Wow, I get quite pensive late at night. This shall be somewhat less poetic but more informative than my last entry. The Feast is always so jam-packed with stuff that I forget half of what we did when it comes to writing it down afterwards or telling people or whatever, so I’ll just sum it up here real quick!

Mom and Dad left the house at a horrendously early hour on Thursday, and Ed and I flew out several hours later. We navigated the airports successfully and got to our flights on time, although we had to hustle in Atlanta. Why is it all flights get directed through Atlanta? There’s a saying that you have to go through Atlanta to get to hell, which I found amusing. We arrived in Chicago – O’Hare (a name I really like) and found Mom, Dad, and our luggage (in separate locations, but that’s ok). Are there rules about how many paranthetical statements you can have in one entry? The temperature in Chicago was 40-some degrees colder than when we left NC, which was pretty much awesome, at least for a while. Ed and I had to wait outside for a long time at the car rental place and it was beginning to get a wee bit less fun, but we constructed a giant windbreak out of luggage and were reasonably cozy.

Anyway! We then drove the hour or so to my grandparents’ house in the suburbs of Chicago, and from thence we went to a restaurant for dinner with the whole family. It was the first time in 5 years that all of my dad’s brothers and sister have all been together, with their spouses, in the same place, so that was cool. Socialized with the relatives, then hit the sack. On Friday we hung out more with the grandparents, then headed up to Reedsburg, Wisconsin. Or we tried to. We became sidetracked by several stores, one of which was Hobby Lobby. Now, I have never been inside a Hobby Lobby, so maybe they’re all this awesome, but this store was HUGE! And beautiful! And everything was cheap! Mom and I split up and ran around the stores like crazed geckos. They had absolutely exquisite journals…I sort of bought 3. But they were $1.99! And one of them had an old map on the cover! IN LATIN!! You see why I could not resist. The others were just as lovely.

By that time, we were a bit short on time, so we leapt back into the car and drove like fiends, until we hit horrible traffic and basically sat there for a couple hours. As a result, we were a little late to the opening service of the Feast that evening, but it turned out ok. ‘Twas grand to see everyone again, it’s been a couple years. Today was, of course, the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles. We only have one service, and it was at 1, so I went out with Mom and Uncle John and we walked all over the place. We ended up cutting across some farmer’s fields and finding this giant oak tree and I did a little tree climbing. We had services, then afterwards we went out again to walk on the 400 Trail, which is a trail which follows the line of an old railroad. It’s also 400 miles long, but we didn’t go nearly that far. 🙂 Ed and I ran around and took lots of pictures and videos, but he forgot the camera cable (ARGH) so I can’t post any yet. We might get a card reader while we’re here, since he wanted one anyway, and then I can dump the pics.

We had dinner as a group (something like 25 of us), which reminds me a lot of mealtimes at Marshbanks. We all know each other very well (most of these folks have known me since I was a baby) and it’s just lots of fun. This evening we headed out to get groceries for the room for the next week. I’m going to let you in on one of the best-kept Wisconsinian secrets: they have wonderful popcorn. Old Dutch White Gourmet Popcorn. I’m telling you, it’s wonderful. They only sell it in the northern states, unfortunately. (I actually e-mailed their distributor once to find out; it’s that good.) So I’ll pretty much be living on popcorn for the next week!

That was probably way more info than anyone wanted, but there you have it. Perhaps I’ll do another travelblog tomorrow.