There’s just so much to tell that I’m not sure how to go about it. So I think I’ll just do a bit of a timeline.
I pick up Sing 4 Joy and God’s Guitar Girl from the Philadelphia airport, arriving at my house some time between 10:00 and 10:30. GGG has a migraine so she hits the sack while S4J stays up to restring her 12 string guitar. I hang out with her for a while, but by 1:30 I have to go to bed. I totally forget to give her a blanket and she freezes. Lucky for me, she doesn’t hold it against me.
We get up, eat a little breakfast and get ready to go into the city. I turn on the TV to check the traffic report. The weather grid has a Star of David next to a P on Thursday and no Star of David, but a P on Friday. Here’s the conversation:
GGG: What’s up with the Ps and the Star of David?
Me: That’s the Phillies P. Thursday night the Jewish Phillies are playing and Friday is the Gentile Phillies.
Not funny? Well it was when it happened.
While waiting for everyone else, S4J decides to tune her guitar and play a few songs. Did you know she sounds like what you would imagine an angel to sound like? Seriously. She has this beautiful soprano, crystal clear voice. And then GGG comes down stairs and starts harmonizing with S4J and it’s amazing.
Oh. I forgot to mention the kids are out of school. We stop to pick up Kristen, Taylor’s girlfriend, and then make a quick pass through Valley Forge before heading into Philadelphia. The kids and I already have plans to go to the Franklin Institute to see the Pirates Exhibit (totally the bomb) and S4J and GGG want to touch the Liberty Bell and eat a cheesesteak. So I drive them to the Independence Hall Visitor Center, pull over and
kick let them out.
The kids and I go on to the museum and have a great time there. Meanwhile, my friends from Hawaii drive to the city from New Brunswick and I periodically talk to Stephanie on the phone trying to figure out when we can meet up. Meeting up doesn’t work out and the kids and I eat at a delicious hole in the wall across from the museum. We then drive back to our house.
At this same time S4J and GGG have touched the Liberty Bell, run through the Independence Hall tour and eaten the required Philly Cheesesteak, and are now on a SEPTA train headed to the airport. They meet up with His Girl and the two other Chicas, Liswilla and Junus. All five of them deal with Attila the Car Rental Clerk and finally head for The Cheesecake Factory at King of Prussia in their white minivan.
Taylor and Kristen and I leave for KOP with GGG and S4J’s stuff. I drop them off at one entrance and then park in the deck across from the Cheesecake Factory. Soon a white minivan full of crazy Chicas shows up, we transfer the luggage and guitars and head in for a delicious dinner. While we’re waiting for our food Stephanie and her family come to KOP and I leave the party for a few minutes to talk with them outside the restaurant. They’re going to browse the mall and we decide to meet up after dinner. While I’m away the Chicas play with my camera and take all manner of photos which will be shown on this very blog in the near future.
We eat, we laugh, we chat, we just generally have a great time. Afterwards the Chicas are anxious to get to their house in Amish country and rest up after a hard day of traveling. I locate Stephanie’s family and get to visit with them for another 30 minutes or so. I find Taylor and Kristen and we leave for home, dropping Kristen off on the way.
I’m not feeling so hot. Maybe too much food the night before? Most likey. I’ve also probably lost whatever weight I gained eating said food.
My morning ailment has passed. I drive to the Chica’s Amish basecamp for dinner, a devo and a little praise and worship. OH, and a whole lotta laughing! It is so much fun AND reviving at the same time. These girls are wicked funny.
I leave the house at 11:15 and drive through an abandoned Lancaster which was totally creepy in a Children of the Corn kind of way. So I sang my Jesus music with the iPod at the top of my lungs. I make it home to see Todd for the first time since the previous Sunday when he left on a business trip.
Nothing exciting whatsoever to write home about. It was just nice to hang out with Todd.
Todd and Taylor go to first service and Todd writes mean things about me, calling me a heathen and all, on the attendance card. I attend the second service and work the third, dispelling any hint of heathenism with the gracious giving of my time.
I drive to Lititz to catch up with the Chicas and find them at an ice cream parlor. I lamely park my car, as usual, and jump in their van. We drive over to the General Sutter Inn on Main Street for dinner. S4J will be posting food pictures at some point on her blog.
After dinner we head to Calvary Chapel Lancaster for their evening service. Turns out it’s a very small congregation and they don’t have services on Sunday evenings. Instead a group meets for a chapter by chapter study of the Bible. Not at all what we are looking for. But the people are so gracious and they move from the small table to the meeting room next door. The pastor encourages S4J and GGG to grab their guitars from the van and we have an impromptu worship service before delving into a few of the Psalms. What an incredible blessing it turns out to be.
Sadly, I have to say goodbye to the Chicas until the next time I might get to hang out with them.
My take on the Chicas. S4J, His Girl and GGG are EXACTLY the way they seem in their blogs. Funny, gracious, kind-hearted, serious about their faith – all you have to do is read their blogs and you know them. Liswilla and Junus don’t have blogs, but it’s obvious why they’re friends with these women. Sweet, fun, great sense of humor… just a few ways to describe both of them and I’m so glad I got to meet them.
I’m finally finishing this post. I know I’m leaving out so very much, but I’ll post more as it all comes to me. I just had to get this up with my spin before the rest of the Chicas get home to their computers and tell their side of the story!!