Don’t Judge a Book by its cover

Sitting in the backseat of the car I scroll through my pictures of the week gone by. So many fun memories. Tons of thoughts flash through my mind as I try to piece together all that I’ve learned. Not only to be a more effective teacher but also about the nature of the two coworkers that went on this trip too. I’ve debated how to break up this blog post. Should I do two separate posts? One for the fun we had and one for the education we received? Possibly just shove it all together? **I’ve decided to go with one post to save you all from being forced to read more than you have to.
Our drive to Alabama was pretty uneventful yet filled with generous amounts of laughter and conversations. 

Once we arrived at the hotel and got settled in we began the task of looking for somewhere to eat dinner ( or supper depending on your definition). We settled on a little restaurant called Corsino’s. We pulled up and immediately thought we should find somewhere else to dine. As we cautiously looked out the car windows we saw people “walking the streets”,bars on the windows,and a cop standing guard. Ironically the address of the little Italian restaurant was 911. We had a bout of giggles over that! 

We concluded that because their was a cop, that we could just ask him what he thought. So we did. He was incredibly helpful and said that we should just “go on in” and he’d “help us when we came out” to figure out where to go next. True to his word he did just that.
So with cop as our line leader we walked through the barred doors and stepped into a scene that I’m pretty sure I’ve seen in a movie a time or two. An aged woman sitting in the corner purposefully folding pizza boxes. Our waitress Kim was standing in the back ready to serve. There was also a man standing by the cash register with serious eyebrows but a goofy little smile. The room was empty and..let’s just say quaint. By the looks on the the three employee’s faces they sure hadn’t ever seen a tea life “A-mish” person before! 
We scanned the menu which had the typical Italian food options that you’d expect. As we were deciding on what we wanted all of a sudden like an unofficial alarm went off people showed up so they too could enjoy this hole in the wall. We got several stares and whispers. Some would take quick glances trying not to be rude yet curiosity was very real. I didn’t care about all the attention we were getting. I just had an overwhelming feeling of happy and contentment. I think I could of brought my suitcases in and set up camp right at our table and stayed awhile. I began to wonder about the stories these people had and who they were. I too looked around the room, my eyes and imagination running wild. I made up Their stories in my mind, all with happy endings because I had decided I loved them all. 

Somewhere in between my story time in my brain and trying to keep up conversations with my coworkers our food came. One of my coworkers and I split fettuccine Alfredo and my other coworker got manicotti. I slowly ate my food because I wanted to savor each and every bite. I tried the manicotti too and mmm if I ever return to Alabama I’ll be getting that for sure!      

 As I ate my dessert of cannoli a little old man came up to our table to chat. Him and his wife were regulars of the establishment and thought he’d ask us some questions. To which we happily answered. Mmm dessert was amazing and the conversation sweet! Oops isn’t that supposed to be the other way around? 

As tempting as it was to stay in this little Italian restaurant nestled in the middle of the “ghetto ” we knew we had to leave. As we paid our bill the man with serious eyebrows had some questions for us too. We tried to make sure that every question was met with an answer directing back to our Lord and Savior. He was as chatty as they come. We engaged in conversation for about ten or so minutes and I believe we learned more about Him than he did about us! 
As I said above the cop was in fact waiting for us when we were ready to leave. He was incredibly helpful yet we all three felt like something was a little “off” about him. Maybe it was his unnervingly long pinky nail or his glassy eyes whatever it was I choose to believe God place us together for a reason. He was a help to calm our minds knowing he was out there. Maybe just maybe we were a witness to him as well. 

We ended up going to downtown town Montgomery just to walk around. There we met a few new people and just enjoyed the “flavor ” of the town. 

When we stopped at a gas station on our way back to the hotel, we shocked this one poor lady into silence. Just as I had felt like I had entered into a movie back at the restaurant. She thought the movie/tv had come to her. She was so flustered on account of her watching Amish mafia and she just hadn’t seen one of us in tea life before. Luckily after she came to she turned out to be a lovely woman. We shared with her that perhaps its best not to believe EVERYTHING you see on TV. 

**I’m going to end this post here because I’m seeing it’s going to get long winded. If you are so inclined stay tuned for the next post about our time spent at Pensacola Christian College and what I did and learned this week at the summer seminar. Then possibly a third post detailing our time spent at the beach and in the rain. 
As always much love,

Pilgrim Nicci

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