When you spend a lot of time driving or flying, you have time to think…here are some of the random thoughts from our 5 weeks in the States:

I can’t remember ever seeing so many police on the roads. For a while it felt like they were following us. We actually did get followed from Fredonia to Brocton at 1:00 am on our trip back from the Buffalo airport. I am thankful for cruise control!

One of the two things nearly everyone we spoke with talked about was the cost of health insurance.

The other topic had to do with an election you had in 2016…I forget the details.

At least this store was giving equal time:-) [picture taken in Michigan]

I’m not sure if it’ll happen, but while we were there, we go the idea of taking a 3 month HMA in 4 or 5 years, and driving around the continental US as we have ministry partners in about every region of the country.

I’m not sure if the drivers are crazier in Atlanta, or Long Island. While in Atlanta, we saw a road sign that said 699 people had died on Georgia roads in 2018. I[looked online] and just over three weeks later it is 798.

I only drove on the wrong side of the road 1 time during the trip. And it was an early Sunday morning . Liz almost turned into the wrong lane once…but otherwise, we didn’t have any issues.

Taking the chain ferry in Sagituck, MI.

I had a bigger problem remembering that the hot and cold water are switched.

One of the strange phenomena of a trip like that is it feels like it going so fast. But as you look back everything seems so long ago…was it really only a month ago we were in Chicago?

We are often asked if a trip like that is exhausting. To some extent, it does take a lot out of you. But the energy you get from reconnecting with friends, family, and people who have played an important part in your life more that makes up for it.

Liz and I have had the incredible pleasure of knowing so many interesting and incredible people in our lives. When I was graduating high school, one of my uncles told me that you can tell a lot about a person by the friends they have. I hope that is true.

It is strange going into someone’s home and seeing your picture up on their fridge. (It is very encouraging as well!)

We ate so much good food on this trip! Méabh ate a lot of ice cream and is still amazed that you can’t get chocholate flakes with your cone.

The amount of telemarketing calls people we stayed with and visited was absolutely insane. I would not have a home phone if I lived there.

Speaking of telemarketers…we purchase tourist SIM cards from TMobile for our phones while we are there…we received far more spam calls that we did anything else.

It is a bit of a shock going into a store and the price on the item is not the price you pay. (I forgot several times about sales tax.)

Walking througn NYC

One of the things we try to do on a trip like this is make sure M has a good time. We don’t want her growing up equating ministry with boring or worse. So we try to plan one fun thing each week. We hit the Columbus Zoo, the Central Park Playground, and the Chautauqua County Fair. Her two big questions at each place we visited was:
1) Do they have pets?
2) Do they have kids?

I forgot how much I miss free refills of coffee.

Liz on the shore and the girls in Lake Erie.

I forgot how incredible the Great Lakes are.

It was a great trip! Thanks to everyone who took time to meet up, and especially to everyone who hosted us!

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