Last Thursday morning we left with our youth group and my brother Trent and his wife Lydia (he's the youth pastor) on a long trek to Pennsylvania for a Teen Leadership Conference.
Here are our two fearless leaders, sitting in McDonald's, checking out the construction on the iPhone and planning the best route around it. Luckily they did, because they saved us several hours of sitting still in bumper to bumper traffic.
While they were doing that, Lydia and I were also doing really important things. Like taking pictures of ourselves.
Thursday was a long day of traveling, but we finally ended up at our destination around 10:30 that night.
The next day (my BIRTHDAY!), we drove about an hour to Cedar Point (a super popular amusement park known by all northeasterners... although I had never heard of it until I moved to Michigan. But it does have several rides that the kids loved).
Not all of us love the big scary rides. Here's the group I hung out with most of the day. We named ourselves "The Rejects"... although we know that we're really extremely cool. We even got one of those "old-timey" pictures taken together, which I'll have to post on here as soon as I get a chance.
I just wanted to prove that I was having fun too.
We all met at Chick-fil-A for a yummy lunch.
Soon after lunch, it downpoured. Like a whole lotta rain. So we ran into the nearest shop where we all crowded together for about a half hour waiting for it to finally stop. The kids got a little restless and started getting out of control. Good thing the gun wasn't loaded.
Due to the rain, most of the rides were shut down for quite a while. But once they started back up, this group was ready to ride the Top Thrill Dragster.
Well, most of them were ready. These two were a little nervous.
Unfortunately, only 2 in our group got to ride it before it started raining again. But a few of our kids were so dedicated that they waited another hour and a half to get their ride.
Did you know that wearing red flip-flops in the rain will turn your feet red?
That night, we went out for pizza where our group surprised me with a cake for my birthday.
As you can see, I was genuinely surprised. Or not. Let's just say being "stealth" isn't Lydia's forté. ;)
Joslin challenged me to a "eat your cake without hands" duel.
So of course I couldn't turn that down.
'Cause you know I love having frosting all over my face.
The next day, Saturday, we went to the mall and then to a Cleveland Indians game that night. Lydia and I decided suddenly to become diehard Indians fans, so we got matching shirts and were all pumped to cheer them on.
Everyone was excited for the big game to start.
Then it began to rain.
Fortunately we were seated waaaay up high in the cheap seats, so we had a roof over our heads and stayed nice and dry. We were certain that the game would start soon.
But the rain kept coming.
And the night got later.
And the chances of the weather clearing up were looking awfully grim.
Daniel somehow managed to keep it all together.
After two hours of hanging out in the stadium, the game was finally called off. We were pretty bummed, but the kids handled it extremely well. Us youth leaders were probably the most disappointed just feeling bad that the kids didn't get to see a professional baseball game. But they still enjoyed just getting to hang out in such a cool stadium for two hours.
On the way back to the church from the game, we decided to run into Walmart and get some ice cream for the kids to end the night on a happy note and to pick up some stuff for breakfast. However, the experience was not so great. Let's just say there was no fresh fruit, no cream cheese, no normal bagels and the entire time, Lydia and I just felt plain creepy in there. Maybe you can see it on Lydia's face:
And to make it even worse, we left the ice cream in the bag in the stupid turnstyle thingy and didn't realize it until we got back to the church (about 30 minutes away). Arg. I hate those stupid bag-turny things. Which is why I love Target.
Sunday morning after visiting the youth group of the church we were staying in, we headed off to another church in Pennsylvania to stay for the night. That afternoon, we needed to get some necessities, so some of the girls came with Lydia and I to Kmart.
Every time we saw children, Lydia and I got really homesick for ours. :(
Back at the church, Lydia got her groove on. She's so cool like that.
This is how Lydia and I slept in the churches. Perfectly still on our shared air mattress.
So, that was the first part of our trip. Now we're at TLC in Pennsylvania, staying at Baptist Bible College, having a great time, learning a ton and looking forward to seeing our kids again soon!