My sophomore year of high school (which feels like forever ago) I had the opportunity to go with my parish's youth group on a mountain trip. We loaded up the vans and were off to Upstate New York-- The Adirondack Mountains-- for 7 days of camping next to a gorgeous, secluded lake. Another three days were spent in Toronto, Canada at World Youth Day. All of my pictures were from a film camera and are tucked away, otherwise I'd share.
For all of you non-Catholics (or really, anyone who doesn't know), WYD was started by the wonderful Pope John Paul II. It occurred (I don't know if it still happens now that JPII is dead) every 2 years at some wonderful place around the world. Hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe attend. It's an awesome experience, especially being in the presence of the Pope and being with so many people from so many different walks of life. I met people from Cambodia, Australia, Colombia, Japan, France, England-- EVERYWHERE.
The best part was when the cutest old man in history came riding in on his Pope Mobile-- and I was literally only 10 feet away!!!! It was incredible. My favorite part of the ceremony was when he did a blessing of every religious item we wanted blessed. I had my gorgeous rosary that I received for my First Communion blessed. The rosary goes with me anytime I do long travels-- either by plane or car. It's my protector of sorts.
Anyway, for a mountain trip, one can probably assume one would need mountain/hiking boots. So I bought an amazing pair and used them all over upper NY and Canada. And then buried them in the garage for later use.
Well, I've never used them again (yet), but they sure have done a lot of traveling. A few years ago my friend was preparing for a summer in South Africa where she would be doing medical research. She needed hiking boots, so I gave her mine.
A few weeks ago, my darling neighbor, who just graduated high school, was preparing to go to Europe with her high school's history club. Part of the plan was to hike the Alps, so she needed hiking boots. I gave her mine.
So now these boots have been around the world-- North America, Europe, and Africa! Too bad I can't say I've been around the world with them!
When my neighbor came over the other day to give me the boots back, she had a surprise for me.
Isn't it gorgeous? And, by the way, turquoise is my favorite color-- but she couldn't have possibly known that. Girl did gooooooood!
She not only bought it at The Vatican, which, hello, is the Buckingham Palace of Catholicism, but, she also dipped it in the Holy Water at The Vatican. I was absolutely speechless.
So now I have two protectors to travel with and pray on. Two gorgeous, special, meaningful protectors.