I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Road Trip Throw Back

Well, hello there. It's been awhile...

Since my last "real" post, two significant (and time-consuming) things happened: a westward-ho road trip AND graduate school summer 1.

Now I am finally able to relax - I am literally chilling in my parents' basement in Michigan. So maybe it's time to reflect on the past month or so. (Don't worry, I won't do it all at once - I'll spare you that. I'll stick with the road trip this first time around.)

What will follow will be mostly photos with some captions. I hope I can convey the joy, adventure, and sheer incredible-ness of it all... (I apologize that the photos appear to have gotten themselves out of order - you get the idea.)

Kicking off our trip - all packed and ready to go with my friend from church!
Touched the Grand Ol' Mississippi River on Day 1

A-maize-ing Corn Palace in South Dakota

1880 Town

Victory is ours - ice cream at Wall Drug
sunset in the Badlands

sunset in the Badlands

nearly a full moon over the Badlands
sunrise hike in the Badlands
Wall Drug - home of 5 cent coffee and free ice water
Delicious donuts and treats at Wall Drug (but so tired from waking up at 4am to see the sunrise over the Badlands)
1880 train through the Black Hills

Mount Rushmore (We celebrated Father's Day with the Founding Fathers!)
Hiking up Harney Peak (highest point east of the Rockies in the USA)

At the top!
At Devil's Tower - love this kind of information!
Devil's Tower, WY

Made it to Montana!

Gas stations are few and far between out West (lesson learned - fill up the gas tank when you can)

Fresh piles of animal poop lead you to look up and see...BISON!

Found a Cracker Barrel in Bismarck - no road trip is complete without it!

And everything was going so well...until we got a nail in the tire about 3 hours outside of Chicago...

Four new states for me - Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, and North Dakota! We truly had a blast. The only thing I absolutely wanted to see but sadly didn't get to see was a starry night sky. (We don't have those in Chicago.) It's hard to believe, but there were either too many clouds or too many lights every single night. It ended up being okay in the end because I got a taste of the stars at Notre Dame a few times...

If given a chance I'd do it all over again. I love the outdoors - away from the constant noise/hustle & bustle of the city and, instead, surrounded by the beauty of nature. It always brings me closer to God. (I think I discovered that when I lived in Arizona and would go hiking in the mountains around Phoenix or up to Sedona.)

The road trip was a perfect chance to take a break between the end of the school year and the start of my grad school experience (more on that later). If you get a chance, head out west, especially if you're yearning for a bit of a change of pace...

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