Journey of Joy: Week Fourteen — Learning a New Culture

Surrounded by people chanting prayers in a city that was ancient yet new to me, everything felt a bit surreal. But when I saw a young Jewish couple wearing their traditional clothes in the middle of Old Jerusalem while pushing a very typical twenty-first century stroller, a light bulb went on. I grasped the realnessContinue reading “Journey of Joy: Week Fourteen — Learning a New Culture”

Journey of Joy: Week Thirteen — Experiencing the New

The first time I went away for a weeklong girls’ trip, my eyes opened to a whole new way of exploring and experiencing a new place. We moved at our own pace without children dictating the stops or menu choices, ordering local fare that excited our taste buds with flavors of rich southern goodness. WeContinue reading “Journey of Joy: Week Thirteen — Experiencing the New”

Journey of Joy: Week Twelve — Seeing the Sights

Stomachs growling, our group of four left the airport late at night to find a restaurant in a city we didn’t know, and did we ever find the right one! The Agave and Rye turned out to be full of surprises — its artsy views, its heated back patio, and its delicious food. But nothingContinue reading “Journey of Joy: Week Twelve — Seeing the Sights”

Journey of Joy: Week Eleven — Destination

When my husband and I are wheels down in Italy for our someday-dream-trip, we will have finally arrived at our destination. And not. Because if we only ever stayed at the airport, we would not have had much of a vacation. Think of all the places we’d want to go while in Italy — Tuscany,Continue reading “Journey of Joy: Week Eleven — Destination”

Journey of Joy: Week Ten — Delays, Detours, and Disappointments

It rained the whole week. Here we’d planned a much-needed getaway to our favorite city on the South Carolina coast, and instead of warm, life-giving sunshine, we had to splash our way through town with umbrellas and jackets. This wasn’t what I’d wanted. The temptation to pout and give in to disappointment-induced-grouchiness, nearly overtook us.Continue reading “Journey of Joy: Week Ten — Delays, Detours, and Disappointments”

Journey of Joy: Week Nine — Meeting People

In the weeks leading up to my second trip to the Holy Land, I had several people encourage me to focus not only on the dead stones, all the holy sites, but to look upon the living stones, the people who live there, as well. Knowing this trip would be different than my first becauseContinue reading “Journey of Joy: Week Nine — Meeting People”

Journey of Joy: Week Eight — Stops Along the Way

In our 30 years of marriage, my husband, Larry, has preferred to be the driver on vacations because, in his own words, “I want to get there.” He was not implying that if I drove we’d get lost and never get there but that I’d drive slower. And he wanted to get there. Now thatContinue reading “Journey of Joy: Week Eight — Stops Along the Way”

Journey of Joy: Week Seven — Departure!

Departure — a travel word if there ever was one. One of the few times we hear the use of departure is when we’re at the airport, train station, or bus stop, staring hopefully at a board that lists the status of all the departures.  Departures can be grand. I’m an 80s kid, so “LoveContinue reading “Journey of Joy: Week Seven — Departure!”

Journey of Joy: Week Six — It’s Time to Pack!

My heart pounded louder with each list that came around. Our leaders’ hope to prepare us for our upcoming trip to the Holy Land only caused my anxiety to rise because each list revealed what I didn’t have for the ten day excursion.  My reality? I had no idea how to prepare for such anContinue reading “Journey of Joy: Week Six — It’s Time to Pack!”

Journey of Joy: Week Five — The Waiting and Anticipating

A quick glance at the calendar tells me the trip we booked months ago is only six weeks away. My insides do that little fillip while my thoughts scamper, adding to my mental to do lists. But more than anything — after a year of sitting in the house — I just can’t wait! Yet,Continue reading “Journey of Joy: Week Five — The Waiting and Anticipating”