I do love palm trees. And sunshine. And even afternoon rain. I like open-air shopping malls and eating outside. I like Florida. I do. But, Pennsylvania is home. While I certainly enjoyed my time in the Sunshine State, I’m also pretty happy to be back home.
After a cancelled flight and relatively easy re-routing, I arrived in West Palm Beach on Wednesday safe and sound. It was raining and humid. I met my first CCCU friend — Carrie from Mt. Vernon Nazarene in Ohio — and got checked into the residence hall. We quickly bustled off to a reception, dinner, presention by the president of the CCCU, and time of worship. All my nerves about venturing off to a conference where I didn’t know anyone were quickly put to rest. When you have Christ in common, the rest just starts to fall into place.
It wasn’t until Thursday that I started to really take in my surroundings:
An unexpected sighting:
These little critters were a frequent sight on the sidewalks, and you could hear them rustling around in the dead leaves along the sidewalks. I wasn’t too bothered by their presence, but I heard more than one girl scream when a lizard would go scurrying across the sidewalk…even once coming very close to running right over Meredith’s foot!
Besides the camarederie (too lazy to look up proper spelling) with the other attendees, my favorite part of the conference was playing croquet at the National Croquet Center. This place was no joke! Our teacher, Kathie from New Jersey, was a hoot. Sometimes she called me Beth, sometimes she called me Teresa, and sometimes she just called me babe. But, my partner Katie and I had a great time, and our record was 1-1. Trust me: you’ve never seen croquet like this before. The courts are laser-leveled (at a cost of $50,000 per court; this place has 12). The seven-time world croquet champ works at this particular center. There were mallets for sale in the gift shop for more than $400!
Also, I can’t talk about Florida without showing you this tree. Check it out!
This tree is in front of Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Norton Museum of Art. It’s very cool. I stood in awe of it for so long that the people I was walking with were getting impatient and slightly tired of hearing me say over and over, “Wow. Look at this tree.” I took like 33 million photos, but I’ll just share this one. And, while this particular tree looked quite fabulous beside the museum, the same type of tree looked quite creepy in the cemetary across the street.
All in all it was a really great trip. Great people, good food, helpful sessions, fun free time, hassle-free flying. It was also really great to see Jeff waiting for me in the airport and to sleep in my own bed.
Just one unpleasant thing seems to have happened while I was gone: