It’s two days until I leave for the Breathe Christian Writer’s Conference. My son asked me a few minutes ago if I’m excited about my trip. Oh, yes, I am excited! I get to go on a solo adventure. The last one was in 2011 when I drove from Kansas City to Los Angeles in a little red stick-shift truck that I’d just learned how to drive for that trip (the stick-shift part was new, not the actual driving part; just to clarify). This time, I’ll be clicking along the tracks in Amtrak style from Kansas City to Chicago. From there I’ll rent a car and drive around Lake Michigan up to Grand Rapids where the Conference is held.
I can’t begin to express how much I’m looking forward to this part. Traveling on the train will take so much pressure off the trip. What would be a 9 ½ hour drive (which probably would’ve turned into closer to 12 hours since I get so sleepy when I drive long distance anymore) will now be a three hour drive. And those three hours will be along a route I’ve never driven before.
The actual driving part is something I keep giggling at, too. I’m a Jeep gal, usually. But with the Jeep out of commission right now I’ve been driving around in a Ford F150 which is a behemoth of a vehicle – sits up high; wide and long; makes wide turns; backing up feels like a tank. My rental for the trip is a Ford Fiesta (or comparable). Compared to what I drive, it’s like a little toy. I can’t wait to see how that feels.
Remember I said I get to drive around Lake Michigan? Well, the lake boasts more than 100 lighthouses along its shores. Now, I won’t be circling the lake so I won’t get close to most of them, but there are a fair number of lighthouses along the route from Grand Rapids to Chicago and I’m going to see how many of them I can reach and get stamps. Stamps? Yep, there’s actually a US Lighthouse Passport program. I’ve received my Passport and I’m working on a plan for what I might realistically get to. That’s going to be fun!
Did I mention I’ve never been to Michigan? Well, I haven’t and I’m excited to explore, even a little. I’m praying the weather will be clear, dry and crisp so I can experience Michigan’s autumn colors and landscape.
My excitement for the weekend extends beyond the solo adventure. I’m also excited for the Conference itself. I’ve never done this before; this is a whole new world for me. (Did you stop and break into song; even in your head? I did.) I’m looking forward to seeing what this is all about; meeting new people; learning more than I can wrap my mind around in such a short amount of time; receiving guidance and advice on some of my questions; and maybe even making a new friend. And I’m excited to take this next step in the writings journey.