I started writing yesterday on our drive home from St. Louis and here is how far I got:
It's my birthday and I'll drive if I want to. Here I am, 6 hours in a bucket seat. But you know, it's not a bad way to spend my workday part of my birthday. The past 3 days have been full of adventures and perspective.
Yup, I rang in 27 in a different city including 6 hours of it in a mini van. But it was worth it because I loved seeing a new place. The only thing that could have made it better was to have my hubby there. I thoroughly enjoyed the spacious digs that they put us up in at the Chase Park Plaza and the fact that all 4 of us from the office got our own rooms. Staying in a hotel never gets old to me, I still love getting ice, checking out the complimentary shampoo and reading USA today with a cup of coffee in the morning. The conference itself that we went for was great; I learned a ton of valuable information and met people that I have only ever talked to.
I won't bore you with the details of my learnings (although I think processes and technology are awesome...). But I will tell you that something about being in a city gives me life. I was thinking about it the first night we were there as the pavement pounded underneath my feet on a little run in the CWE (Central West End--the neighborhood we stayed in). I think it goes back to my original city love affair with Chicago. I can still remember being a little girl and looking up, way up, at the tall buildings when my Dad lived downtown. And there was something wonderful about feeling grown up in the coffee shops, lanes, shops and restaurants that is still really special to me. Ryan took me there the first summer we were dating, right before I left for my freshman year at TU & proposed there 4 years later. So that city has a strong heartbeat.
But I can find that beat in any city, looking up at the buildings and thinking about all of the diverse experiences, lifestyles and families that reside there. So St. Louis did not disappoint. Maybe there will be another trip there down the road with Ryan...for now, here are some pics of our time there:
I felt very loved on my birthday, starting with a 7 a.m. hazelnut latte from my friend Ryan that I work with & I also got some great texts & voice mails, including my Ryan & some other singing VERY off key.
When I got home, Ryan had the house all picked up and the dishwasher running- which was a gift in itself. He also had a great card & the promise of a date night on Friday in GR. can't wait!
I also thought a lot about writing while I was there but chose to soak up the nights by spending time with co-workers and watching TV on my pillow top king size bed. I have at least 2 more Israel posts I would like to share so bear with me as my processing spreads into the summertime. Sometimes life just happens faster than can it can be documented and I am learning the value of living each moment.