Sunday, August 10, 2008

We’re on our way home from the second leg of a whirlwind travelin’ August. But before the travel log, I have to tell you of my favorite night so far at the temple. I was an “Own Endowment Guide” which means I got to direct the first time visitor and his escort through the temple. It was an interesting story. There were two getting their endowments. There was a missionary going to North New York and then his uncle who was getting married on Sat. It was the whole idea of family that was so fun. The missionary was easy to pick out – he was 6’11” and his uncle had bright red hair and both had that “deer in the headlights” look and a smile that crossed their entire face. His home teacher was his escort and he is the one that really was faithful and got him baptized.

The uncle had been a life time member of the Reorganized church but married a member and just a little over a year ago humbled himself and felt the spirit and was baptized. They have five kids and their sealing was scheduled for the upcoming Saturday. As an OE guide I get to explain a little bit about the clothing and first ordinances and perform the washings. The words are so powerful and with a new person they seem to have a greater impact.

I followed on the session and enjoyed watching the reactions of a first time attendee. At the end it was a little challenging to reach up and grab the shoulder of the missionary. The entire family scene in the Celestial room was touching and the joy on the wife’s face was priceless.

We left the next day to travel to San Diego, and the Barrand travel luck followed because mom’s ticket had been cancelled by mistake and they couldn’t get her on the flight. She drove home a very unhappy and disappointed spouse. While I was going through the security check out line, I got a hold of someone that would rebook mom’s ticket and not charge us the extra $300 the airline wanted. She didn’t arrive until 10:30 that night, but she got there.

After meetings the next morning, mom and I took Don’s car (he was kind enough to arrange for us to have his car for the weekend) to the beach. We grabbed the boogie boards and hit the beach. The weather was perfect and the waves fantastic. Mom and I rode those waves for the whole afternoon and loved every minute. video I did wish for the rest of the family to be there to share in all the sun and fun. We got back in time to meet up with Don and enjoy the formal awards dinner and catch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.

Saturday morning Don and a marine buddy and I headed out to sea on the Lois Ann for some scuba diving on the reefs and kelp beds around San Diego. The boat was crowed, the waves a bit choppy, and the water a touch cold (54 degrees), but the diving was great. I couldn’t seem to get enough weight to go down at first. I started with 24 pounds, which is way more than usual, but it took 34 pounds to get me down. At 15 feet down all that changed and now I had too much weight and dropped really fast to the bottom. To keep off the rocks I inflated the BC and it was fine for swimming around the kelp forest and viewing the fish and rock formations.

I ran into trouble coming back up. We had been down to 80 ft and we needed a slow 10 - 15 mins ascent to avoid the bends. Well when I got to 55 feet all the air in my BC started to expand and I shot to the surface in about 30 seconds. I was desperately trying to release air and swim down but couldn’t do it fast enough. Both Don and his friend Kyle were trying to grab my fins as I popped to the surface. It wasn’t a good thing to do and I release some air and went back down to ascend correctly. When we did come up we were a long way from the boat and had to fight some large swells and lots of seaweed to reach the boat. Swimming with tanks in a rising and falling ocean through a huge patch of seaweed, just wasn’t fun. Kyle really didn’t like the cold (hangover) and decided not to do the second dive. But Don and I toughed it out and had a great dive: multi striped fish, a forest of kelp, wild colored starfish, and Dr. Seuss rock formations.

For lunch we all wanted to taste the atmosphere of Mexico being in So. California and so Kyle took us to his favorite real Mexican restaurant – only 20 mins away. Well after one nasty traffic jam slow down, lost directions, and a 90 minute drive we finally arrived at this little hole in the wall Mexican place. We did see a lot of freeway. I went crazy that night as the Olympics truly started and I wasn’t in front of my home home theater. It is the every 4 years, mom’s a widow time. Go USA!!!


Celeste said...

Wow Dad, what a fun vacation, it'll be hard for Boston to compete with scuba diving! Why is Mom laughing at you in the video?

When I lose focus in the temple- I try to think of it as experiencing it for the first time- and I usually pick up something new.

b-ryce said...

I'm sorry I missed you in So Cal. Looks like a fun trip!