"Safe & Sound" aptly describes our arrival into Newport News last week. We arrived on 22 March with no problems en route from Mesa, Arizona. It was a long way, but ever so enjoyable because of the several dozen old friends we saw along the way.
There were so many highlights! Julie, from our youth group in Oregon, who we hadn't seen for 24 years. Dan, who graduated from NCC in Eugene with me in 1986, our first visit together in 20 years. Then there was Julie, whose family are friends of ours from University Street Christian Church days in Oregon, 22 years plus since our last seeing one another. And there was Mark, a classmate from high school we stopped and had coffee with in Birmingham, Alabama.
Too many stories to tell, so I'll tell you about one of our favourite food experiences. At least, one of Tim's favourites!
Prior to giving us a tour of New Orleans, the devastation, and the wonderful work being done by Journey Christian Church (http://www.journeyneworleans.com/) and Building Better Communities to help rebuild New Orleans (it will take a long time, 175,000 homes were destroyed, 300,000 people displaced or made homeless), Nathan Hawkins took us to a local seafood restaurant. There, Nathan and Tim devoured a pound of cajun crawfish and a pound of boiled shrimp together. Tam declined and ate another Louisiana delicacy of red beans and rice. For more on the unique history of cajun living and cajun cooking, see http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~jmeaux/cajun.html, from which I borrowed this photo.
Newport News is the locus of military bases, NASA, beaches, and the early history of the New World. In fact, April marks the 400th anniversary of the landing of those first 3 ships, and the founding of Jamestown. For lots more info, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Peninsula.
Anyway, we're here for another few weeks. Northside Christian Church has generously provided accommodation for us that has a lounge, bedroom with a king-sized bed that's so big ("How big is it?") I have to use the cell-phone to ring Tammy to see if she's gone to bed at the same time I have. It's so big ("How big is it?"), that I have to use a GPS system to locate her for our last cuddle of the day. The accommodation also includes entry into the gym next door, so we're back to swimming (Tammy) and aerobic work and weights (Tim).
Maybe I can work off a few of those 15 pounds I've gained since we've been stateside. Where are those cajun crawfish, maybe I'll lift a few of those....