Take Jesus on Vacation

That’s what the sign said outside of a church near my house.

I imagine Jesus waving from the porch as His family drives off in the minivan without Him.

With most of these church signs, I repeat the message in my head for a block or so. Then someone cuts me off and my thoughts turn less religious. But this sign got me thinking. 
Where would Jesus want to go? Does He like beaches? Mountains? Rolling valleys? Which of His creations brings Him the most joy?

If He flew, do you think Jesus would check a bag at the airport? Would the TSA make Him take off His sandals? I imagine Jesus would travel light, just the good book and some water.

What if you took Jesus on a road trip? Would He take the wheel? Would “One of Us” be in “Jesus’ Jamz” playlist? What are His road snack preferences? 

Would it be awkward if you go to a museum with Jesus? Is that His way of looking through family portraits?

“Raphael really botched this one. My mom wouldn’t be caught dead wearing that blue. She was more of a fall complexion. Amateur.”

How would He feel about the long lines at amusement parks? You know you’d be tempted to ask for an intercession.

“Hey Jesus, any way you can make this line move faster? You don’t happen to have an express pass? You know…being the son of God and all…”

Did Jesus ever even have a vacation? In 30ish years, did He ever take a holiday? Forty days in a desert doesn’t sound like much of a respite. Even when He went to a wedding He had to work it. Whenever He tried to be alone His disciples followed like, well, disciples.
If Jesus worked in an office, what would His out of office message look like? Who is His backup?

“I am currently out of the office through August 15 (the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary). 
If you require immediate assistance, please reach out to one of my 11 associates.

Peace,

The Christ”

As my mind wandered through all these questions I realized I was parked in my driveway. I doubt Jesus would want to vacation with me, but if He did, I can guarantee you would read about it on a church sign.

Keep it Luquillo – Wednesday Wandering

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Whenever snow is predicted, I scroll to my photo album “Warmer Places.” Increasingly I turn to my photos from Puerto Rico. With five inches of snow predicted to fall in Chicago, let’s jet for Luquillo beach, just outside of Fajardo.

Every article we read advised to get to the ferry office a few hours before it opened to guarantee a spot on the boat to Culebra, considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Our hotel echoed the advice. Despite all those warnings, I couldn’t fathom we would have to give more lead time for a boat than for our flight to Puerto Rico.

Leann and I looked at the ferry schedule, discussed what time we should wake up to arrive at the ticket office. The boats leave every two hours, which throttles how many people can enjoy them at a time. The ticket office opened at 7AM and I thought an hour would be plenty of time. For the record, Leann suggested we go earlier. We got directions from the hotel staff and opted to walk instead of driving the half mile. Continue reading Keep it Luquillo – Wednesday Wandering

Wednesday Wanderings – Van Gogh Museum

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Mondays can be difficult, but I always found Wednesdays to be more of a hurdle. Starting today I will be sharing stories from my wandering.

Our first Wednesday diversion takes us to the city with more canals than Venice, Amsterdam!

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I know what you’re thinking. Amsterdam is so high…in the volume of art by the Dutch masters. My girlfriend and I visited in December and booked our tickets for the Van Gogh Museum shortly after arranging flights and hotels. For my local readers, the Art Institute of Chicago just opened an exhibit on the Dutch phenom. The exhibit highlights Vincent’s Bedrooms.

The more I travel, the more I combat sounding like a snob when sharing stories. Continue reading Wednesday Wanderings – Van Gogh Museum

Champagne Tasting in Reims

Champagne tasting in Reims http://thebachelorbasics.com/travel/champagne-tasting-in-reims/

We meet again 2am. This time je suis sans baguette.

Rather than flail around in what appears to be a pillow top mattress in Paris, I will share the highlights from yesterday’s tour at Mumm in Reims.

We had a bit of time before our 2pm train from Reims to Paris and we had yet to sample champagne. We power walked it to Mumm for their morning tour. Most houses run 1-2 tours before déjeuner. We wanted to visit Taittinger and Mumm but logistics proved difficult.   Continue reading Champagne Tasting in Reims

A Beginner’s Guide to Reims

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It’s 3 am in Reims and all I can think about is eating the remainder of the baguette we bought yesterday. My girlfriend is asleep, so, out of courtesy, I would mange in the bathroom or hall. There is no quiet way to eat a baguette. A little of the noise is the crunch of the crust, the rest would be my guttural noises whilst chewing.

Traveling can be incredibly frustrating. Far beyond flight delays and navigating our way in a new city, traveling as a writer or photographer is daunting. There are more beautiful things to attempt to capture than there are minutes to attempt to describe. My recent trips follow a pattern of trying to write some notes on what I saw or did in the first days. Then the desired elements to share stack up beyond what I can write or post in a day. And that’s the taunting of travel. I used to travel vicariously through my friends and am now fortunate to be going on my own adventures around the world.

  Continue reading A Beginner’s Guide to Reims

France in December | Vive La France

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It’s day one in France and I don’t know how long I have been awake, what day it is, what day/time it is back home or how to form sentences in either English or French.

Flying in economy is painful if you are any bigger than a pomme de terre. I wished I were a Mr. Potato Head so I could detach my arms and shoes, stuff them in my trap back door and slump myself against the cabin wall for eight hours. Once the wheels were down, someone could kindly kick me towards the front of the plane and I’d reattach my limbs and go about our trip once out of the fun house. Sadly that wasn’t a realistic option, so I tried sleeping upright, a task that has recently been achieved both at my desk and home. With minimal beauty sleep success, we landed safely in Paris and navigated our way to the RER train. We asked at least quatre information booth attendants and each got us closer to our train.

Team Leandrew’s return to France (affectionately known as unfinished business) has a few goals:

  1. Eat all the foods. Especially the carbs.
  2. See père lachais and Opera Garnier.
  3. See all things Christmas.
  4. Drink toutes les champagnes.

Least common denominator, we are trying to live up to American stereotypes. Continue reading France in December | Vive La France

Best Sandwiches in the World

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In honor of National Sandwich Day, here are some of my favorite sandwiches from my travels around the globe. The best of the best span from funky burgers in Chicago to ham and cheese mallorcas in Puerto Rico to the untouchable bread of Paris.

Share a picture of your favorite sandwich in the comments.