In case you haven’t noticed, ADVENTURE is my middle name. Well, not really, but you catch my drift. The title of my blog is God’s GYPSY. I did my longest solo road trip this weekend from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to a teeny, tiny town called Mount Vernon, Kentucky. I am a child of the Appalachia and went for a visit to my grandparents for the weekend. The best way to entertain oneself on a solo road trip is: a) Be an INTROVERT (It helps A LOT); b) Take the plunge and invest in APPLE MUSIC. So I was all geared up for the trip rolled down my windows on the interstate, opened my sunroof, and blasted some tunes.
The journey through downtown Chicago, downtown Indianapolis, downtown Louisville, and downtown Lexington only took about 8 1/2 hours. Travel Pro Tip: INVEST in an IPASS – I got one a year ago and it has saved me TIME & MONEY. I was lovingly greeted by an adorable little angel, my grandmother, and a puppy dog. For half of my 36 hours in Kentucky I had the joy of assisting in caring for a 3 year old cousin my grandmother is taking care of. Definitely a preparation step for motherhood! Nothing like having someone want your constant attention but all of the hugs and “I yove you” made it worthwhile! (Plus if you know me I will NEVER pass the opportunity to assist with the kiddos).
The main reason (besides visiting family) for coming to visit Kentucky was for an Asbury University Masters of Social Work program reunion. Those two years flew by so fast and this was my first time back to visit! I’m totally going to promo right now and let y’all know it is still the best Christian MSW program in the country (You can even check US News if y’all don’t believe me). A great time was had by all and I enjoyed catching up with the head of the program/my favorite professor I ever had:)
Since I had some downtime before another visit with a Kentucky acquaintance, I decided to visit some of my old stomping grounds. First, I visited the Asbury campus. There I found the Wilmore water tower with the cross still attached. Freedom from Religion in Wisconsin actually spent a significant amount of time and effort trying to sue the city and detach the cross from the water tower. Justice prevailed and the cross still remains. Seriously though – we always called Wilmore “the Holy city”. Why on earth would you waste your time trying to take a cross off the water tower? They must have missed the sign at the entrance of Wilmore that says “Welcome to Wilmore, Jesus loves you” lol!
My next stop was to a place just outside of Wilmore called High Bridge. This was a quiet spot for myself and some friends when we wanted to have some space, go write or talk to God. High Bridge got it’s name because of the train trestle. For those of you engineer and train enthusiasts, it was the first cantilever bridge in the United States. Those of us who do not know that much about train trestles – it is an opportunity to learn and has a beautiful view! Everyone has to appreciate the cool scenic outlook area where you can see the Kentucky and Dix River converge.
After a poignant trip down memory lane, I ended up on the back porch of the director/founder of my old job’s home. Once upon a time I worked at a place called All God’s Children, Inc. where I had the privilege of becoming a vampire and spending half of my night’s awake caring for teenage mothers and their babies. The memories of each precious (and precocious) child combined with the need in Milwaukee are what led me to the start of forming my own home for teen moms, as well as to the doorstep of Pam Smith’s home. We spent two hours (along with her wonderful daughter) discussing our passion for teenage mothers and the desire to see the improved lives of mother and baby. It is rejuvenating and encouraging to get to learn from someone who has been exactly where you are at now! More details to come on Hadassah House (that will be the name of the home) in the near future!
The conclusion of my trip was lots of pit stops because 18 hours in a car alone in one weekend is a LONG time. There were fuel (gas was only 1.93 in Kentucky!), Starbucks, taco, family, and fuel stops. One of my all-time favorite taco places is Bakersfield Mass Ave and they have a location in downtown Indianapolis (if your in a hurry, you can get tacos to go!). I was able to run in and grab tacos al pastor and a bistec taco. My uncle (who is a chef and lives in Houston) agrees that these are better than almost any others he has had! They are easily as good as the ones I had in Mexico. A different set of grandparents live right outside of downtown Indy and I got to sit on the porch and talk with them, my uncles, and cousins. I thought I’d surprise them but the surprise was on me when my uncle and two cousins were there visiting from Houston! Needless to say this gypsy’s solo road trip weekend was a success and I am looking forward to next weekend’s overnighter to Chicago.