Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Final Summer Roadtrip!

(Boy oh boy did I get plenty of studying in for this final, but I still ended up squealing on some of those mountain roads.)

I've been so excited to write this post about my wonderful weekend!  I've been recording on my phone the things that I didn't want to forget so I could be sure to remember everything for when it was time to finally write.  The time has finally come!

Photo credit: Heather Laskin
My best friend Millie Jones and I met four years ago.  We were on the same hall from the very beginning of freshman year, but our friendship didn't start to develop into something notable until November when I heard some exciting music coming from her room one evening.  I popped in and saw that she was watching the trailer for the new Pirates of the Caibbean III: At World's End.  Even though she had just finished the trailer, she offered to watch it again with me.  Thus it began.  Since then our friendship has been intensified by ridiculous videos introduced by mutual friend Devon (Millie's roommate of 2 years), annual Summer trips to Six Flags over Georgia, sporadic missions to Rudd to rescue chapstick, the revolution of Aquaphor which left chapstick obsolete, and intentional accountability talks that began our junior Fall.  What was interesting and sometimes awkward at first has become interesting and delightful.  We have too many inside jokes that make me feel a little sorry for people who aren't familiar with A Very Potter Musical, Homestarrunner, and everything else we find amusing.  We've influenced each other more than I ever thought was possible (I like to wear gray and yellow now and she appreciates eco-friendly stuff, for starters).  She's pushed me further toward the Lord and has proved to be a trustworthy, honest, and precious sister.  Truly an invaluable friend, Millie Jones is the bomb-diggity.  (And she's an awesome poet who won a first prize in Bryan College's first thesis competition for her creative writing.)

Top left, going clockwise: Freshman year @ the Valentine's Banquet (when it was still called the V-Day banquet); Sophomore year during open dorm; Junior year on Ninja Day; Senior year @ graduation.  :)  I'm happy to point out that the smiles in the last photo are the most genuine.

Three Summers out of the last four, Millie's worked as a camp counselor at a PCA camp in Brevard, NC called Ridge Haven.  Each Fall, Millie would come back to Bryan with so many stories that would begin "This one time at Ridge Haven..."  This summer was my last chance to visit her there, and I promised that I would, but I wasn't sure work would allow me to.  Praise God for the Friday and Saturday I had off this weekend!  I booked my car for a two-way trip to RH, stopped by the library for some books on tape, grabbed some grungy camp clothes and headed out once more!

And now, after eating a delicious ripe banana (which I know how to appreciate after making due with the hard, green, chalky ones at the cafeteria for four years), I'm ready to begin!

Road Trip: Sixth Summer Road trip!  Onward to Brevard and happiness!

Hours driving: Approx. 10 (Including touring around Brevard proper)

Traveling companions: My father's GPS, my iPod, and an audio book on tape.  This was my third or forth time listening to The Trolls by Polly Horvath.  I still laughed out loud 10+ times.  It is so immensely enjoyable, I recommend it a million times to you, your children, and your grandchildren.  It's delightfully hilarious and has given my family much joy and jokes.  Please read it.

Roommates: I didn't get to stay with Millie and her cabin of 6 6th grade girls, understandably, because I didn't work there.  If I were the girls' mother, I wouldn't want their counselor's friend to stay the night with them.  It made me happy that the girls asked so hopefully that I could sleep in their cabin with them, but I ended up staying with Millie's usual roommates, Feero and Julia in the dorm where the counselors hang out when they don't have cabins.  The room was cozy, and I was able to go to sleep very quickly and soundly after a nice, short shower.  I was exhausted, and the sleep was just what I needed.

Initial Response(s): I am SO glad I got to go!  There were so many crazy things that happened that I'm so glad I didn't miss out on and it was wonderful to see and talk with Millie.  Also, I got to see another great girlfriend from college friend who I hadn't seen since June.  It was great to catch up with her, and I'm really thankful that we were able to catch each other.  (I knew we would be in the area the same time, but I was having trouble getting in contact with her.)

Collected inside jokes: Friday night was the last night of Ridge Haven's camp.  The week's theme was Scooby Doo.  There had been a pillow-snatching gorilla that snatched everyone's pillows.  We were on a scavenger hunt, trying to find this gorilla (so Scooby and the gang could capture him) but had to go very quietly or we might alert the gorilla to our presence and he would run away again.  Near the end of the hunt, we turned of our flashlights and only spoke in whispers because we were getting closer.  The campers huddled together in groups for safety, and some of them were quiet, not because the gorilla might hear them, but because they were scared.  At this point, one boy says very seriously, "I'm a master of stealth.  Guys, I'm a master of stealth; you might want to let me go first."  Wow.  Millie and Feero burst into laughter when I told them.
When we finally found the gorilla, we called Shaggy via cell phone, and the gang descended upon the gorilla, captured him, and brought to the meeting room where we all gathered in the cheery light.  No joke, the counselors who dressed up as the Mystery gang could not have done better.  Fred was perfect, Velma was perfect, Shaggy was perfect, and Daphne was perfect.  All in perfect costume and perfect character.  Hu-larious!  I wish I had a picture to show you.  You would love it.

Favorite memories: Oh, so many!  I'm going to have to put this section in bullet point form.
  • RH is a Presbyterian camp, and many of the counselors come from Covenant College, my Alma Mater's eternal competitor and rival.  I decided to wear only Bryan College shirts for the entire weekend and succeeded, even with my night clothes.
  • Millie and I hit up "the nation's largest Chinese buffet," the Twin Dragons.  So much food, so little stomach.  We took our time and paired delicious conversation with the delicious food.  And, I don't know why I did, but I tried the suspicious looking whole shrimp and the spicy mussel that looked like it was on the bottom of the ocean only minutes before.
  • I smelled skunk twice while driving.  These were the first times I've smelled skunk outside of Tennessee, by the way.
  • Speaking of driving, there were a few skinny, even single-lane, bridges around blind curves.  Those were exciting, as was the moment when I thought, "These woods are so beautiful!  I should take pictures!  While driving!"  Mother would not approve, but I'm required to do reckless things every once in a while.  I am 21, after all.  Also, I ran on empty for a a good 15 minutes or so and ended the trip virtually broke.
  • Oh snap!  This one's great.  Millie and I were driving to Brevard when she says, "You know why those hedges are there?"
    "Because there used to be a nudist colony that lived there!"
    BahaHA!  Oh wow.  I laughed a lot, if only because her unique inflections made her humor so much better.
  • When we got to Brevard, Millie and I had a lovely time checking into boutiques, crafty shops, a shop where we got to visit with another mutual friend, and a gelato shop.  It's called Kiwi Gelato, it's run by a New Zealand guy, and it's awesome.  I recommend it over and over!  Millie and I each got two flavors in one cup.  Millie got chili chocolate and mint, and I got kiwi and caramel latte.  The mint and caramel latte were my favorite.  So delicious!  Millie and I chatted with the owner and the cashier (also New Zealander) for a while and asked him about gelato, making it and such. 
  • As I got closer to ATL, I saw a saw telling me that I could "Call 511 anytime for highway information."  I thought, "Huh, I wonder what this is about, what the heck, I'll call."  I call and the automated system tells me my options: report a highway accident, get highway traffic information, talk to a real operator, etc.  I choose the traffic information button but also mark that I'd like to check out the tourism option, too.  Why not, right?  After learning that I-85 didn't have any traffic (at 11 pm), I went back to the menu where I chose the tourism button (#5).  After I press 5, the other line starts to ring.  "Hm.  I sure hope this tourism section is automated, too."   I hate it when people call my work and just hang up without saying anything, so I decided to come up with a touristy question, just in case.  "Thank you for keeping Georgia on your mind, this is Chris, how may I help you?"
    "Uhhh...  yes, can you tell me the rates of the GA Aquarium at this time?"
    "Sure.  I'll have to look it up, give me one moment."  Awesome!
    She told me the rates, and I told her that was all I needed, so we hung up, but then I wished that I'd asked her about the new World of Coke - I haven't been to it yet - but it was too late, so I gave it up.  Makes for a fun story, though.
  • I listened to a lot of music from the World Cup on the way back home.  Check this out.  I especially like "Waka Waka," "Sign of Victory," and "Game on," and, I knew "Wavin' Flag" before the World Cup, but it's a good one, too.
  • In true summer camp fashion, I came home with more silly bandz than I left with, and the next morning, I found a tick on me.
Least favorite memories: I tripped off of the edge of the sidewalk at camp.  I thought no one had seen me until I saw a nearby guy smirking.  Oh well.

Something old: I packed everything for my trip in a vintage mustard yellow hard case suit case that I bought for $10 at one of Dayton's thrift stores, We Care.  I love it.

My sister got a camera I like to play with.  It's a Nikon D3000, and I like it.

Something new: When touring Brevard, Millie and I found some neat shops where she bought a cute black dress and I found some shoes to try on.  I didn't buy any, but now I know that I wear a size 9 in both Toms and Chacos!  In the future, I hope to have some of these bad boys.

Something borrowed: Saturday morning, I couldn't find my hair tie.  Julia graciously lent me one of hers, but I never remembered to give it back to her. It's in my hair right now, in fact.

Something blue: The only blue thing I remember from the whole trip is my bright blue athletic shorts.

Lasting impression: God is so good, and I am so thankful for the wonderful friends He's blessed me with.  I could never repay Him for Millie's friendship alone.


Make that a size 8.5 in Toms. (8.30.10 edit)

1 comment:

  1. You two are so precious :)
    Sounds like such a fun weekend! And I love the stealth kid.


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