Thursday, March 17, 2005

A(-)Typical Retreat

We went to San Juan Capistrano last weekend! It was a ton of fun and jam-packed with stuff to do. Here we are kicking off the day. Doesn't everyone look happy? Except maybe Eddy.

The first stop was the Ocean Institute. Well, here's the parking lot, anyway. I don't have any pictures of the inside but there were some pretty amazing jellyfish and sharks and giant lobsters. All that was caught on the video.

After the Institute, we headed to a park for lunch, which, by the way, looked a lot smaller than on the map. After eating, a few of us relaxed with a hacky-sack or a frisbee or devil sticks.

Next, we trekked on over to the Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Jason heads on over.

The mission was quite amazing — very lush and serene. Here we are figuring out how many group shots we can take before everyone goes crazy.

This is where the bells used to be. Jason found this spot to be the most peaceful.

Carlos takes a little breather in the inner courtyard. If you get him going he'll tell you all about how this courtyard is a great example of how communities should be designed.

The fountain in the middle of the courtyard held some huge koi. This was a great place to relax after a long day of being on my feet.


From the mission we had a little coffee at the shop across the street, and some decided to tour a bit more of San Juan Capistrano. It seems like it was mostly antique shops and such.

Later on we headed to the hotel and unloaded.


Here we are getting ready for a nice dinner out.

Co and Eddy engage in an interesting discussion (as usual). I believe this conversation was about biology.


Ryan approves.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel and played games into the wee hours. Thanks to Faith for being the great game maestro! Note to self: in games which require picking an arbitrary number of M&Ms, pick fewer M&Ms.

We arranged the rooms so that all the cold-blooded guys were in the same room for the sake of climate control. It was like a sauna in there! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Hey, where did this picture come from??

The next morning we had a communion service at the beach. Church included clearing the air and such, which by this point was pretty important. It was nice having everyone there and the view was gorgeous (again, you'll have to wait until it comes out on video).

After church Carlos' car headed home but the rest of us checked out lunch at a little deli nearby. Ryan wanted to get some surfing in, so we split off from there.

On the way back our car decided to take a pit-stop at the flower fields in Carlsbad. Quite a bit of it was in bloom, probably because of the recent rains. We ended off at Baskin and Robbins for a bit of ice cream to top off our trip. What a weekend!

Thanks Michelle for being the grand coordinator! Tons more pictures here, thanks to Ryan! And thanks to everyone for making it a great first retreat!

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