I had a super exciting weekend filled with family and Catholic activities, so let's chronicle, shall we?
This weekend we journeyed by car to the National St. Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine, and to Adirondack State Park. We don't take road trips very often, so the entire family was simmering with excitement. That is, until the kids got to the end of the movie they had packed to watch on the portable DVD player:
"MOOOOOMMMMMMM. Are we there yet?! We've been in the car for 500 hours!"
"Anne, it's been an hour and a half. Buck up."
"I feel car sick!"
"Henry, take a nap."
When we got to the shrine, everyone was anxious to stretch their legs. And the chapel was everything I dreamed it would be:
I love the earthy feel and the Native American art. And immediately to our right, was a stunning representation of the guest of honor:
St. Kateri is incredibly important to me for a number of reasons. She's part of the communion of saints, our family in the faith, and a woman, so I relate to her. But the fact that she was a Mohawk is so personally meaningful to me and my heritage. I felt very close to her, and to my Mohawk ancestry, this weekend. I procured a medal bearing her image and a third class relic from the gift shop, and I've barely taken it off since.
Also featured prominently at St. Kateri's shrine was our good friend, St. Maximilian Kolbe:
We came across him in the chapel, as you see above, but we encountered him again, I'll come back to that. He is Henry's favorite saint, so I was pleased to see him. :) The altar itself featured a gorgeous painting of St. Kateri in prayer:
I could have lingered in that chapel for hours, but I did have my less patient family with me ;-) and so after some exploring and a short spell of prayer, we headed outside:
We walked around and spotted some birds. Anne picked some
|More St. Kateri. Hey, it's her shrine, right?|
|They look thrilled.|
Henry took a vested interest out here, wanting to explore the St. Max literature and statues that abounded. Of course, St. Kateri cannot be left out:
And the kids were happy to cozy up with St. Max and actually look like they tolerate each other sometimes:
"MOOOOOOMMMMM. We've been in the car for DAYS AND DAYS!!"
We only had an hour to go to get to the little motel we booked in the Adirondacks, and I was all energized from my St. Kateri encounter. Mike and I happily chatted about dinner plans. We headed off, feeling sublime.
Then we got lost. :0
And we don't have GPS. But we have Mike, the Map Guy. He figured it out, but it took a little more time than we were originally planning. It didn't help that we were in the middle of the woods and signage was at a premium. We got to the motel, got into our cute little efficiency room (kitchenette!) and contemplated our dinner options. Let's just say that this was a very small town, and there weren't that many. ;-)
"Honey, remember when we were in Niagara-on-the-Lake for our anniversary, and we ate at that little pub? I loved that trip, it was so romantic."
We gazed at each other lovingly. Suddenly, from the bathroom comes a high pitched voice:
"COULD SOMEBODY COME WIPE ME?!?!"
See, this is the difference between the romantic interludes and the trips with kids. But oftentimes the romantic interludes *cause* the future trips with kids, so there you have it.
We found a small restaurant that night, and afterward enjoyed our view of the lake from the little back patio on our room:
The kids loved the lakefront. They could stay down there for hours, just playing at the water edge, trying to skip stones. We headed to bed, fairly exhausted.
Saturday morning, we made breakfast, excitedly rented a row boat, and got ready for our adventure. And then...it rained.
As in, it poured. We had to wait it out for a few hours. Thankfully, I had packed Jiffy Pop, which I popped for the kids while they watched a movie. Nothing like being trapped in a tiny room to make everyone want to crawl out of their own skin. We had to be a little creative, but we managed.
Finally, it stopped raining, and we did get out on the boat, plus snuck in a short, albeit wet, hike. We also found the local Catholic parish, and attended the vigil Mass:
"Oh look, VISITORS!!"
In a town as small as this one, new people were definitely noticed.
When we got out of Mass, oh look, IT WAS RAINING AGAIN!! I heated up some soup for dinner and made sandwiches. This is about as Gung Ho About Camping/Roughing It as I like to get. ;-) When it stopped raining, we took the kids up to get ice cream at the restaurant that we had eaten at Friday night, given that there wasn't exactly another dining option. So we made it.
Sunday morning, Mike and I were DYING to get back home and to our usual routine. And to privacy. :0 Though the kids were sorry to see the adventure come to an end:
"Guys. If you want to go visit Cristina and family next summer, you're going to have to toughen up!"
How was YOUR weekend, dear reader? Do I have any other St. Kateri fans here?!