Trip recap

I flew to Indiana on an overnight flight. I didn't have high expectations that I would sleep through the entire flight, but I had hoped I would sleep a bit. I was sorely disappointed, then, when my two fellow row-mates, not knowing each other upon seating, apparently found their soulmate in the other. I say this because they spent the ENTIRE flight talking (loudly) and laughing (annoyingly), while the rest of the entire plane had their lights off and slept. I just looked upon all sleeping passengers longingly and wondered when these two beside me might want to sleep. They didn't ever want to.

Bright and early Friday morning I (groggily) made it to the Indianapolis airport and got to hug my dear friend Michelle! It had been nearly a year since I'd seen her. We keep this friendship going through email and phone calls, so it is a delight to see this girl in person when we get the chance.

Michelle, being the thoughtful friend that she is, made an immediate stop at Starbucks to get some caffeine in my body, and then we headed to her house. Let me tell you something else: Michelle had also created a room for me in their office and in my room I was greeted with a bouquet of fresh flowers (aren't they beautiful?),

a Third Day CD, some Warm Vanilla Sugar goods, and a candle. (And those of you who read my Autumn post will recall that Warm Vanilla Sugar is my favorite fall scent.) Isn't Michelle the most thoughtful person EVER?

She'd also cooked up a yummy breakfast casserole and another yummy desserty-type dish (both delicious!) which we ate up when we got home. Michelle's friend Carrie stopped by, too, so we chatted over breakfast while I tried to make friends with Micah (nearly two, and just SO incredibly cute), and *very* shy when he first saw me. After he warmed up to me we played lots. And I had the distinct privilege of teaching that sweet boy "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes", which we sang frequently over the next few days.

I got a tour of the new barn and was introduced to their horse, Sparkles, and saw the goats and the three black kittens that Ella would have gone ga-ga over. We ate some lunch, which were some yummy appetizer-y things with roma tomatoes and mozerella cheese. Later that day I took a brief nap. When Erica got home from school we played a game. Michelle's mom stopped by for a hug and a short visit, and we played some more with Micah.

That night Michelle and I headed out to dinner at THE MOST DELICIOUS place I had never heard of before: The Mongolian Grill. Anyone familiar with that place? Oh my goodness, YUM. Think all-you-can-eat meat and fresh veggies and yummy sauce, all grilled up in front of you. Delish. (I liked it so much I'd decided I should write somebody somewhere to get one here in our town until my mom informed me that we actually had one here in our town THAT CLOSED DOWN. How did I miss that? A travesty, I tell you, that I didn't ever even know that. Nor was I able to park myself there once a week. I plan to get online soon and find the nearest one and take Mark there ASAP.)

Anyway, over dinner we had discussed these books we want to make for our adopted sons, so we headed to the scrapbooking store for some vision. We spent time there getting inspired and also headed to Coldstone Creamery for some deliciously fattening ice cream. I had some peanut butter concoction that probably gifted me with another five unwanted pounds.

On Saturday morning I awoke bright and early after 5 hours of sleep and decided I'd better get some more sleep. After one wide-awake hour in which I emailed Mark and the kids, I crawled back into bed and read myself to sleep. And then I slept until 10:30. Yikes! I headed downstairs for more fun with Micah, more conversation with Michelle, a late breakfast, and then a trip back out to the barn, whereupon I rode their horse, Sparkles. I think maybe "rode" is a generous term for what I actually did, which was cling to the reins while urging Erica not to move one inch away from that horse, which she was leading, while fervantly practicing the "Whoa" command. Because, you know, the horse was barely moving, but I just felt like we ought to get that command down right off the bat before she decided to walk any faster. (Whatever that would be called. A trot?) Which she never did. But I feel like Sparkles and I established a good rapport with me saying "Whoa" several times while she walked slowly. (And I'll bet Michelle is cracking up right now at the memory of this.)

For lunch/snack (since I'd eaten such a late breakfast), we had chips and salsa. And shortly afterwards we headed out for the cow milking adventure, in which we saw these cuties

and I got to have one suck on my fingers (which is *just* what I used to do on my grandpa and grandma's farm). Michelle got to have that experience, too:

Then we headed into the barn, where these girls were waiting to be milked:

First, I got to hook one of the girls up to this milking apparatus:

and then I got to try it by hand:

(and if it weren't for that delay on the camera, you would actually see milk squirting in this picture. I promise)

And then we got to go see these little guys, and I got to do this:

We picked up some pizza for dinner, and on the way home I made the mistake of asking, "What's White Castle?" Michelle and Erica about had a cow that I'd never heard of that particular eating establishment. Michelle about got us all killed by doing a sudden U-turn so that I could eat whatever it was they had there. (I was hoping for ice cream. Dairy Queen, White Castle... Queens live in Castles... maybe they had ice cream there! Mmm!) But she wouldn't quite tell me what it was I would be eating, and if it would be a favorable thing to put in my mouth. I should have clued into it by the fact that she kept saying something about having to try it "for the experience" of it. I found out that White Castle is a fast-food place that sells mini hamburgers. With onions. And just so you know, if you ever happen to pass one, just go ahead and keep right on driving. No U-turns necessary. (Michelle informed me afterwards that people either love 'em or they hate 'em.) I hated them, but thankfully Micah was getting quite hungry in the back seat so he was happy to polish it off for me. (Cindy, Joni..? Anyone else who has ever eaten these? Go ahead and cast your votes now.)

After dinner (pizza and a tasty salad Michelle whipped up), Michelle's friends Carrie and Colleen came over for some chocolate fondue. We ate and talked and had a great time until it was late and time to go to bed. So they left (Carrie, did you ever remember that gallon of milk?) and Michelle and I stayed up later to talk more... (and she showed me all sorts of fun tricks on my laptop. She recently got an Apple, too, and has spent the better part of the last two months camped out at the Apple store, hobnobbing it with all the helpful Apple folks and learning all sorts of neat things).

On Sunday morning the rest of the fam headed to church while Michelle and I ate breakfast and got ready to head to the airport. We set up a makeshift tripod in the living room which included a stool, 3 plastic bins (carried from the other end of the house), a mixing bowl, a towel, and a cookbook. Or notebook. (What did we end up using, Michelle?) and took some pictures.

And then we prayed together. And then she drove me to the airport. And then we hugged and then I went through airport security where this mean Indiana security guy confiscated my toothpaste and the Warm Vanilla Sugar goods. (!) Just tossed them in the garbage. I actually think it must have been his own favorite scent and he wanted them for himself. I'm sure that as soon as I was out of sight he was digging through that "garbage can".

So that was my trip. And if you're still reading this you should win an award because I realize that was a super lengthy description.


  1. I want to go spend a weekend with Michelle too! that sounds absolutely lovely. We really do need to have a blogger retreat. And, if you ever come visit me, we have a Mongolian Grill within walking distance, sandwiched in between the fabric store and the dollar store. Sadly, we don't have White Castle, but I'm pretty sure you can buy those mini-burgers in a box in the freezer section- just in case you ever get a craving for one!
    I'm glad you had such a wonderful time!

  2. I love Mongolian Grill! Were you in the Indy area? I know there is one by Keystone that I've eaten at. Yummy.

    And yes, White Castle is popular at my house. On Scott's birthday, that is what he wants. Ugh. I can eat one and usually enjoy it, but never crave it. However, Krystal's is similar and in the south (maybe other places too?) I DO make sure I get one when I'm in a town that has one.

    Sounds like a wonderful time with your friend. I'm so happy for you!! If you ever come back, I'll come meet you at Starbucks at the airport for a cup o'good stuff!

  3. That sounds wonderful! What a great friend - so thoughtful! And, I love Third Day.

    I'm so glad you got to spend time together.

  4. Chang's Mongolian Grill - 7601 Evergreen Way, Everett WA 98203, Phone:(425) 347-1925

    My very favorite restaurant! It's WAY better than the place we used to have in town... HOWEVER, if you are needing a Mongolian Grill fix, Food Garden (near Treasury of Memories/Cost Cutter/CTK Church) also has one inside that is quite good!

    But beyond food... glad you had such a fun trip. Your dear friend sounds so incredibly thoughtful!

  5. OH MY WORD!!!!!
    Seriously, girl, did you leave out even one detail??? I was laughing so hard that I had tears in my eyes. Chad, too (well, the laughing tears)!! We started thinking we should open a bed and know, for those wanting the FULL experience!!!

    It was such an incredible blessing to have you here this weekend. Although, we missed having Mark and the kids this time!

    Oh....and by the are fair game now that you posted that one of the cow sucking on my fingers!!!!!!

    Love you much.

  6. What a great weekend! If you're ever down in MY neck of the woods, I'm about eight minutes away from a Mongolian Grill. Now that I'm thinking of it, it's been a long time since I've been there myself. Hmmm....I'm suddenly feeling very hungry....

  7. What!? Michelle, that picture of you with the yucky face is a CUTE one! And NO WAY are pictures of me fair game. Nope. You gave me your word. And I know you'll stick to it. Because you love Jesus.
    How's that, eh?
    Love YOU much. Thanks again for having me!

  8. Yay!!! I totally enjoyed this post :-) What a wonderful time you had. And the pictures were great! And I do love me some White Castle ... but I rarely eat it. Very rarely. It is one of those things that we probably eat like once a year. I think I usually eat five of those little burgers in one sitting!

  9. Stacy,
    I'm so glad you had such a great weekend! I very much enjoyed getting to chat with you. And yes I did remember the milk, but only after I had driven half way to my house(which I know is only like a mile and a half) and had to turn around and come back and get it, I didn't come in to tell you guys I had forgotten it because I knew I would just want to stay and keep on talking!!
    I know you are such a blessing to Michelle, and it has been great getting to know you through her.

  10. Wow... sounds like so much fun!! I loved reading all your descriptions. And yes, I read until the end!! :-)
    Never heard of White Castle or the Mongolian Grill... have to look into them.

  11. You left out the official name, White Castle's are called Sliders (for the effect they have on people internally). One couple in our Sunday School class brings them for church breakfast when it's their turn. I take off the pickle and some of the onions then add ketchup. Who can eat a burger without ketchup??


  12. You are so cute.
    Remember horse back riding on King Tut?
    I learned that day that squeezing the sides of the horse to "hold" on tighter does NOT make it slow down!

  13. I love you as a will be ready for a rodeo soon I am sure ;-) Sounds like a wonderful visit and a very special friendship. Thanks for sharing your sounds amazing!

    mama to 6
    one homemade and 5 adopted

  14. Glad to have you back. What fun to go on an adventure. Have a wonderful week. In God's Love, Tami

  15. wow, Stacy, you are a prolific writer! I'm glad I stopped by. I love the description of you two together. I love girls' weekends when i do them (which is not often with 5 kids.)
    But honestly, girl, you need some good Midwest food. White Castle was my fav growing up, aka Gut Bombers and Sliders. heck, with that description, how can you not like them? :-)
    Did you go to BD's Mongolian BBQ? or a diff one? that is my kids' fav restaurant. ok, now my comment is as long as your post. sorry!!

  16. It sounds like you had such a lovely time here in Indy. I love the Mongolian grill, it is so yummy and Coldstone is way up there too! However, I am a one of the White Castle haters...they are seriously just gross. My husband vehenemently, who wins on that one do you think? :)

    Anyway, it's nice to have friends, I'm glad you have one in her!


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