I promised everyone a rundown on my trip to Chicago. So here goes! To say it was an adventure is not doing it justice! It really was an adventure, excursion, a spree. . .with delightful moments, missed trains, laughter, tears and even FEARS!
We left Friday morning and headed for St. Louis to pick up another girl. We left St. Louis two hours behind schedule and tried to book it to Chicago. We were to be in downtown Chicago for the Beth Moore Conference at 7:00 P.M. We stopped at a gas station outside of Chicago and found out we were still a couple hours from our destination and it was almost 5:00 already! So a nice man suggested we drive to Joliet (a shorter distance) and catch the train and we would be downtown in an hour. So that’s what we did. . We drove to Joliet, found parking at the train station, ran to the train. . . and it left with us standing right in front of it!!!!!
Our train LEAVING without us!
We stayed at the station until the next train came at 6:45 p.m. So much for being at the conference on time. We finally made the train and enjoyed our hour long ride into downtown chicago.
Our beautiful group of girls in the train station.
When we got off the train we walked to the “L” (Chicago’s subway) which took us to the pavilion where the conference was.
Here we are on the “L”
Beth Moore was fantastic. It was fun letting these younger girls get a taste of a hero of our generation. All the way there they talked skeptically about Beth. . . while we raved. Then on the way home, I loved hearing them talk about her with great appreciation!
After the conference we had a long ride back to our vans and decided to get hotel rooms there instead of staying with the people we were originally supposed to stay with. We checked into our rooms, ate some Taco Bell at 1:30 A.M. and fell into bed at 2:30! We had a very full, very fun, very eventful day!
Saturday we drove to the conference and then went to a diner called Ed Debevic’s. It was a 50’s diner that is known for their sort of “hateful attitudes”. The waitresses are not mannerly, ours at one point yelled “What is your problem!” at us. It was funny.
The staff at Ed’s dancing on the bar
After eating, it was off to Michigan Avenue for some shopping. We hadn’t thought about the St. Patrick’s Day parade being that day and it was crowded!!
Me, Megan and Michaela on Michigan Ave.
I have to say that this was not my kind of shopping. Everything was very expensive. We went in Saks Fifth Avenue and this is the sort of stuff they had. . .
Yup! The ugliest shirt in the world for $665.00!
We left the shopping district and headed toward Michaela’s friends house where we would stay the night. After getting lost in downtown Chicago for quite awhile, we all made it safely.
We left the next morning for the leisurely, boring ride home. . .so much for that! We arrived in St. Louis without a hitch and went on toward Columbia. One of our girls’ father is a meteorologist and called that we were headed into some bad weather and we should stop in Columbia and wait until it crossed over I70! Good thing he did. We stopped and went into an Old Navy store. We were all happily shopping when the tornado sirens started blaring. None of the workers seemed to care so we took it upon ourselves to get into the middle of the store.
You can see how terrified we are.
The sirens stopped and we went over to Famous Barr. The sirens were going off again and a lady met us at the door and promptly escorted us to their back room that was like a storm shelter. We gathered with a bunch of other people listening to the sirens, the hail and hoping our windshields were not breaking.
This is some of the sights we saw when we finally left the store. . .
We praised God this wasn’t what happened to our vehicles!
When the storm had finally passed, we found that I70 was closed because a tractor trailer had turned over and it would be hours. So we took the best route and headed South to 50 Hwy. When we got to Sedalia we were in the middle of all the severe tornado storms!! Luckily we had our meteorologist Dad on the phone telling us every step of the way. There were times we drove really fast and others we parked and ran for our lives into a building. We would listen to the sirens while all huddling in a one hole bathroom and then get back on the road and drive for all we were worth! We finally made it!
We will never forget this trip! We were stretched to the limits, tired, encouraged, tried and challenged. It was all good!! All of it. I love these girls, they are wonderful. They never complained. We were encouraged by their quick response to pray whenever we didn’t know where we were or what we were going to do. I feel so privileged that they accepted me and included me in their trip and in their lives! Thanks, girls!