Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Family Road Trip!

For the past 9 years, my stepsister Carol has worked many long nights and weekends, invested a substantial amount of income from her full-time day job, and used all of her vacation days to travel to Lexington, Kentucky a few times a year to slowly and steadily complete her Seminary studies at Asbury Theological Seminary.  This past weekend she finally reached the finish (starting?) line to earn her M.Div. degree!  There was no way we in the family were going to let this occasion go unrecognized…so we decided to take a family road trip to accompany Carol down to Kentucky for the graduation ceremonies!

As it was Memorial Day weekend, Millie’s favorite kennel was sold-out, so she would have to come with us too.  So, Carol, Millie and I drove down in the View, while my other stepsister Holley, her husband, and mother drove ahead of us in their car.

It had been awhile since I’d driven the View without a tow car and what a difference in how “peppy” the View performed!  It also clocked in much better gas mileage than I had thought--- a respectable 16 mpg fully-loaded driving at 65 mph!  But I did have one unfortunate mishap….

As I was leaving a BP gas station after filling up (and successfully remembering to NOT use their green handled pumps for diesel!), I was not paying as close attention to my turns as I normal do when towing the Tracker, and I managed to scrape and dent some of my lower panels on the View.  Fortunately, the panels stayed attached and didn’t crack, but one of the metal support brackets is now totally mangled, so it looks like BP’s curse on unsuspecting View/Navions is still going strong!

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We stayed at a hotel in Lexington about 10 miles from campus.  Since the hotel did not allow dogs, I decided to sleep out in the parking lot with Millie in the View (the weather was absolutely perfect all weekend, so no need for A/C or heat).  It was nice to still enjoy the hotel’s free Wi-Fi and breakfasts, but still have all the comforts of our little rolling home!

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Saturday was Carol’s big day and filled with graduation events all day long.  There was first a chapel service for the graduates and their families..

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followed by a wonderful picnic lunch out on the quadrangle provided by the college.  We found a nice shady spot, and brought camp chairs and a patio mat from the Winnie to enjoy our feast.  Even Millie got to join us!

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After lunch, the graduates started putting on their robes for picture-taking around the beautiful campus.  An especially popular spot was at the “life-sized” statue of theologian John Wesley.  The young seminarians loved hamming it up next to poor little John!

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But there were plenty of traditional graduation portraits too—our newest family minister!

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Carol with her mom and sister--

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and poses with me, and her mom’s friend Barb who lives in Lexington (and housed Carol during many of her trips down to campus).

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By mid-afternoon, it was time to make our way over to the gymnasium for the formal graduation ceremony.  The skies were quite “heavenly” for this event!

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The day ended with Carol’s friend from Indonesia, Dame, taking us all out for a celebratory dinner.  Dame is finishing up work on her PhD at Asbury, so looks like her graduation will be next!

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On Sunday, Holley’s husband begged for a “man day” to watch the Indy 500 at the hotel, so we girls headed off to tour Shaker Village south of Lexington.  It was a beautiful day for a drive along the twisty roads across the Kentucky river.

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The Shaker Village grounds were peaceful to walk around.  Most of the buildings date from the early 1800’s.

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The inside of the building now used for the hotel and restaurant was particularly impressive with it’s dual spiral wooden staircases and oval skylight.  Just spectacular!

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After posing for a few more portraits, it was time to leave Shaker Village and conclude our weekend festivities.

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The horse farms surrounding Lexington were brilliantly green at this time of year.  We really hated to leave on Monday to drive back to Chicago, but hopefully we’ll all be back someday to soak up more of Kentucky’s special charm and beauty!

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8 comments:

  1. Amen! to that trip, and congratulations to Carol!

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  2. Congratulations to Carol! Her fellow MDiv holder, Trisha, sends her best wishes, too! Sorry about the scrapes on the View--I played a little bumper car last year and had to have one of the rear panels replaced. Good as new!

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  3. First of all, congrats to Carol! That looked like a lovely day and a very nice ceremony....love the "heavenly skies."

    And OUCH on the poor Winnie! Boo Hoo! It is a good lesson for us all, though. I need to be more cautious, as I drive like a grandma when towing, but once I drop the Tracker, you would think I was out on a Fedex delivery or something! These things are just so easy to drive, I easily to forget there is a house behind me!

    LOVE those spiral staircase photos!

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  4. Ouch to the WInnie! Don't despair, you can get it fixed on the Isla for a very very good price.

    Great road trip for the family and what a wonderful occasion and so wonderful that Mille could be a part of it all.

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  5. Beautiful country. And congratulations to Carol! We're leaving on our first long distance RV trip next week. I'm a little nervous, but also excited to start the adventure.

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  6. What a lovely trip despite the View's mishap. Love that final photo of the beautiful home and fenced pastures.

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  7. Congratulations To Carol! My husband and I just bought a RV and I just started to follow your blog recently. I have added Kentucky to our list. Thank you.

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  8. IF you can wait til you're back in Mexico to get your dent repaired and it repainted, it will be so much less expensive. I had my Nissan Pathfinder repainted in Melaque last year for the whopping price of $180USD. Oh and he removed ALL the dings and dents, etc. that had accumulated over 10 years. It's amazing.

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