I've had more time to read and think this week, and also to enjoy being a tourist. Sometimes the things we do feel like a check off list because we are either trying to do something outdoors in miserable weather or trying not to stress because we have to get to our next location in good timing (Of course, spring is here, so this part of the trip is much more enjoyable with spending so much time touring outdoors!).
Our time in Indiana and Michigan was enjoyable. We visited both state capitals and stayed with some very hospitable host families. But the most fun was Chicago!
Here are some favorite photos of our time in Indiana & Michigan.
During our travels, we have been blessed with some amazing hospitality. What makes it amazing? Well, that's what I've been asking myself. We appreciate every home that takes us in and have had positive experiences and memories with every family. But I've been asking myself, "How can I give the kind of hospitality to others that has meant so much to me?"
I have tried to put my finger on what it is and of course there are some things that make being hosted more comfortable, but this weekend I think I found out what the difference is. It's the attitude you have towards your home. At least that's the way I see it.
This weekend our hosts Laura and Mitch (Laura is a childhood friend of my husband's family), welcomed us into their home and made us feel that we were not just welcomed as a polite gesture, but as people who they wanted to enjoy life with - and enjoy life we did - Pizza, parks, a backyard BBQ, and lots of play time for the kids!
From now on, when I welcome others into my home, I not only want to have a cozy place for them with good food, but I want to have the attitude that my home is a place for others to feel at home and not just a place for them to relax a while. I feel this is the biggest difference in the way we do hospitality. We can view it as inviting others into our homes, OR inviting them to share life with us as they enter our homes. I prefer the later and am so thankful for this revelation.
Here are the photos of the fun weekend, including Chicago deep dish pizza, and a downtown park for the kids to enjoy!
Our 8 month tour is coming to end and as we head west, I keep having the feeling that we are SO close, but yet so far away...because it's true. We still have much land to see and are looking forward to the connections we make and the things we find to do in each state for the next 3 1/2 weeks.
This Friday is our 16th wedding anniversary. We will be staying with my friend Diane in Colorado and she will be watching our girls while we have a date - what a blessing!!
We do hope to celebrate with a little more time away when we get home. I think after 8 months of sharing the space of a car and many hotel rooms with your kids, it's ok to have some expectations for alone time! ;)