Worth Every Penny

Another move away from my family, another tear shed. Didn't we move back to Indiana from South Carolina to be closer? And only 2 short years later we turn around and move back down south. This move was most definitely the hardest move we have had to make even with the knowledge that what we'll be doing in Charlotte is what we were created for.

When I heard that my family was driving through Charlotte on their way home from Florida I was ecstatic! I may have been a little bummed after finding out it would only be a day trip but even to spend those 30 hours with them was well worth it.

As Travis and I were sound asleep, my dad, Emily, and Zak were driving the 10 hours from Ft. Myers, Florida through Friday night into Saturday morning. We knew they had finally made it at 6 am when the Shak's (who graciously let us housesit for the weekend) dog, Lulu began barking. 6 AM!! I thought to myself, there is no way they will be coherent to do anything tomorrow! or rather later that day! But sure enough around 10 am everyone was up and at 'em sitting around the breakfast table eating rice krispies and catching up. After discussing our day's plans, my family surprised me again by agreeing to visit the US National Whitewater Center here in Charlotte. We had never been so we weren't sure what to expect but we had heard it was awesome. And it was just that! As we arrived we were greeted with a giant man-made river. Rafts with 8-10 people were cascading down while kayaks quickly followed. To the right we saw the giant zip line that soared over the river and to our left was where we were headed for the day: the ropes courses. After purchasing our $15 tickets we began our trek to our destination. Knowing we had an 1 1/2 hours wait ahead of us we hopped in line and began talking about movies. We were relieved and excited when we finally began putting our gear on.

As we walked to where our ropes course began we were stopped short when the end of the line had a sign that read 90 minutes from here. What?! Another 1 1/2 hours! ok, ok, I guess we can keep on chatting :) We were so close when the winds started to pick up. Only one more group of 5 ahead of us and the ropes course was all ours! We were told that the center had a device that detected lightning and when the siren would go off we would have to take off our gear and exit the area. We anxiously waited and prayed the storm would hold off just until we made it through. Our chances were looking good when Zak was hooked in and started across the first obstacle. Emily followed with Dad just behind her.

As Travis and I cheered them on we were hoping that we would be next but just as the rope guy called me to go on next the siren blared! NOOOOOOOOOOO! We were so close but yet so far away! Zak, Emily, and Dad had to turn around, we had to take our gear off, and decide whether to wait the storm out or leave the park like everyone else was doing. We decided to wait it out a little bit since the park did not give out refunds. After another hour of running and standing in the rain we reluctantly left the park. It was 7 pm now and I felt like our one day with my family was a complete waste. I felt horrible. But my family was incredibly great sports. My dad gave me a huge hug and told me not to fret. We drove away drenched and exhausted but with great anticipation knowing a pizza and a movie were waiting for us at home.

Looking back I realize that our day was not wasted at all. While we did pay for something we did not get to do, the company and conversation were great. We were forced to spend over 3 hours just talking and I would not change that experience for the world. After my family finally made it to Ohio, my dad texted me and thanked me for a wonderful trip. He said he loved spending time with Travis and me and waiting in line for those 3 1/2 hours was worth every penny. While we know Charlotte is where we're supposed to be for this season in our life it does not take away the fact that I miss my family so very much. I cherish every opportunity I get to see them and spend time with them and I eagerly wait until I see them again.

P.S. To those who were missed this weekend: Mom, Stef, Rich, Terri, Troy, and Carly, we love you dearly and wait with great anticipation to see you all soon!

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