My trip has been fabulous!!! I now understand why people like to go on solo road trips. Everything is on your own schedule- and I am so glad I chose to take my time getting here. I never thought I would ever say this- but I even fell in love with parts of Kansas. Who would thought? The roads were awesome- I couldn't have asked for better weather. I started the solo road adventure on Thursday afternoon, maybe 1? My first stop was in Junction City, KS. Can't say that this was my favorite stretch of the drive, but everything after that point was breathtaking. Eastern KS, MO, IL, IN, KY & WV (dont' think I missed any states.. hope I got the abbrevs correct!) all had their own charm. I have never seen colors like I have out here before- the leaves are changing, the air is crisp, and the sun is still shining. Night time is a bit chillier out here than back home, but it hasn't gotten me to complain much yet. :-D
Friday morning, I headed out to Louisville, KY to go visit the sweet, southern step family! I arrived around 9 PM or so (after all the time changes) and had a great time going out in Louisville, KY with my two cousins, Austin & Blake. Once we all decided to go out, I informed them I would be ready to go after I had a few minutes to change out of my sweatpants I'd been wearing on the drive. They each said I didn't need to change, which I thought was odd, but later found out that their comments weren't just polite, they were correct. People going out in KY aren't quite like CO folk... they don't see the need to dress up. Plenty of sweat pants, comfy boots & t-shirts. Turns out I was a little dressed up for the occasion. :-D My favorite part of good ole Tap Room Bar? They had a whole section of the bar for mugs of the locals. I guess this tradition died out a while ago, but it was a really neat idea & they still look really cool! (I was a total tourist... pictures of the said mugs will soon be posted)
I spent Saturday morning with Austin and we went for a run in Lousiville. They have awesome park systems there- and the run was great. They kicked my butt, and I proved to be the least athletic- but I enjoyed getting some exercise after a few days in the car. Blake, Austin and I went to the University of Louisville football game that afternoon to tailgate and soak up some fall football.... it was a little chilly- but super fun. That evening, we all had a nice dinner with the Levines, Quin, Julie & the girls. I haven't seen that part of the family in years and we all had plenty to catch up on. A million thanks to my sweet family with all their southern hospitality!
Today was also eventful- I stopped in Lexington, KY to visit a childhood friend. Sarah Huebner and I went to elementary school together and decided to meet up on my trip. She has always been big into horses, and thanks to great timing, I had the opportunity to stop by Kentucky Horse Farm to see her compete in a show. I brought my nice camera (thanks mom) and took some photos of Sarah during her stadium jumping. Slightly odd to admit, but it was nice to be around horse shows again. It was a nice little detour!
The remainder of my drive to WV was SO. BEAUTIFUL. Words don't even do justice to describe all of the natural beauty. Rivers ran alongside many of the roads, the leaves are bright & cheerful, and wildlife is all around you. I saw a black bear cub on the drive. How cool is that? Sad to say, though, I didn't get my camera out in time. OH. MY. GOODNESS. it is unbelievable. Take a trip out here if you ever get the chance.
Paranoid parents... I have to admit that I did get really lost at one point. No cell service, wrong turn, rural west Virginia... !! Good thing I don't panic easily. I ended up joining up with the road a bit farther north than I thought, so I drove about 10 miles the other directions. Sounds like an easy fix, but let me tell you, these roads wind around everywhere. My twenty mile detour cost me about another hour. But rest assured, my car and I arrived at Gesundheit Institute by 7:00 PM, just in time for dinner and orientation.
It's REAL chilly here. I'm thankful I packed some warmer winter clothes at this point. They say it is supposed to warm up, but it was snowing at points through the mountains on my drive. The land is absolutely gorgeous, and the facilities! So neat. It screams joy, laughter, and acceptance. The people are all so welcoming and kind, I feel at ease already. Must admit I was a bit nervous today, but my jitters have gone away, and I am happy to be around a group of people so excited and energetic about helping people. People traveled from all over- there are doctors- med students- recent college grads- old people- little kids- you name it! I haven't even met them all yet, but I can tell I will love them all.
Everyone is exhausted from traveling- and I am the only crazy one still awake. Sounds like we will be having full days - and I am so lucky not to have other things to study on top of this (so many students do!) I can focus all my love, attention & energy on being here, which I am excited to do. I do have Internet here- it's really slow at times though. I will try to get around to my blogging, updating, and uploading pictures as soon as I figure out when I can have some more free time here!
I am happy, safe, & enthusiastic about the month ahead of me. The energy & passion is outrageous- I'm in for a wild adventure. Thanks for all the love and support, as always, you guys are the best!
LOTS of love!!!
Love & Light,