|My friend Lyndi at the opening night party.|
Ken and I have never been to the national convention before though Ken did try once (a lot of people want to be elected delegate so the competition can be pretty good). This year had looked to be an interesting year as there seemed to be a chance that there would be a contested convention and the stakes were high as we had candidates that were for limited government and following the constitution and another candidate that could care less about those issues and was not a person of character either. However Ken decided that it really wasn't the year for him to go and I didn't truly feel like running for delegate either. My friend Lyndi though with whom we had many good visits about politics and why people should be involved decided not only to go to county convention but then to also run for district and state convention and then decided to try for national delegate too. It was through much prayer that she came to this decision and believed that God wanted her to try to go and then she was elected to National Delegate Alternate. After Ted Cruz dropped out it was a time of mourning for all of us and she wondered for a bit whether she should still go but decided that if God had made the way in the first place that there must be a reason for it.
So Lyndi prepared to go and then asked if I would come along as her guest. So without sharing all the details of making the decision, I went.
We drove down to the cities on July 16th and stayed the night at my sister Anna's and she took us to the airport early the next morning (I had to miss church that day which I very much dislike but we didn't know how else to make the schedule work).
There were so many feelings and reactions that this trip caused. I felt very.... safe (policemen everywhere!), excited, disappointed, sad, happy, excited, frustrated, tired, educated and more. If I go into detail about every part of this trip this will get super long so I think I will share some pictures and explain a few highlights (both bad and good).
Sunday night when we arrived there was a big welcome party on the shore of Lake Erie which included the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center.
Each morning at our hotel the MN delegation (with sometimes the Hawaii delegation joining us) had a breakfast with speakers. Then it wasn't until later in the day that we would be bused down to the convention. They checked our credentials as we boarded the bus and then the bus would drive into a secure area to drop us off and then we would walk a little ways and have to go through security (like airport TSA) to get into the actual convention area.
The first day of the convention was pretty disappointing in many ways. Those in leadership steam rolled through the electing of Mitch McConnell as temporary chair even though the majority voted "No". It wasn't really a big deal as Mitch McConnell hardly did anything anyway but still it was a horrid way to start off a convention by saying to all the people there "We don't care what you think you are just here to make us look good not to voice an opinion". There was more shady politics done over the passing of the rules. And then the platform was passed without anyone (at least of those that had just arrived - those on the platform committee had discussed it the week before) seeing it or discussing it in any way. Just that quick (though there was a long period of a break while Trump Whips did some major arm twisting to get people to back down over the rules debate - they threatened that their state wouldn't receive any money from the RNC) the majority of the business was done for the convention with still 3 days to go. So now we could focus the majority of the rest of the time to Trump "worship" including in many of the prayers.
Ted Cruz gave a great and controversial speech that night. I was so happy that he simply asked people to vote their conscience and choose candidates that follow the constitution. Mike Pence also spoke. I guess I wasn't as impressed with him this time as I had been when I heard him at a Tea Party Event - the March on Washington that we went to in DC some years ago. I was really impressed with him then and excited to get to meet him.
We walked through the building above which is I believe one of the oldest malls in our nation.
Trump's speech went on forever (okay - just 90 minutes!) and we didn't end up getting back to the hotel until I think after 1 am. Exhausted!
On Friday after going to the Garfield house we took a drive south east to West Virginia. We went on back roads through Amish Country.
While Lyndi and I were out driving she got a call from Marge who we had shared a room with during the convention. She had gotten bumped from her flight (Friday was crazy at the airport with all the people leaving the convention) and could she join us. We were switching to a cheaper hotel closer to the airport and so we told her how to check in a that we wouldn't be back for a while but that we would love to have her hang out with us the next day. So when we got back to the hotel there was Marge ready to join us for our next adventures.
The armor above for both the knight and horse were made in the 15 hundreds. Isn't that cool!
Next stop was the Great Lakes Science Center (which we could get in free to with our credentials) and I also went to see the Steamship the William G. Mather which cost $9.
My sister Anna picked us up from the airport at around 11 pm. She had just picked up Mara 1/2 hour before us when she flew in from Honduras (I may have her write a post about her trip there later). It was nice to be back. We went to church with my sister the next day and then drove home.