Ok, back from Va. Beach as of last night and we had a blast. The weather was up and down, sometimes nice and sunny, sometimes overcast and breezy. Our first night, we had front row seats to a sweet lightning, driving rain storm. We sat on our porch outside our rooms and watched it like Discovery Channel Live. I went out on a charter deep sea fishing boat with 8 other guys, it was a nice boat ride, apparently we passed some whales I never saw, and all of us caught 10-15 fish. However, they were all saltwater trout, only one guy in the back of the boat caught a flounder, all else was trout. Fun, but got boring after awhile. I primarily ate seafood and pizza, and most of those particular items in the buffet format. The last night, 8 of us went to a seafood buffet on the boardwalk and had a few contests. There was the Crab leg eating contest won by Kris Thomas, Lord knows how many he actually ate, but they tasted realllllllly good. There was the Hush puppy eating contest won by Dan Hauer at 21 total balls of fried batter. Then I won the dessert eating contest at 8 desserts + frozen custard at Kohr Bros. later in the evening. Then there was Craig Laake who decided to compete in all 3 contests, much to the demise of his stomach. He got a solid 2nd place in all 3 and then scorched porcelain in our hotel room for the next 12 hours. Thanks to those guys, plus Jen B., Jon, Ben and Dustin for a ton of laughs that night over dinner.
I got to hook up with one of my best friends from high school whom I hadn't seen since he was in my wedding 11 years ago. Steve is a Naval Officer on the USS Ashton ported in Norfolk, VA. I spent a couple afternoons with him and caught up on lots of stuff. He is married now and expecting their first child, it was so good to catch up. He took me aboard his ship and gave me the civilian tour, I am fascinated by all things military and it was cool to get some VIP treatment. Better than that, he took me to a local dive called "the thirsty camel" and treated me to some of the largest steamed fresh shrimp I've ever had. We had great conversation, I was able to apologize on my Pharisee ways in high school and explained the different ways I see Jesus' teachings now that I understand them for myself outside of the systems I grew up in. So good to see Steve.
This trip more than anything will only deepen the fact that I will miss these students as they move on. I'm hoping some will stick around in our Sunday night house church as they go to school locally, but I will surely miss all. It was a very successful senior trip, now let's get these exams out of the way and bring on summer break!!!!