Another success for Kelly on the church hunt. She found a progressive, contemporary church in Huntington Beach that was impressive- and started at 10:30. The campus consisted of 3 buildings (that we used) including the childrens program building (through Junior High age), “The Shed” (through High School) and the sanctuary- which looked, sounded and felt like a concert venue. Between the trusses and intelligent lighting and live camera broadcast on the 20’ wide backdrop screen and the professionalism of the worship band, I’m surprised they didn’t charge us at the door, it was that good. The pastor had a message that was easy to follow and understand. One other noticeable thing for me was that as we watched all of the ‘regular’ kids checking into their youth program, including High School, the staff checking them in had to prompt for names. I didn’t once hear church staff say hello (followed by a name) when they greeted someone coming in. Lauren also related that there were specific groups of kids that were hanging out together and she felt outside of any of them. Lauren used to be the one child that we could drop into a swimming pool and within just a few minutes she would have the girl her age engaged in conversation and play, and acting like old buddies. Although not as extroverted, she still has the ability to relate and converse in a comfortable situation. Still, Ethan and Lauren independently have said they wouldn’t mind moving to this area…..

THIS is what it looks like when the home school teacher has a prep day on the bus. No, it is not a book sale.

JP escorts the boys to the door following their surfing purchases.

After church we made our way back to the bus for a little lunch and then Trevor, Ethan and I left the family behind and drove to Newport Beach to discuss surfboards at Russell Surfboards. There, we found JP inside the shop working alone among the hundreds of custom surfboards, that were standing quietly along the wall in racks waiting for their chance to glide into the surf with a new owner. Today, two of them got their chance thanks to Trevor and Ethan. Trevor walked out with a 7’9” custom board, bag and wax- and Ethan picked up a 1969 board that was used, but priced right for his budget (both boys will be financing their new passion with their own money). When we returned to the bus they spent a while waxing the boards while the rest of us walked over to the Huntington Beach Fire Station for a tour- and picked up a shirt for a buddy back home. The firemen were very friendly- Leon, Chris and Clint took time to show the little boys around and set them up with the standard helmet and stick on badge, then generously answered our questions about the department, the area, the dangers of surfing (yesterday 2 young men were lost in the ocean from the shoreline while swimming just a mile from where we are), and they were generally kind representatives of their city and department - good job, men!

This evening, we had a chance to catch up with friends from home that are here for a few days vacationing in the Disney empire. Wow. The attention that Disney gives to the smallest details inspires me, and had an effect on the theater back in the ‘old days’. It was more enjoyable than I expected to have a couple of hours to visit with Jeff and Bridget as all of our kids played together hard enough that they all fell asleep within 8 minutes of loading up into the van for the 35 minute ride back to the bus. Once back ‘home’, we shoveled the kids into their beds, brushed anyone that was conscious enough to brush, and then moved the bus a few blocks.  The comfortable spot we’ve been in a few days is stale, and I can only imagine that the police that we see drive by regularly have probably been looking the other was a little bit to allow us to stay where we’re at, so we’ll take the pressure off by moving a few blocks into a spot abutting another park, but about ½ mile walk from the seashore. Tomorrow, we’ll test out the walk to the beach. Tomorrow is also Trevors second surfing lesson, this time, with his own board. We’ll arrive at 645am, and see just how nice the sea is early in the day. This time, he’ll be with an instructor with 30+ years of experience- which we hope will translate to Trevor learning more about safe surfing and the concepts behind waves and surfing, not just how to hang your toes over the board and comb your hair. I think that’s covered in the next lesson.