Weekend vacation to Women of Faith 2014

Last weekend some ladies from my church loaded up into several cars and headed to Minneapolis Minnesota for the Women of Faith Conference.  It was a wonderful weekend of bonding with other women that I didn’t know that well (I go to a really big church so it is possible to know faces but not people).  Some car loads went a day early – most with the intention of shopping but some with the intention of relaxing.

I was hoping that this year, like last year, I’d find a car load that was willing to drive me to fabric store heaven…SR Harris.  Well, it didn’t work out.  But, I started this weekend trip with the intention of exercising my “go with the flow” muscles and my “find joy in all circumstances” muscles.  I am a list maker and a “plan down to the last-minute” girl so those muscles are weak!  If I couldn’t get to the fabric store what could I do?  Not much. It seems my car load was planning a lay by the pool and read day and all other car loads were full.  Not to be thwarted, I decided that to maximize my joy I needed to do something other than reading by the pool.  I needed to do something I’ve never done before.  I needed to plan an adventure.  I had two choices pay: $90 for cab fare to the fabric store or take the bus ALONE in a strange city to Mall of America.  I opted for the bus.   It seemed more intrepid!2

I got on the bus and my first reaction was to act like I did when I was riding the bus at home.  It is a long ride so pull out something to do.  My phone was my go to object. 1

Well then it hit me!  That is not joyful or intrepid!  I put the phone away and I (gasp!) looked out the window at this city that is not my home.  I took note of places I wanted to go to later on.  I was a creepazoid and talked to total strangers.  I had fun!

My reward for being so brave was to get to Mall of America and eat at the Rainforest Cafe.

I love the decor...especially the fish tanks.

I love the decor…especially the fish tanks.

I enjoyed my view from my table....

I enjoyed my view from my table….

...while I sipped my drink.  Who cares that it was only 11:30 am...I was on vacation and I wasn't driving!

…while I sipped my drink. Who cares that it was only 11:30 am…I was on vacation and I wasn’t driving!

I’ve been dreaming of their bacon wrapped shrimp since the last time I had it.



I did some shopping, getting some gifts for my family and myself.

A new wallet and a  wonderfully tacky phone case!

A new wallet and a wonderfully tacky phone case!

I also enjoyed a massage chair so much that I was tempted to go home and sell my car so I could buy it.  It was wonderful.  I took the bus back to the hotel and had dinner.  I was very tired and sore after all my walking at the Mall and knew I couldn’t walk to the opening session of the Conference.  That is okay because on my bus ride I discovered that it stops right in front of the Excel Center!  So I bused it there and back no problems.  Lesson learned…you can learn useful things when you step out of your comfort zone.

The next morning, my roomies and I started to walk to the Excel Center. As I was walking I saw some lovely buildings (that I couldn’t take pictures of because I forgot my phone and camera) and some red fall leaves (which I picked up) and a lovely unbroken piece of blue glass (which I picked up).  Upon closer inspection I had picked up a crack pipe.  (I hope that is all I picked up.)

I enjoyed the conference very much. 7

But since this is not a blog on religion or Christianity I will spare you the details. I will share that during our lunch break, I dragged a few of my buddies with me up the street to an antique store that I saw from the bus window the day before.

I recommend Wescott Station for its good prices, fun selection, friendly owners and well…the wonderful smell of old!  There were a few things I would have loved to haul home with me but space in the car ride home was at a premium so I chose these items.SAM_2505

You will eventually see the photos in more detail. But I will show you the chain.SAM_2507

To me it looks like a simple chatelaine and that is how I will use it.  If anyone else knows what it really is I’d love to hear from you.  There is a slot at the back of the large end that looks like a belt would have been slid into.  I have intended to make some belts for some of my outfits so this will work out wonderfully.  Then I will hang a watch or a batch of keys from the other end.

So that concludes my post on my weekend vacation.  You all have a nice week back at work.