that, and Leslie will return to Ohio. We’ve left Jubilee, but we miss it a lot. And that’s all I’ll say about that for now 🙂