Have you ever had one of those experiences that, at the time it happens, just doesn’t hit you how much it means? Maybe later on down the road it becomes more and more important to you?
It’s been four months now since my wife and I took what was for us, a vacation of a lifetime. We drove from Ohio to the west coast, up the coast and back to Ohio.
We covered just over 7,000 miles, spent 26 days away from home and went through 17 states. We saw sights that we had always heard about or had seen in pictures, but to see them in person was quite amazing.
I think as time passes, and the more we think back on everything we got to do and see, it sinks in more and more. At the time we were traveling and seeing everything, it was so overwhelming that it took time for the impact of what we did to really hit us.
We saw the famous archway in St. Louis, stopped at Vaile, Colorado and went into the Grand Canyon National Park. We went on to Las Vegas for all the lights, entertainment and activities there. We drove up the coast to San Francisco, a city we had always dreamed of seeing, sitting by the bay and driving across the Golden Gate Bridge. We took an Amtrak ride from a town we found nice and interesting, San Luis Obispo back down to Los Angeles and saw many famous sites and landmarks there. Then we drove back up the coast to visit some friends in Klamath Falls, Oregon, then up to Seattle and Mt. Rainier then over to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho where we had dinner with a couple other friends.
From there we went down into Yellowstone National Park to see Old Faithful, getting there just fifteen minutes before it erupted. We went over to see Mt. Rushmore and the famous four presidents sculpted into the mountain. We finished up our trip with a stop in Chicago and a walk around Navy Pier and down the Magnificent Mile.
I think once we got home we were so tired and full of memories, it just didn’t sink in how much this affected us. As time passes, it hits me how much this trip means to the both of us. For me, I got to spend this fantastic trip with my best friend and the person I love more than I can express, getting to see such beautiful and interesting scenery, famous landmarks and interesting sites. And all the while we were making wonderful memories that we will never forget.
One of the things that really hit me about this trip is the fact that I really had some fear about going. Not a fear that something would happen, but a fear of the unknown. I wondered how would we ever pack a car for a month, how would we find where to stay every night, and how would I ever be able to drive in some of those big cities. The truth of the matter is I could have told my wife I was very nervous about doing this and wanted to wait a while. She would have said that is fine and we would have probably gone to the beach like normal, and probably never made this trip.
The thing is, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was time to take the plunge and make the decision to give it a try and see what happens. Sometimes we just have to look past our fears, jump in and take off. That is exactly what we did and it turned out great. For my wife and me, we feel that God was watching over us along the way, protecting us and guiding our schedule. I know not everyone believes that, and that is OK.
All along the way, everything just seemed to fall into place at the right time and right place. We had great weather, got into nice hotels every night at decent prices, had no trouble on the road, and just enjoyed ourselves beyond expression. We got to spend a little time with some fellow believers, enjoying good conversation and good food, and to us, we felt we had better fellowship than we have found in most churches we were part of in the past.
So, I guess if there is any moral to the story, it would be look past your fears, make up your mind you are going to do what you feel is right and don’t let worry or fear hold you back. You might just miss a great time and lose those wonderful memories that last a lifetime.