What we packed: Comfy road trip clothes; funeral attire; good books to read; CDs to listen to; a camera; sympathy cards.
What we saw en route: FINALLY a view of the Hoover Dam Bypass project which is truly an amazing feat of engineering and construction; lots of "Indian Jewelry for Sale" signs; gorgeous mountains and trees and wide open spaces.
What we did: Drove fast; packed our lunch and stopped only for bathroom breaks; arrived ahead of schedule in Albuquerque and had New Mexican food; visited our grieving friend and her family; spent the night in a next-door "host home"; attended a funeral; shared hugs at a reception; drove to Flagstaff and checked into a hotel; had an unbelievably good, quiet seafood dinner with the best customer service I've had maybe ever; prayed in the morning at a beautiful, old Catholic church; grabbed a Starbucks; drove home.
What I experienced: A family who knows the hope of Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Catholic Church; hours of conversation and reading uninterrupted by anything; becoming more "at home" in my new faith.
Pretty full 53 hours.