This summer, for the second time in 23 years, Jamey and I were given a sabbatical. For Jamey, this means a break from meetings, emails, leading, and having to keep aware of everything that's happening in our gigantic wonderful mess of a ministry. For all of us, it meant one precious month of togetherness before Grace heads off for college and Jason starts to drive and we never see him again.
When all was said and done, we divided the month into three totally different parts, so there really was something for everyone. Here's how it turned out:
Week One - "Kids At Camp - Parents Staycation at Home". Jason and Grace headed off to Hume Lake for the week and had a blast of course. Jamey and I stayed at home and were amazed at how easy it was to decide where and what to eat. The highlight was probably the 4th of July - we have friends who live on the beach (yes, the beach is their back yard) in Cayucos, and because it is always crowded there on the fourth (they do a very popular parade and fireworks - people come from Fresno for Pete's sake) they head for the mountains. Soooooo, they graciously allowed us to bring ourselves, our picnic food, our truck, and our dog to their home and enjoy a wonderful cool holiday. Best moment of the day: Max-the-Dog does not at all like fireworks, so when they started, he got up and tried to walk into the house, forgetting that there was a sliding glass door in the way.
Weeks Two and Three - HAWAII. One of the great by-products of job travel is air miles and hotel points, which we had been racking up for years. This provided us with free airfare and ten amazing nights at the Marriott Waikiki on Oahu (they have big dispensers of pineapple-infused water in the lobby). Generous friends of ours brought us three surfboards and, through a friend of theirs, a free car to use. Our general schedule was: sleep in, surf/beach/sightsee/hike/shop, lunch, surf/beach/pool, eat a great dinner (Rainbow Drive-In, pho restaurant, Korean BBQ, poke, for example), play cribbage/hang out at hotel. Unbelievable, and utterly relaxing. Pretty much the vacation of a lifetime.
Week Four - Jamey's Solo Bike Trip. Jamey loves to mountain bike, so he had the opportunity to head up PCH for a 5-day solo trek from SLO to Carmel. Along the way, he met quite a few people who were doing the same thing (although most go north-to-south, because of wind). Some were from Europe or Canada, most were doing a longer trip (San Francisco to San Diego for example), and one couple was riding in honor of a family member. Now, Jamey is fairly neat and well-kept, but we found it amusing that people did offer him food a couple of times (either they were a: being nice, or b: thought he was a hobo). Also, he did have the opportunity to sleep like a hobo one night, as the bike camping spot at one state park in Big Sur is actually located under a bridge.
All in all, it was a wonderful, amazing, refreshing summer. We once again felt overly-blessed. It felt surprisingly long and luxurious, which is good, because August is ending and the blur of fall is right around the corner!