some of you are probably aware that we are in the midst of what i am calling 'the mother of all roadtrips' — a 20-day odyssey from montreal, down the east coast of the u.s., across the american south, then up the west coast to washington state where we'll hopefully move into our new home. as i've told a number of people, it's a sort of parable of our lives. there is a straight, logical, efficient way to get to the pacific northwest. and there is a longer, more circuitous, more complicated, and perhaps dangerous way to go, but it's more interesting. guess which way God generally leads us?
predictably, we were packing until the last minute. after our goodbye party, we went home and packed until we had used every box in the house. of course by then, it was about 4am. even so, we climbed out of bed at 5:30, and were on the road by about 6:45. the roads were strangely quiet, and we exited both the island and the country without much fanfare.
that day, we stopped off in cambridge for an all-too-brief lunch with german friend (and former mcgill international student) m. we had hoped to meet up with my m's cousin j, but after a couple of unfortunate miscommunications, we simply weren't able to connect. that was sad, given that we probably won't be in that part of the country again for a good while.
after lunch, we made our way to flushing, ny (where we stayed in the hospitable queens christian alliance church), a subway ride from manhattan. the next day, we enjoyed the metropolitan museum of art, lunch from a hot dog vendor, a brief visit to central park (where b and i threw the frisbee), delicious italian ice, and the broadway production of mary poppins.
then it was on to the dc area, where we visited with m's sister's family. we celebrated n's birthday on our first full day there — can she really be 15? — by spending the afternoon in the national gallery of art (with lunch from a hot dog vendor outside the smithsonian complex and a couple of sorbets, including a lemon-basil concoction that m enjoyed, but the girls thought tasted like hair conditioner!). on the home front, we enjoyed cousins l and s, hanging with uncle p and aunt l, and worshipping at their church, gateway community church. the service was fine, but what really stood out to me was what a caring and supporting community of faith they have been for l and p. they really have some wonderful friends there.
yesterday, we drove all day, through the shenandoah valley and the blue ridge and allegheny mountains, to atlanta. other than the scenery from the van, we didn't get to see a lot (it's too long of a drive to stop often), but we experienced one of the worst thunderstorms we've ever been in (not a small statement, having lived in montreal) when we were passing through south carolina — a huge downpour, accompanied by truly frightening thunder, lightning, and hail, in spite of the fact that it was about 90F!
today, we went out to the martin luther king jr. national historic site (reflections on that in a future post), then ate lunch over at the morehouse campus with the hope of visiting spelman. but when we got there, we were turned away because of major construction; that was a bit of a letdown. later, we joined friends s and l, who treated us to a delicious southern meal at the iconic mary mac's tea room. afterwards, we took a driving tour of downtown atlanta, taking in, among other things, the fountain of rings in centennial olympic park.
tomorrow, we head to the gulf coast — first, to the beach in pensacola, then on to visit with m's father's family in mobile. we'll post more (hopefully including a photo or two) when we get a chance.