Friday, April 16, 2010

Things Not As They Appear

As you can see by the photo we went on a road trip. And those of you who know us know how typical and eventually funny our travel stories are.

There is so much I have wanted to write about for weeks but haven't felt like I could do it justice. As I've thought about the many things I've experienced recently I feel like I can group several of them in the category of things are not as they appear.

In the New Orleans French Quarter storefronts are really dirty (cool & creative yes, but so dirty). The many tiny one-way streets and narrow walkways have a special ambiance but they also wreak of garbage....and more than a few people you wouldn't trust with your children. But our find ended up being this Bourbon Street pearl hiding beautifully inside an unassuming shell. It was awesome! We enjoyed our time in this amazing city, Jackson Square, Cafes, incredible street musicians, all amidst the dirt (here we are at Cafe' de Monde, delish!)

Still in the things are not what they appear category. fast forward to the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC. It shone bright with a massive zip line across a lake, beautiful bike trails, kayaking and white water rafting, all for one low price higher than Cedar Point. We soon discovered that the first thing we wanted to do, the huge zip line, was down for repairs indefinitely. The bike trails were closed due to recent rain. The rafting was booked, with one time slot left in the day..... BUT we enjoyed 'rock' climbing a lot, what a great work out! And Kayaking on the river where there was a crazy amount of turtles was really great.

Same category... rewind to an hour before we left for the trip (first stop Houston) when I got a call from my parents that my Grandmother, soon to be 94, had died that morning. She was the reason for our Florida leg of the trip. I was so sad. We missed seeing her one last time. But as sad as all of my family, lots of Italian cousins, aunts, uncles, sad to lose her, as I looked at her lifeless form I knew she was no longer old, frail, and limited. She

was in eternity. I can only begin to imagine how incredible things are for her now.

Indeed, things are not as they appear.

And about the Hood Up photo....the van was overheating on the last hour before our Florida stop which required pulling over every 15 minutes to pour water bottles and melted ice from the coolers (a fun sight for passersby), into the leaking radiator. Once we got to my parent's house Dave tried replacing the hose which didn't prove to be the issue. So, he found a mobile mechanic at the auto parts store. This model guy shows up in an old '79 Chevy van, turns out he's not a model. He's a mobile mechanic. But a few of us stood around watching just to make sure.

Things are not always as they appear.

Throughout our travels we frequently encountered some people who fit this category. Well, not the looking like models so much as just seeming way different than they really were. And some of them surprised me in great ways. The more I talked with them the more I found beauty inside.

That's inspiring. I want to be like that.

God, help me be like that. Better on the inside than I ever appear.