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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

GratiTuesday - A Weekend Away

This past weekend I traveled with a friend to a Women of Faith conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.  We got up super early on Friday and headed out into a dark and rainy morning, intent on making it to the Time Warner arena before the emcee took the stage at 10.

Despite a few stops and seriously heavy rain (it wasn't raining cats and dogs, it was more like elephants and giraffes), we drove past the arena at 8:59 and found parking.  The clouds later cleared and allowed us to venture outside on our breaks.

During our dinner break we explored the Epicenter, a multi-story outdoor mall area full of eateries and shops.  After eating, with time left, we took off to explore another area a block away.

While we weren't able to get to the recommended shops, we did find this:

and this:
and this:

and got to use this revolving door.

There's something fun about revolving doors - I can't help wanting to go around and around in them!

While we didn't get nearly enough sleep before or at the conference to be completely comfortable - it's hard for a woman to go away for her family! - it was a great time away.  The city was as beautiful as all that concrete could be, and watching limos and valets changed up my people watching views from the usual kittens and squirrels.

I was sad to leave - though looking forward to a full night's sleep - when we spotted an IKEA as we drove out of the city.  Like any self-respecting women, we crossed several lanes of traffic and drove all over until we figured out how to get to it.  We didn't have nearly enough time to do that store justice.

I will never want to move to a city because I much prefer the sounds of birds and squirrels to that of car horns and braking buses, but it's a fun place to visit, and Charlotte was excellent.  With lots to do packed in a small space, we were never bored - and could have used much more time.  The benches by some of those fountains looked like great places to plop down with a slushy drink and my Bible.   I hope my next trip there moves at a slower pace!

Today, I'm grateful for the ability to get away.  For a husband who encourages my retreats and takes wonderful care of the kids while I'm gone.  For the opportunity to visit a new place and see new sights.  For a clean place to stay and free chocolate while there.  For the ending of the rain and the appearance of the sun, for yummy dinners out and a Sheetz along the way.  For safe travels and family waiting for my return.  For Sunday afternoon naps and a slow re-entry to the real world.  

I'm already looking forward to my next trip to Charlotte - and my next retreat, whatever and whenever that may be.

What are you grateful for today?

For more GratiTuesday, visit Heavenly Homemakers!

Come back tomorrow for more about my Women of Faith Experience!

1 comment:

  1. I wish I'd have know there was a WOF conference so close. I would definitely have been there! And there's an IKEA, too?!? I think I need to learn more about what's happening in my new state.