Chicago

20130804-233032.jpgLet’s move past those forehead wrinkles and get straight to the truth. This post could easily be titled ‘The perks of being in youth ministry.’

We took our group of graduates on the annual senior trip. This year Walker decided on Chicago, based almost solely on the Megabus giving us round trip tickets for $38 a piece. After our 20-hour ride, we hauled our suitcases through the subways, washed ourselves in the hotel bathroom and stepped into four days of metropolitan bliss. We packed in as much tourism as our days would allow- soaking up the local food, segwaying to the major attractions, riding the subway to museums and sky decks, and shopping, of course.

I can’t say enough good things about this group of new adults. Traveling, while so much fun, is also exhausting, and weariness didn’t get in the way of their adventure … that would be us chaperones who took a cat nap on a bench inside the aquarium. They kept smiles on their faces, maintained their easy-going attitudes and stayed flexible as needed. Complaints were few and harmony was tangible. I love it when travelers awe at new sights and sounds and people, and that’s just what they did. They got excited over small things like orangutans and woke up early to seize the day. They’re an incredible group, and I’m really going to miss them.20130806-180518.jpgmuseumgothicelevatorsky20130806-180736.jpgdark20130814-154731.jpg20130814-160702.jpg20130814-162946.jpg20130814-162904.jpg20130814-163037.jpgSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES20130814-155047.jpgflash20130814-160758.jpgrainybeanOn our last drizzling morning in the city, we ran over to Millennium Park for one last exploration. Walker was wearing his ‘Keep Waco Wacko’ shirt when from behind me I heard ‘Sic em bears!’ I turned around to see the dad of my really good friend. Brad, who practically became my brother as we spent a summer together as church interns in Spain was standing next to him. I hadn’t seen him since he was an usher in our wedding 2 years ago. Brad, who lives in North Carolina, and me, all the way from Texas, found ourselves in a reunion embrace…IN CHICAGO! It is one of my very favorite life moments. Ever!

Brad, you are the best! And so are your parents. My squeals didn’t even come close to explaining my happiness. Grateful to call you my friend! bradbeanbradyouthbeanHoping we meet again soon, Chicags. You were so good to us. Clean, friendly, beautiful. Hoping we meet again, too, youth graduates. Come back and visit soon! You are a gift to us. Happy college to each of you!

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