hello! a lot has happened since last posted. of course, a lot happens in new york during any period of time!
wednesday morning we got up and rented a car (okay, so we dressed and showered and all that jazz first) and drove to lancaster, pennsylvania! oh. my. gosh. i have officially fallen in love with eastern PA (and you must say it “P-A”, not as an abbreviation. that’s how they do it there)! it’s amazing! beautiful countryside, quaint and adorable houses – all of them!, a very laid back lifestyle, old-fashioned farms and silos everywhere due to the amish that are quite prevelant (sp?) throughout… oh man. i know i said that i never want to leave arizona, and that’s still true, but if could be persuaded to live anywhere else, PA would be the place!
the Randolph’s were who we stayed with in lancaster. for those of you from SGC, Ray Randolph is the pastor who went on the TJ e-team with us last summer. he and his wife and son jared were amazingly hospitable (they seriously take the cake when it comes to hospitality) and we had a grand time visiting them and seeing the countryside.
thursday morning we went to gettysburg! it was really cool. the museum there is fascinating. not only did a very momentous event in our nation’s history occur at that site – but there was a lot that was involved in that event. there were all sorts of stories about the people involved, or the town of gettysburg, or the farmhouses and citizens nearby.
thursday evening we had dinner at some friends’ house in hershey, pa. we had a great time eating lebonese food and sharing stories and laughing. one of those families that you spend time with and then leave wishing you didn’t live on the other end of the country from them.
friday morning brought with it a special highlight of the trip for me. on our way to philadelphia, we stopped in glen mills and saw covenant fellowship church (dave harvey’s church). now, that was very cool, being the sov grace min junkie that i am, but that wasn’t quite the highlight. the highlight came when i called erin sutherland (dave’s secretary and friend of mine) on my cell phone, and as i casually chatted with her, i walked around the corner and appeared at her desk! oh, the look on her face was fabulous! hahaha! she began to hear my actual voice as i came around the corner and she pulled the phone an inch or two away from her ear and her eyes got really big and she kind of shrieked and jumped up and hugged me when she saw me. it was so much fun to see her and see what her office life is like and of course it was a blast to surprise her!
after cov fel, we went on to philadelphia and saw the liberty bell and independence hall. (of course, scenes from national treasure were skipping through my head again lol) when we asked about going inside independence hall, the security guy told us that all the tours had been sold out a couple hours ago, so we couldn’t go inside. we were really bummed, but decided to go through security and see the liberty bell anyway. so, while we’re standing in line for the security check, one of the park rangers walks up to another park ranger standing right by us and mentions that she has a bundle of tickets for independence hall for a school group that didn’t show up! she gladly gave us four of them and we got to go in! i’d been there 4 years ago, so it wasn’t totally new to me, but it was really cool nonetheless. they have it all set up just like it is in the paintings, so it’s really easy to envision those famous men of the continental congress sitting there debating and deciding the future of our great nation. for a moment, i wanted nothing more than to change into period attire and sit on the benches in the back of the room and imagine that i was actually there. i have to admit, i haven’t completely outgrown playing dress up. downtown philly is really pretty with all the redbrick buildings and historic sites.
friday afternoon we drove back to new york and got some great pizza at stromboli’s pizza. i’m not a huge fan of new york style pizza (the thin crust and all), but this stuff was good!
this morning my mom and i went back into the city and did some shopping. i got the souvenire that i had been eyeing all week – a NYC sweatshirt hoodie.
alrighty, we’re getting ready to head to the airport. i need to go zip up my suitcase and get ready to go. this has been a really fun vacation making tons of memories, having all sorts of experiences and thoughts and conversations and seeing some really amazing sites. but i am ready to come home. i definitely miss the routine of life (believe it or not, my body is telling me that i miss getting up on time and exercising and eating right – although my mind is rebelling against the “goodness” of such thoughts ). and i miss my friends – all of you! i can’t wait to see you all tomorrow!