My husband and I both grew up on the river. Literally. The river was just footsteps outside of both of our front doors. We love the water. We love the beach. So when we decided to start venturing further than a day's drive away from our home for a family vacation, we chose the beach. Ft. Myer's Beach, FL, to be exact. Here's what we did on:
We started our trip in Milwaukee. We didn't have too much time to explore, so we chose:
This was by far the most beautiful church I have ever seen. Not that I have been many places, but still. It was breathtakingly beautiful. Every movement of my eyes was rewarded with a new visual treat. We did not have enough in our group for a personal tour, which would have just been over the top fantastic, but we were grateful to at least have the opportunity to walk through on our own.
We took loads of pictures, but none of them even come close to capturing the beauty. All I can say is if you are ever in the area...GO!
We use Seton English in our homeschool and the third grade text details the life of St. Josaphat throughout the year, so this was an added bonus for us (or at least I thought it was pretty cool)!
One of the most touching things for me...
On a side table next to the Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine they had roses in different colors. A card explaining the different colors invited visitors to place a rose in the vase in front of the picture of OLG with their intentions. There were cards attached to the roses and if you filled out the card, parishioners would pray for your intentions (basically the cards corresponded with the issue and you just filled out the questions about the issue). I waited too long to write this and I cannot remember exactly which color represented which issue, BUT I do remember one color was for couples who were currently pregnant, one was for couples who were struggling with infertility, one (the white) was for miscarriage/loss, and the final one was for healing from abortion. We placed a white rose in the vase in memory of our Michael Maximilian. My heart swelled in this reminder of how BIG our Church is. Strangers all over the world are praying daily for one another. It just blows me away.
I was also pretty pumped up right away when we entered. We came in a back entrance and the second thing I saw was a giant painting of St. Maximilian Kolbe.
I could go on and on about this place, but the truth is, without a guide, and with a three year old who all too quickly made himself at home (and was starting to run the long aisles) we didn't have enough time to really delve into figuring out what everything was. All I knew was it was the most beautiful church I had ever been in, and I wished we could stay much longer, AND have a guided tour. Maybe next time!
After touring the basilica we drove to a frozen over park to show the kids Lake Michigan. We snapped a couple photos in the cold, marveled over the city skyline, and loaded back into the van to find the nearest Red Robin for some yummy gluten-free food!!!