Monday, July 26, 2010

Embracing south... Jersey?

Ahh... I love vacation.

I love getting away from work, seeing new things, spending time with family, and all of the usual reasons why people love vacation. I love flying, using airplane bathrooms, and packing everything I need in a carry-on bag. I love having extra time to read and being free to go out for ice cream every evening.

This particular vacation was a bit unorthodox, because for the first time, it was only a partial family summer vacation. Mom and Emily weren't able to come! (Although last summer the rest of my family came to visit me in Yellowstone... so it was partial to them.) Em had her big state swim meet, unbeknownst to Mom and Dad when Dad made the flight arrangements. Anyway, it felt a little strange, and we missed them very much, but we were definitely able to have some adventures of our own!

This is one of those just for fun pictures.
I read "The Sun Also Rises" as the sun actually rises (but all you can see is the bright morning sunlight...ha!)

Doing the tourist thing in Philly. You know, the Libery Bell and stuff.

Dad and Daniel pose as a Signer.

Ever since I saw the movie back in 8th grade, I have wanted to see this statue! It's not at the top of the stairs anymore, but I love it. What a cultural icon!

After running up the stairs to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Daniel and I do our versions of his victory punch. The funny thing about this picture is that about 30 seconds later -- after I suggested that Daniel and I race down the stairs, and he beats me, of course -- I have crumpled to the ground from the pain of a sprained ankle!! Ahh! The rest of Wednesday was quite painful, but by Thursday afternoon I could almost walk normally! Seriously, I was praising God for the fast healing. It definitely had the potential to ruin a vacation.

These are the steps up the Barnagut Lighthouse on Long Beach Island, NJ. Our final destination was not Philly or the Lighthouse (believe it or not, we did not travel from Mississippi to New Jersey for a lighthouse!) but Harvey Cedars Bible Conference. Dad worked there for three summers in high school, and it was so fun to see his old stompin' grounds.
(However, we did travel the 3 or 4 miles to said lighthouse and the tip of the island 4 times in the two days we were there. This is trip #1.)

Chewed-up crab with his shadow on the jetty.

Trip #2. Fantastic sunset. Oh my goodness.
Favorite picture of the vacation, no doubt.

Time #3. Finally! You see the lighthouse! It was pretty fun to hop from big rock to big rock, but it was a little difficult with the still-sprained-and-swollen ankle.

My brother is silly.

I learned several things on this vacation.
First, my dad is absolutely incredible. I definitely knew that before, but this is one of those trips I'm gonna remember for always, for real. He and Daniel both were so kind and patient when I sprained my ankle from stupidity. On Wednesday night, after Daniel and I were both washed up and in bed, Dad went to the nearest Wal-Mart to get some Advil and an ankle brace for me. Also, his summer vacation was not with his beloved wife (their anniversary was our travel day on Sunday), but with two of his silly kids who have a tendency to fuss and tease excessively (all in love, of course) -- not quite the ideal. Dad is always patient and always loving, and I am so, so thankful that God has given me such an awesome earthly daddy.

Second, I am extremely prideful. I am prideful of my slender ankles (the left of which has swollen to a rather unattractive circumference) and of my "knowledge" of the Scriptures. The first has already been explained; the latter was evidenced in the evening sessions of Harvey Cedars. I'm pretty sure the speaker wasn't reformed, and I found my self constantly examining what he said to see if it lines up with my worldview and the reformed doctrine. I am so helpless, even in understanding good things! I just had to keep remembering that the Spirit uses these things to teach me Truth and to humble me, and I prayed a lot to focus on the heart of the matter, rather than my sinful, created distractions. And you know what? I did learn something. It was good to be reminded of those essentials of the faith (like the Holy Spirit!).

SO! All in all, a delightful vacation.
And now, I cannot believe that I have only 14 work days till I'm back at school.


  1. Hi friend! It's been too long! It's catch up time...but before that, I just had to add (again) per your humble and introspective thoughts at the end of this blog, that you and Leah ABSOLUTELY MUST meet. I think you're the same person. Seriously. That said, I love you and miss you AND - you should know that the final time the Liberty Bell cracked (according to tradition anyway) it was tolling for the death of Chief Justice John Marshall who is my great (x7) uncle. :-D Let's talk soon!

  2. Hannah, Hannah.
    I liked your vacation story.