Ok, here's the promised dish:
I flew out to Cali way too early on Thursday, September 23. Got there in time for lunch and a kick-butt adventure to Disneyland with my friend Marilyn. We filled up at Denny's before heading over to the park. A lot of cool stuff was closed, including Space Mountain and The Matterhorn, which made my final decision a lot easier- Walt Disney World is DEFINITELY better! But it was a lot of fun to see the differences and enjoy the park in the wonderful southern California weather. They have a New Orleans section and I wanted to get some beginets for Marilyn to try, since she had never had them before, but they didn't have any! Totally bizarre! But it was all good. Grabbed dinner at Joe's Crab Shack before heading back to the hotel to meet our new roomies- Shannon and Michelle. They were totally cool!
The next morning, we slept in a little before heading over to the beach. We spent a little time on the beach soaking it in and taking pictures. Then it was time to head back for the first general session. It was a good time with David Crowder, Rob Bell and the usual NYWC suspects. Afterwards we headed to our first seminar- I went to Kara Powell's "Help! I'm a woman in youth ministry." It was pretty fun. There were a lot a girls piled together in one room... and this one guy who thought that this would be important information to pass on to his colleagues. The evening general session was more Crowder (always a plus) and John Ortberg. After a long day, we headed back once TobyMac got underway and turned in.
Saturday morning I slept in. Got up for the morning general session with even more Crowder and Alise Barrymore (no relation to Drew). She was amazing! Grabbed a quick bite at the Women in Ministry luncheon before heading to Hollywood to catch Movin' Out. The drive was horrendous- LA traffic is much worse than Atlanta traffic. I couldn't believe how bad it was on a Saturday afternoon! We made it just in time for the curtain. It was good, though not quite as exciting as I was expecting it to be. And of course I had left my glasses in the car in the rush to get inside in time, so I had to watch the show with my sunglasses on which I'm sure didn't help. But it was worth it. As we left, we walked down Hollywood Blvd a little checking out the stars before getting in the car and taking our own driving tour of the area. We drove down Sunset Blvd into Beverly Hills before turning down Rodeo Dr. and checking out all the pricey boutiques we could never afford. Got caught in some more traffic heading back to Anaheim and grabbed a quick bite at Arby's before heading over for the evening session. It was our final session with Crowder (sad) with speaker Mike Pilavachi from England. He was funny but also had a great message. Afterwards, stopped in at the Truewell late night option to learn about getting a better website. It was a good session with a great deal on the software, so I signed us up. Now I just have to convince them that it's worth the investment!
On Sunday morning, I actually got up for a morning seminar- youth worker as spiritual guide. It was not what I was expecting, nor hoping for, but it was ok. Headed to the morning session with our new worship leaders, Something like Silas- they were pretty good, but they were no Crowder. Princess Kasune Zulu was our amazing speaker for Sunday morning and she rocked the house. Her's is the only general session I am getting on DVD... it will be helpful in our mission events. We tried to go to Outback for lunch, but they didn't open til 2 and we had a seminar then, so went we to this little local bistro and had a pretty good lunch. I had veggie quesidillas. Then back for a seminar on emerging worship. Another one that wasn't what I expected, but worth going to. An early session with Ron Martoia, who was really good, before grabbing that important bite to eat at Outback. We dropped in at the Crystal Catedral before dinner hoping to attend worship, but it didn't start until 6:30 and we needed time for dinner before heading back for the evening Chris Tomlin/Steven Curtis Chapman concert. The concert totally rocked! But we were totally exhausted by 9:30 so we headed back to pack and go to bed early.
Marilyn got up super early to check out on Monday to avoid the line. We all got up and got ready for the final seminars and general session. We said our goodbyes before heading out. I went to a seminar on finances in ministry and then off to the last general session. It was wierd being there til the very end. There were a lot of people that had left already. Scott Johnson did a great job filling Mike's shoes for the final session. I was glad I got to be there for it.
I also took time throughout the weekend to spend some church money on a lot of cool books and stuff from the Exhibit Hall and the YS Store. I had a really great experience out there and will definitely be heading somewhere next year for the convention.
Quick shout-out to my homegirl, Marilyn, who helped make the weekend awesome! It was great getting to hang out with you more! Can't wait til next year!
Hope everyone is having an awesome Monday! Check you later!
peace, k :)