Thursday, October 20, 2011

Up the the U.P.

I just got back from the best college road trip of my life.  It's actually the only college road trip of my life, but regardless of the amazingness of future road trips, this will always be my first favorite for a lot of reasons.  Here are some of those reasons:

1. These girls.  For that reason alone, this trip will forever be a favorite. 

2.  Lauren and I took such a nice little nap on the train to her house in the suburbs. 

3.  I got a picture of Melissa's adorable little nap. Look at her. One minute she was reading her running magazine, the next minute she was OUT.  

After spending the night at Lauren's house and eating DELICIOUS food that her mom made us, we piled into the car and set out for the Upper Peninsula. 

4.  The fourth reason this is my first favorite college road trip ever is we got to drive through Milwaukee.  How in the world did one town get so many gorgeous churches?   

5.  Lauren is such an ideal driver. For those of you who haven't seen the 5,000 Facebook pictures and posts involving Lauren, she is my roommate.  A very ideal roommate.  And a very ideal friend.  I love her heart for the people of the world to know Jesus.  I love how she teaches me to speak Czech.  I love how she loves Czech.  I love how hilarious she is.  I love how she listens to my problems.  I love how she knows when I have problems and asks me to talk about them.  I love how gracious she is with me when I won't stop talking to her when she is in bed.  I love how kind she is to me.  I love who she is. 

6.  Forever a favorite because we ate at Subway.  Actually the thing I most loved about Subway was that is led us to FAVORITE thing number 7.....

7.  I don't know if I can sufficiently explain on my blog how utterly delighted I was to prance around this little beach with Melissa and Lauren.  What started off as me re-learning how to drive before making my way to the interstate for my shift turned into discovering this little treasure.  We were the only ones there and I'm pretty sure I cried.  

8.  Here I will introduce you to another huge reasons this is forever my favorite first college road trip: Melissa Zaldivar.  She is incredible.  Just so grand I can't even believe it sometimes.  Melissa is a senior on the floor that I live on and she brings such beautiful life and creativity and Jewishness to the 10th floor of Haughton Hall.  I thank Jesus for her frequently.  

9.  FOREVER a favorite because we got to wear Boots, Moccasins, and Boat Shoes on the BEACH.  When will that even happen again?  It was just totally blowing my mind that we were wearing BOOTS on the BEACH.  Made me so happy. Also made my boots sandy. It was worth it though. 

This is us before heading into Walmart.  I am really glad we got one smiling picture in the car before returning and realizing that it wouldn't start.  That's right you heard me.  Our car wouldn't start.  But I am gonna make this favorite thing number 10:  we prayed and then the car DID start.  We made our merry little way down the road a couple more miles before stopping at a BP to check things out per Lauren's dad's request.  Naturally our car wouldn't start again, so this time we had a friendly lady jump it for us.  

That actually brings me to favorite thing number 11:  This random man drove by and told us to keep an eye on our gauges in case it was a problem with the alternator.  I bet I am spelling all these car words wrong. Anyways, we thanked our new little UP friends for their help and hopped back on the curvy little road toward our destination.  

12.  This is forever my favorite first college road trip because Lauren saw all our gauges stop working and told Melissa JUST in time for her to pull into the parking lot of "R" Cabins.  We were SO thankful to have been right by the entrance to this little place because as Melissa pulled into the parking lot the whole car literally died. Like dead. All the way. Completely. And we were in the middle of nowhere. An hour from our destination. In a stranger's driveway.  So, we went inside and met the owner of the cabins. Tex, the owner, was laying in his recliner and told us it was fine if we waited in the parking lot for Melissa's friends to pick us up.  

13.  His name was Tex.  And he was really nice.  That's def a favorite thing.

14.  Also, favorite road trip reason number fourteen:  we didn't die while waiting in the cold, dark, creepy woods.  Lauren kept singing about she-wolves coming to eat me. But they didn't.  

15. This CHILD. Emma! She is the granddaughter of the amazing woman we stayed with (Andrea).  I literally cannot explain how happy I am that she is now in my life.  She is the 4 year old version of me. If you don't believe me see the next picture.

This is the face she made when I first brought out my phone and showed her the camera.  Without ANY prompting. We are the same person, and I love her. 

16.  Here is where I will explain the word "Yooper" and how it is the 16th reason that this was the best first road trip ever.  We were in the UP (which if you are still not quite tracking with me, UP means we were in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan).  A "Yooper"would be a UP native.  And I love them so much.  One of my favorite Yoopers named Andrea (who you will meet in the next picture) brought us to a Yooper museum which was super cute. Speaking of cute, please just soak up all of Lauren's adorableness in this photo.  She is literally my favorite roommate ever. 

(p.s. Lauren and Melissa and I went through a secret ceremony and became honorary Yoopers.  That is one of the best things of my life.)

17. Andrea.  She made our road trip so fabulous.  Her loving, generous, hospitable, and hilarious spirit was beyond refreshing.  She showed me Jesus by the way she took care of us and loved us.  I hate my hair for covering part of her face in this picture.

18.  Lauren and Melissa took me to the town cemetery.  I have never walked around a cemetery before and if I'm being honest with you this does belong in my list of favorite things because I was overwhelmed by the weighty beauty that I saw.  My eyes filled with tears as I walked around with my beloved friends, leaves crunching under our feet.  I thought about the beauty and brevity of life on earth.  I smiled at the deep love expressed in the short phrases chosen to commemorate those buried beneath them.  I mourned for all those who had lost people they cherished.  But mostly I thanked Jesus for grace.  I thanked Him for life.  Life here on earth and life forever in Him through His work on the cross.  I thanked Him for hope and victory over death.   

This is Juntti's.  They fixed Lauren's car.  We love Juntti.  But actually, his name was Steve.  

19.  We spent part of Monday in Marquette.  What a cute little town!  

20.  Melissa and her mad navigational skills brought us to the most beautiful "fall-ish" park that I have ever been to.  We fell in leaf piles, took ridiculously fun pictures thanks to Melissa's photography skills, and enjoyed looking a the beautiful lake.  

21.  This is my favorite tree from my favorite road trip.  

22.  Favorite road trip ever really, mostly, a lot, very much because of these two. 

23.  This view.  I cried.  Enough said.

24.  Best road trip ever because our vehicle was FIXED and we were able to return to Chicago.

25.  Melissa brought us to one of her favorite places in the world: "camp".  Andrea and her husband Rick own a cabin on a lake and we were escorted by Chris on the far right.  Camp was so simple but so rich in beauty.  

26.  Also, best first road trip ever because I heard Chris shoot a bird, he brought it back to camp, I held it, he cooked it, and I ate it.  If that is not legit, I don't know what is. 

27.  Melissa is a really good boat driver.  And that lake was so gorgeous.  And Lauren was so scared. 

28.  It makes me so happy how happy she was.

That in the background is camp.  Can you please notice again how happy Melissa is?

29.  This.  This is beauty.

30.  Favorite first road trip ever because Melissa led Lauren and I in worship next to the fire.

Well, Tuesday morning after delicious blueberry pancakes that Andrea made, we hit the road.  Thanks to Junnti, our car was perfect and we made our way down through Wisconsin past cute little schools like that one.  Thats like favorite things 31, 32, and 33.  

34.  Lauren is in love with Clay Matthews.

35.  We stopped at Lambeau Field.  Apparently you're not supposed to talk about Brett Favre there anymore, which I totally do not understand.  Lauren was struggling a little bit too felling as if she was betraying the Bears.  She kind of was.  And Melissa was probably the happiest I've ever seen her.  Actually thats not true.  She was happiest at camp.

36.  I love when she steals my phone and takes pictures of herself.  Pure gold.

37. CULVER'S.  I LOVE CULVER'S.  But I do NOT love that they are mocking my love for Culver's in this picture.  It's whatever.

38.  This is FOREVER my favorite first college road trip because of how it felt to come "home" to Chicago.  I know I won't live in the city forever, but for now I do, and I adore it.  I loved following interstate signs to Chicago.  (Lauren is a kick butt Chicago driver by the way.)  I loved seeing the glowing city spread out before us as we drove down Lakeshore drive.  I loved dancing in the parking lot when we got to Moody.  I love where Jesus has me right now.  I love the beautiful friends He's given me.  And I love that He let me go with Melissa and Lauren up to the UP for Fall Break.  It really was the best college road trip of my life.

1 comment:

  1. You're def my favorite thing about life, Ches... I love ya!!