Friday, April 5, 2013

A gift from heaven

Aunti Erika is a catholic nun. Since she's used to going to church on a regular basis, we tried to find a catholic church over here she could attend. The manager at Caribe Cove has been very helpful and told us about the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe in Orlando. Aunt Erika and Grandma were completely excited about this trip. After a quick visit to the gift shop - we needed some post cards and Grandpa needed some extra T-shirts - we hopped in the car and left for Orlando. We're all glad Grandpa decided to leave the 5XL shirt for other tourists..

There was quite some traffic down the road. I heard the Basilica was real popular, but could all the traffic really be headed that way??? With a 30 min delay, we arrived at the Shrine of Mary. The other cars kept going - the parking lot of the Premium Outlet Mall of Orlando was just next door..

We were all impressed by the size of this church. Just in time for the 12 o'clock mass, we decided to join in and take a seat. We were surprised by the devotion of the people present. They all sang along and chanted their "Praise the Lord".

Although our guests didn't understand the exact words the priest preached, they did get the contents of the sermon. We lit a candle for whoever needed some help from above, before the priest gave us his blessing. He showed us the way to the museum and the gift shop. It made me think of Las Vegas: the numerous thingamajigs, the chaplets and rosaries, the bottles filled with holy water and the statues of Jezus Christ.. It was impressive to say the least. Plenty of souvenirs to choose from.. Auntie Erika and Grandma truly enjoyed this visit. They got themselves some post cards from the church and were pretty quiet in the car.

The clouds were filled with rain and we didn't want to ruin our hair - I don't think Americans are used to seeing ladies with raincaps - so we skipped the Premium Outlet Store for now..

Instead we got back on the highway and headed towards the Mall at Millenia. The ooh's and the aah's in jawdropping faces, the feet that went faster by every step we took, could tell we were really ready for some mall-time. We split up the group (well, Eva decided she wanted to see other stores than we were going to explore) and made an agreement to meet up again at the front door around 5 PM. But not until we had lunch at Dad's favorite Johnny Rockets. He really wanted his parents to indulge the perfect burger and crunchy fries and trust me: they enjoyed it allright!

The ladies enjoyed Bloomingdale's and Macy's, the men followed us around. We enjoyed Abercrombie & Fitch, The Gap store, Hollister, .. aarrgghhh... I think we need to come back another day, to see the rest of the mall..

Although it's only 9 PM, Grandpa already fell asleep on top of the bed spread around 8 PM. I guess he was tired of the active shopping day. We enjoyed our sandwiches at home and had a relaxing evening. Time to reflect over the day and make preparations for the upcoming days.


Koenraad Verloock said...

5 xl and the jukebox

Grootvader is zich aan het "jeunen" ;;

Cathy Van de Moortele said...

ge moogt gerust zijn...