I hope everyone had a very Happy Easter! I was so busy in New Orleans that I didn't get a chance to do my daily blogging for my challenge or wish everyone a blessed one. I had so much fun in New Orleans and that I'll share about later.
For me, Easter is a holiday with many memories. Some memories came from my childhood, while some came after adulthood and had a profound impact on me.
First, one of the things I looked forward to most growing up was our special Easter brunches. My entire extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents on my dads side would get dressed in our Sunday best and head to a resort known locally as "The Stouffer." It is now the Renaissance Hotel across from Sea World. We'd stop first by the koi pond for pictures and to feed the fish. This was absolutely mandatory. Next, we'd head to our table and be seated among some incredibly green vegetation and a beautiful aviary full of chirping birds. The food was AWESOME and our favorite little pizza man Gino was there every year without fail. He was a true Italian with a thick accent and remembered us every year. My cousins and I always looked so forward to seeing him and having some of his yummy pizza. We'd head to the game room for a bit while the adults enjoyed their mimosas and caught up on the latest. After all of that, we'd head outside to the lawn and the playground for a super fun egg hunt. I remember always having a cute Easter hat on, white tights, and pearly white shoes. We were all out to find that allusive golden egg and I don't think I ever did, but my cousin did. We did this for years upon years upon years without fail. Every year spent at The Stouffer. I am so glad we did because those are memories I am so fond of. One year in particular, we were seated next to Nick Anderson who was at the time one of the Orlando Magic's biggest players. He was as kind and generous as can be, signing autographs for us. Loved it.
A few years ago, my birthday fell on Easter and we celebrated it at the Ritz Carlton for brunch. One of my favorite places to go for any occasion. That certainly was special and included lots of family fun.
Lastly, and most importantly, the profound true reason of what Easter was all about didn't hit me until much later in life. I am blessed to have a Church who so creatively expresses creation, the birth of Jesus, his death and resurrection so vividly through drama. Up until the past year or two, we've had creative dramas that were just so powerful, there isn't a way someone could walk out of our worship center without being driven to tears. Watching as actors portrayed Jesus being crucified, stoned, and mocked really brought it home for me. It really struck me that someone could lay down their only son and have him tortured in such a way. It was even more incredible to me that this was all done...for me. God sent His only Son, for me. To bless me. To forgive me of my sins so I could have an eternal life in Heaven. Pretty amazing stuff. That's a memory that has changed my life and one that gives Easter an entirely new meaning to me. A true understanding.
For those of you who are curious about my Easter in New Orleans, here's a couple pictures. I'll share more on the details of the trip after the challenge :)