I have already written the second part of the FerreTV series. But, I was not able to post it like I wanted. I have been without internet access for this account in about four days. And, by the time I could have posted it, I was already in California. So, I will finish that series when I get back.
Right now, Heather and I are in California for the Exodus International Conference. Exodus is a ministry that works with homosexuals and recovering homosexuals. They do amazing work - and this is their national conference. We got invited to come and have an exhibit table for Defender, as well as lead a break out session. In our opinion, you don't tell Exodus no. So, we are here. You can check that more about Exodus at www.exodus.to. Well, I wanted to blog about the expereiences here, and unfortunately, was not able to get on the world wide webs to do so. However, I don't want to skip the first few installments just to catch up. So, I am going to fill in from each point. You can read each of these to catch up.
We go up at 3am (yup) to get to the airport to catch our flight to Atlanta. What kind of idiot books a flight leaving at 6am? Me, I suppose. Anyway, we stumbled through all the security stuff. Take off my shoes? Grrrrr. So, I get all the way through the Disney lines, the belt of mystery and reached the Arch of Shame. Here I am standing with my little white socks, walking through what could pass for a doorway in Star Trek: The Next Generation. The lady with the magic wand is in front of me doing the typical security, "Come on through." I pause - causing a ton of people to worry. The lady looks oddly familiar. I look at her name tag. "Susan Staples" That is correct, my friends. It is my sister. Well, she's my half-sister from my dad's first marriage. I haven't seen her in sixteen years. "Sue?!?" She looks at me and realizes, "DAVID? MY BROTHER!?!" Looked like one of those Oprah moments. "This is my brother I haven't seen in years." I introduce Heather and have to hustle off to get my bags. She had another guard bring me her phone number in Jacksonville. I didn't even know she lived there.
What a bizarre opening to the trip. But, what made it even more unusual is that my sister Sue is gay. She has been gay for about thirty years. My half-brother George is gay also. I have been around this lifestyle my entire life. And seeing her again was a good reminder to pray for her and to remember why we are here across the country.
We get to Atlanta and decide, you know, this next four and a half hour trip is going to be really cramped and long. So we look into upgrading. (Don't judge me.) We decided it was worth it. (Don't judge me) Well, the people next to us on the plane were perfectly delightful people. They were nice and funny - both wore crosses. In fact, they were going to a conference in San Diego. Heather was sure it was the same one. I was sure she was nuts. "There are tons of conferences in San Diego." Well, as we were leaving the housing office, there they were. Huh. That's weird. Turns out they are a lovely couple and we are having a great time with them.
Travel is never just easy breezy and fun. We landed in San Diego - which is the most awesome weather on earth. We waited for 30 minutes for our luggage. And then we had to ride to Hertz to wait for 35 minutes for it. I don't care how nice the weather is, waiting on a sidewalk for 35 minutes is not fun. Finally, we got our Hyundai Entourage and began the drive to Irvine. Traffic is INSANE. In Florida, traffic slows down during traffic jams. In California, they go faster. And we didn't see a Speed Limit sign for over thirty miles. My guess was that the limit was 100, since that was what it felt like everyone was going. It actually was 65.
At this point we were starving, since our stomachs thought it was 3:30. We saw a place off the interstate, but passed it and tried to get off. So we're driving through the ridiculous hills of San Diego trying to find this place. A couple times I was wishing I had finished my will before I left. The hills are so tall with no visibility. I'm used to land so flat you can see Miami from Orlando. We got back to the freeway (miraculously) and decided to drive to less crazy areas to find something else. We found a lovely Italian Bistro for lunch. I had a chicken pesto panini - seasoned chicken breast, pesto, roasted red peppers, buffalo mozzarella cheese, and huge ripe fresh tomato slices. Heather had a rigatoni with braised eggplant, buffalo mozzarella, and fresh sauce. It was joined by fresh hot rolls with balsamic vinegar and fresh marinara sauce. The balsamic was the most incredible we had ever had. California was starting off good and tasty - and dangerous.