Sunday, July 1, 2007

This is the Life

Where do I even begin?

This week I have been pretty busy with Paint the Town stuff. It's down to the wire so there have been lots of last minute phone calls and accomodations to be made. Even still, I've had much time to reflect, especially since my phone has been broken...

My phone stopped working Monday afternoon for good, and each day I have thought that I'd only be without it for one more day, but little things have kept that from happening. The new phone is officially in the mail and I should get it tommorrow! In the meantime, I've learned to use landlines again (BTW- if ever you call me at the landline number I've been giving out you have to leave a message at my extension, otherwise I never know you've called!).

The big thing I'd been looking forward to this week was the Graffiti Staff Fun Day at Coney Island on Thursday. Come Wedenseday, I was all pumped. It had been two summers since my last trip to America's Playground, and I was super psyched to get to go back and brave the Cyclone once again! Unfortunately, the weather report was grim. Wednesday night we even sent a few people home from church for fear of blackouts and the inability to get home as a result. Plans were changed and it was decided that we would meet at Outback for lunch. Not quite as exciting as Coney Island, but it ended up being a blast. Taylors rule was that we all must come with stress-free minds and not think about anything work-related. We showed up, got to hang out with so many of the awesome people I've been blessed with this summer, and the church payed for the meal. Free meals in New York are ALWAYS a blessing. I cannot describe how much fun I had.

The other summer missionaries and I had been talking to Kevin from church about going to Coney Island later to make up for it. So Friday, we headed out as a group, along with his interns who were SO MUCH FUN, to brave a day of all that is sketchy and awesome about one of America's truly great neighborhoods. It was cloudy at first, so no one was there, then the sun came out. We had a great spot right near one of the jetties and relaxed on the beach. Of course, I had to ride the Cyclone again (I was excited just to get to do it ONCE in my life, but now I've done it twice!!!!!). Ashely and I walked up to the boardwalk, rode the Cyclone, and, in the grand tradition of boardwalks and carnivals, ate a funnel cake. We then met up with the rest of the group and made our way back to Manhattan.

I'd heard nothing but amazing things about the famous Magnolia Bakery, and since Lydia, one of the other Graffiti missionaries, works there, Charlotte, Ashley, and I went there when we got back. I'd never made my way out to the West Village/ Greenwhich Village area before, and I must say, it is my new favorite Manhattan neighborhood (next to my own dear Upper West Side that is). For those that don't know, that is the neighborhood where the characters from Friends lived, so if you can imagine the area.... It was really really really nice. We stood in line for a while, the smell of fresh cupcakes keeping us from ever getting frustrated with the wait. Though not quite Maw Maw's cakes, they were definitely awesome, in a different kind of way. I give it my seal of approval. We then went to the Thai restaraunt in Hell's Kitchen where I first hung out with Bethany, and I got my first taste of Bangkok cuisine on my first trip to the city two and a half years ago. I'd been wanting to go back ever since, and it was EXACTLY how I remembered it (which I can't say for many of the places I've made repeat visits to).

Saturday morning, I thought I was going to have just another boring Saturday off, but I woke up and went down to Graffiti to help with FLIP (Free Lunch In the Park). There was a mission team of four ladies from South Carolina there. They wanted to go down to the financial district and see Ground Zero, ride the Staten Island Ferry, etc... Seeing as how that is my favorite of the "tourist" areas, and I'd never gotten around to the Staten Island Ferry, I was eager to be their "tour guide" when they were looking for one. We ended up having a blast. These three ladies were such a blessing to me! I cannot even describe how much fun I had with them! Such a wonderful group, we really bonded. We've exchanged numbers, emails, etc..., and I'm already planning a trip up to Charleston to see them (which works out since I've been dying to go to Charleston). Today after church we went out to Max Brenner, along with Lorie (our amazing youth director) and they ended up buying my lunch. Such sweet ladies! They're also planning on coming back around Christmas time, so we're gonna try to work it out so they come at the same time as the BCM and we can do mission work together! I cannot wait to get to hang out with them again!

This is the "condensed" version of my life for the past week or so. So much has happend and I've had so many blessings, ups-and-downs, and all in between that I could not possibly write about it all in one post. I guess I need to start doing this on a more nightly basis...

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