One of the things I was most thankful for about this trip that I did not mention in the last blog post was the fact that we were going to San Diego. My sister has lived there for several years now and if I am lucky I see her once a year. Ben could have gotten sent to several different locations but San Diego just happened to be where he was needed and I was so thankful. My sister and I have always talked about me going out to visit her but I never thought it would actually happen. A trip to San Diego isn't exactly in our budget so I can't express how much I have thanked God for allowing this trip to happen, and at very little cost to us.
My sister took 2 days off from work (unpaid I should add!) to spend time with me while Ben was at work. If she had not done that I would not have seen nearly as much as I did since I was on foot and I'm not the most adventurous person on my own. The first place she took me to was Lego Land. I'm not exactly a fan of legos but the boys like playing with legos and I knew they would enjoy seeing all the sculptures made out of them. It's about $100 a person to get into this place, so likely not something we'll ever be doing as a family unless we are willing to spend $1,000 to do it! My sister, being a local, knew about a shopping pass we could get, which would allow us to get in and see the park for free. The catch is that we only had 1hr to do it...if we didn't get back to the gate in 1hr they were charging us $150!!! So we zoomed through that place like crazy ladies taking pictures and getting a few things for the kids at the gift shop. It was worth it because the kids LOVED the pictures I took. She then drove me around the coast, took me to places like Little Italy and the Old Town, took me to lunch at some of her favorite places, we did a little shopping, went to Point Loma to see the view and the lighthouse. She took me to the ocean so I could put my feet in the pacific ocean for the first time! She drove me downtown and showed me Petco Stadium (we were there out of season so couldn't go to a game), and showed me the new library they are building....I don't think Maine has a building that big anywhere...and that's just a library!
On the weekend Ben was with us so we saved the stuff he wanted to do for then. We went to the zoo, which I am glad I did but really wasn't that impressed with. I did get to see the panda though. We also took a drive up to the mountains...we had planned to take a hike but we couldn't find it and it was super cold that day! That is one thing that surprised me...how cold I was when I was there. The days weren't too bad with the sun out. I was still in long sleeves and jeans but it was warm. The nights though were another story. Still better than Maine but not what I was expecting. One of the highlights of my trip was on Sunday we went to Pastor David Jeremiah's church. You might not know who I am talking about but he is a well known Pastor and is on the radio and television and has written several books. When I was newly saved he was the first preacher I started listening to on the radio on my way into work. I have just always enjoyed his preaching so I was really excited to get to go to his church. This was also my first time ever attending such a large church. It was a cool experience for sure, and big churches have their place but I am a small town girl and I really love my small town church! I got to meet him and shake his hand....that was so cool! I'm really not a star struck person at all. I could see someone famous on the street and really not care. This man is just someone who has taught me a lot through his preaching and it was a real honor to be at his church and meet him.
And God works in really cool ways. As I was standing in line, waiting to meet Dr. Jeremiah, I noticed the man in front of me and felt like I knew him from somewhere but could not place him. Finally it hit me...this was the man that was sitting next to Ben on the plane ride to San Diego. We had talked to him a little and learned he was from Boston and would only be in CA for the weekend. When he was out of the line Ben went over to talk to him and sure enough it was the same guy and he remembered us too. Imagine that! This church has 2 services a day where thousands attend each service...it has a huge campus and we just happen to end up in line right behind the person we sat with on the plane. I thought that was really cool!
It was really such a great vacation for us and we are incredibly thankful to my sister for planning so many things for us to do and for setting so much of her time aside to be with us. It was a really fun time, we got to try all sorts of new things. It really felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity...because lets face it, I don't know how we could ever afford to fly a family of 9 to CA and then pay for everything once we're there. I am continually amazed by Gods over abundance of blessing in our lives and this trip was no different. I came back refreshed and rested and ready to get back to reality...and what a reality it is!