Monday, August 6, 2012

Day off ...

Santa Barbara, CA
Staying at First Baptist Church
Church ... Attended my first ever Mormon service this morning. Dean and 'new' Chris are both Mormons and took three of us with them to the local temple for a testimony service. The service consisted of some hymns being sung by the congregation, and individuals going up to give personal testimony related to their lives. Dean and Chris both gave testimony about themselves in relation to the bike ride we are on, and some of the other testimonies related to us as well. The service was not what I expected, but then I didn’t know what to expect. I’m glad I had a chance to attend, especially with two friends who could explain some of what was going on. 
Following that service we went back to the host church, where I got to sit in on some of the Baptist service. I had to leave early to say goodbye to Wendy and Dean, two great people who are an inspiration to me, and were certainly a pleasure to meet and to ride with.
The host church did not plan to feed us any meals, but those who attended their service were invited to join in a meal afterwards. Our group is just too large for them to have invited all of us, but the few who were able to go enjoyed a good meal and interaction with the congregation. We were not allowed to use the kitchen at first, but once they saw who we were, they immediately told us to please make use of the kitchen and were very gracious to us.
The beach called us, so we walked down in various groups; some rode their bikes to avoid the walk. My group walked down, and after a brief visit to the beach, Turbo Tom and I took a taxi to the main wharf, where we toured a bit, then found an ice cream shop. No malts available, but I had a delicious cone of cookie dough. Three of the girls walked about 4 miles along the beach to meet up with us a couple hours later. They enjoyed the walk, but Sarah managed to lose her phone in the ocean while running and jumping to avoid the waves that were progressing up the beach as the tide rolled in.
There was a group down on the beach corner by the wharf that had set up hundreds of white crosses in the form of a military cemetery. The people were reading the names of all the teenage warriors who have been killed in Afghanistan. A bell was rung after each name and date of death were read. There were also about two rows of black crosses representing warriors who had returned home from Afghanistan but then committed suicide. It all made a very moving statement.
While waiting, we met up with Luke and then we all enjoyed dinner of fish and chips while watching some of the Olympics. There happened to be a Coldstone Ice Cream shop across the street, so I had to try a chocolate malt.  ***Chocolate malt rating: 4.0 no substance to the ice cream, too thin, and straws (2) that were so thin even the weak malt could hardly make it up to my mouth.
Another taxi ride took us back to the church to get ready for another long ride tomorrow. 
Peace ...

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