Friday, May 26, 2017

Girls' Road Trip (with Daddy)

Chris took the girls to Pennsylania for the meaningful and special Clothing Ceremony of Sr. G---- , the eldest daughter of our good friends. Sister has been living in this cloistered Carmelite convent for a year now, and the next step in her discernment process was her Clothing Ceremony.

Some areas of the country have access to and interaction with traditional nuns, but ours is not one of them. We wanted our girls to be able to see this vocation as a wonderful experience and a real option, so we invested in the trip. Lest you think we're nutso to travel so far, at last count there were 57 friends and family traveling from Charlotte to Pennsylvania to be there for Sr. G---- that day!

Complex packing list with separate day bags for the girls to use on Thursday

Chris and the girls made the eight-hour drive successfully on Wednesday. Once checked in to the hotel, Mary promptly completed our little travel ritual of her writing me a letter, Daddy taking a photo of it and emailing it to me, and then my emailing her back.

It hadn't occurred to me that Pennsylvania might be colder than our humid South, but apparently Thursday was a high of 65 and rainy, so Chris took the girls to buy a coat and sweater.

Ascension Thursday was a meaningful and very long day.

Early waking to drive nearly an hour to the convent for the 8:00 a.m. Mass and Clothing Ceremony. (No photos or video allowed in the cloister, so I have none to share.)

9:45 a.m. Coffee reception

10:00-11:30 a.m. Visiting with Sr. G---- and the Mother Superior

12:00 Catered lunch at the convent

After all the official events, most of the group of 57 folks headed over to Knoebels for an afternoon at the amusement park (necessitating a clothing change).

Mary in the first car
In case anyone who hasn't known Mary (8) since she was ten months old was unsure, she has now had the opportunity to ride real roller coasters and her daddy reports that she is absolutely fearless. Here is a video example of The Impulse ride, which she rode (escorted by some teenaged friends) and exited feeling absolutely exhilarated and on top of the world. Chris was willing to take her on the Flying Turns ride (click for video), which he said even he enjoyed. My 10- and 6-year-olds have a more cautious nature about these things, taking after their Mama. But even Chris doesn't like big roller coasters, so Mary stands alone in that.

Chris in the last car

Then the whole group met for a six o'clock dinner (necessitating another outfit change!) at a lovely restaurant for a dinner celebrating Sr. G----'s accomplishment, hosted by her family.

Bloomsburg town square

The gang made it back safe and sound after a 6:00 a.m. hotel departure and in the nick of time for the "Esther" musical rehearsal for which Mary did not have an excused absence.

1 comment:

  1. What a spectacular and memorable trip! I am so glad the girls and Chris were present and able to represent the love and prayers of our community to Sister!