Friday, February 29, 2008

San Diego, CA

I have been to California!! I am giddy with satisfaction.Every year Youth For Christ USA holds a midwinter conference. A conference where YFC staff from all over the US get together to see what God is doing in the lives of youth all over the world. And they give out free stuff, which I personally enjoy. Usually, the conferences are held someplace warm, though on a few occasions they have been held in Denver, Coloroado. This year's midwinter conference was held in San Diego. Happy Day! All of YFC's Northeast Indiana staff members from Jason's office went. For a whopping grand total of 5 staff memebers: Ken (director), Jason & Josh (junior high division), Scott (high school), and Jim (at-risk kids) Spouses tagged along. Donna, Joy, Steph (Scott is engaged and his fiancee couldn't make it) and Deb. Got it? Yay spouses! There will be a quiz at the end of this post.
Let's get this trip started, shall we?
First of all, we have Steph. She has a fear of flying. She should have never told Jason this.
But look what we could see outside our plane window! I had never flown over mountains before.
 We saw this:
Steph saw this:
Would you rather crash into summery mountains? Or wintery mountains? I'd choose summery. I don't want to die cold.
We arrived in CA to rainy weather but the first thing I noticed: Everything is GREEN. I love green.
Here's the view from the balcony of our hotel room
Speaking of our hotel room...
Right by our bed hung a very large picture. Jason DID NOT like this picture. It scared him. His immediate action once settling down in our new room was to cover the picture up. We soon found out this was the case in a lot of the rooms.
I wasn't bothered by her. I know karate.
Wednesday we arrived and got registered for the conference. We had some free time and attendend our first session which lasted a very long time. By the end we were all tired and starving. So we set out seeking food. We wanted something quick but were too tired to walk to the nearby outdoor mall with a food court. The hotel had several restaurants on site. So we chose one.
I was stunned by what I saw when we first walked in. I was so shocked I had to return the next day with a fake story in order to get a picture.Do you find this to be at all disturbing?
I did. And I couldn't enjoy eating cancerous food, so we left.
Speaking of the mall... There was a really nice mall just behind the mall property line. We crossed over a footbridge to get there. We loved the food court because even though it was outside it was heated.
There was also a transit system that you could take downtown and it only cost $5.00 for the whole day and included bus transportation if you needed it! We took advantage of this a lot. We are now professional tour guides for that area.
We traveled at warp speed.
Us waiting for the MTS. Why are Steph and I the only one's like that?
Jason made fun of us.
Thursday Steph and I spent the day shopping while the guys attended sessions. We had a full day of conferences so we made use of our little bit of free time by going to a very pretty part of town with lots of museums and fountains and great scenery. We went to one museum and watched an IMAX movie. Jason and I got in trouble for moving around too much.
I like this tree cuz it's leaning.
this flower is called a bird of paradise.
I was trying to get a pic of the scenery behind Steph and I when these 2 boys kept yelling something at me. Turns out they wanted their smiling peeps taken on my camera. So I took their pic.
Jason had to ride a trolly which he lived to tell about.
Here are pics of our time at the museum. And video too!
This room we walked through had a pile of rocks to walk over as quietly as possible and it measured the noise level. If I had weighed 0, I could have done fairly well.
Thursday evening, our YFC director, Ken, got recognized for 35 years of service with Youth For Christ! Awesome Ken!
He got to hug the YFC president, Dan Woglemuth.
Tangent: One night while we were walking around the mall, Jason and I saw 2 guys holding hands. This freaked us out.
We felt we were so good at navigating the transit system that we decided to do it again over our free time on Friday. Friday we had the whole afternoon off. We covered a lot of ground. We went to Old Town and ate Mexican food, went downtown to the Gaslamp district, and went to the Seaport.
Our entertainment proudly displayed the fact that they were playing for tips.
Best story of the trip:
We took the transit to the Gaslamp shopping district and headed on foot to the seaport. It's so pretty there.
We're getting close to the Seaport and passing up all these posh hotels and Steph says "guys, I've really gotta pee!" Looking around us we were thinking her best bet was to wait til we got to the ocean and hop in. But she couldn't hold it. So we went into the hotel you see in the picture on the right. Steph took off running to find a bathroom while Josh, Jason and I stood around waving money demanding help because we are serious business. Next thing we know Steph comes running down the hall from the bathroom declaring "Al Borland from Home Improvement is here!!!" So we all hightailed it down the hallway to find him. Sure enough! There was some sort of handyman convention being held there. Everyone was real laid back and people were coming and going. Al was getting his picture taken with people, so I made Steph run in the room and snap his pic with our camera. His real name is Richard Karn. I had to look it up online just now.
But that's not all! As we were heading along the fancy strip I found this: *notice the closeup of the sign outside the door..
Finally we arrived at the Seaport.
We met a nice lady feeding the pigeons popcorn. 
So Steph and I gave it a shot.
Steph informed us it was the perfect time of day for a silhoutte.
We read a sign after taking the picture that said we weren't allowed to be standing up on that cement block. But the U.S. Coastguard drove by and honked at us so we figured we had their approval.

And finally, Saturday. Our last full day in San Diego. We went to the San Diego zoo.
San Diego animals are much more interesting than Fort Wayne animals. It's a big zoo. Good thing we had 2 handy map reader's with us.
We rode a 2 story bus, a skytram, and escalators. And walked a lot.
Jason said he thought Steph and I look like we have botox lips. It's a part of stardom honey.
We saw panda's. monkeys. koala's. saw a sea lion show. and paid for way overly priced food. A very good day.
monkeys can really nap.
This monkey was camera shy.
This bear was contemplating life.
This mama monkey ignored her baby while he did everything he could to attract attention.
Jason ate mayo. From a packet. Gross.
I can't explain this picture. We're just dorks.
Let's recap. Shall we? :
-Saw someone famous: check
-Saw bar where sleazy bar scene was filmed for Top Gun: check
-saw sun and palm trees: check
-fed pigeons without contracting disease: check
-went swimming: check
-paid outrageous amounts for food: check
-navigated by transit without being mugged or murdered: check
Let me end with a last few words about the conferences we attended. I cried a lot. There are many dedicated youth workers out there who put their heart and soul into reaching kids with the gospel. The international president of YFC came and spoke and told stories of kids strung out on drugs, car theives, with no homes who nearly killed him but had their lives turned around by Jesus after people like himself took them in and became Jesus to them. I had my eyes opened tremendously about YFC and it's outreach. One lady was asked to speak. Her husband worked for YFC and was also the chaplain for the IU boys basketball team. He died recently after a long fight against cancer. On valentine's day one of the basketball players brought her roses and flowers and said he thought she may be having a rough day. She said "I was doing okay until now". Another basketball player asked her for the new testament her husband used while teaching them. Her story was so moving I was just inspired to renew my passion for Jesus all over again.
I'm proud to be a YFC wife.
And, I loved California!