Trip Recap | Denver, CO to Johnstown, PA to Norfolk, VA

At the end of July and the first week of August we, my husband and I, set out on a multi-destination adventure. What sounded great in theory months ago ended up being exhausting and fun in practice. While we could have done things differently, when everything backed up to one another in a particular way, it was hard for us to see a better way of planning this trip.

Denver, CO

We started our trip with a weekend in Denver for our local church conference annual assembly. It was our first time attending and really enjoyed meeting new people from around the Colorado/New Mexico church conference. We had dinner one evening with the Pastor from the Boulder church who, Travis befriended back in May when he went to the larger denomination meeting.

We heard from our conference minister on the life of the conference and new ways they are envisioning growth in the next few years! We were able to represent Service Adventure for the Conference and share about the joys and fears we were feeling as we embark on this new ministry together. As a conference, we went to the Rockies game and we won!

After annual assembly we stuck around in Denver and went to the Denver Botanical Gardens with our friends before heading to Red Rocks for my husband’s birthday gift, seeing Father John Misty in concert!

If you’ve never taken the time to wonder through botanical gardens, I highly recommend it! It’s like going to the plant nursery without the ability to home any plants. So my husband was thrilled he didn’t have to talk me out of buying plants. Plus we got some great ideas for gardens and arrangements at our home!

Johnstown, PA

We were in Johnstown, PA for 5 days for our leaders training as we embark on our 2 year term as Service Adventure Leaders in Colorado Springs. I went into leader training/orientation quite nervous, how am I expected to know what to tell them when I haven’t ever done this before? Thankfully, our leader gave us tools and knowledge to help us feel prepared and we now have a great support group of fellow leaders at units across the US to reach out to when we need an extra idea or opinion!

We mostly hung out at our Air BnB with a short trip into Johnstown, to eat a few meals and walk downtown. Each day was filled with various topics from Unit Life, Boundaries, Anti Racism work, Faith, Mental Health, and their Volunteer Placements. Yes, I want the next 10 months to be the best 10 months of their lives, but what we are doing is not a vacation. We are not hosting them. We are on a journey together even though we signed up for different things. The participants go to a placement for 35-40 hours a week, we are there with them each evening as volunteers to facilitate their faith, life skills, and life in and as a community.

Norfolk, VA

After our leader training, my sister in law kindly picked us up in Pennsylvania and drove us to Norfolk, Virginia! Where we stayed with my friend Lindsay, owner of Maison Soleil! We played tourist around town, visiting the Chrysler art museum and saw the MC Escher exhibit, Hunter House Victorian Museum, and spent time at Virginia Beach. I may be a mountain girl but the beach isn’t so bad.

While we only spent a few days in Virginia, but it was well spent and a much needed time to rest before our journey began as leaders! While doing all these things back to back, including a night spent at the Denver Airport, was hard really I’m not sure having a break day in between would have made it better. Once we got home we were able to rest and to put our new space together before our participants arrived.

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