Awaiting the "Adventure Express"
Suddenly awaken from my sleep by the constant beeping of the cell phone alarm on Friday morning it takes me a few minutes to realize where I am and why I’m waking up at 3AM! “No says I” as the alarm continues to beep, but then I remember the reason for the early wake up call and begin rolling out of bed. The time has arrived to start getting ready for our trip… no.. “Adventure” to Orlando Florida. Making my way to the church by around 4am I assumed my position behind the video camera as students and parents slowly began trickling in.
After checking everyone in, eating a quick breakfast and loading the luggage it was time to embark on our endeavor by boarding the “Adventure Express”. Settling down many students quickly fell asleep, however already being awake I spent the morning listening to my ipod, watching movies and working on creative ideas for a video. Around 7am the bus started coming alive as the students began waking up and moving around. Most of the morning involved card games, music, movies and tons of talking! Unfortunately traffic was terrible a couple of times and we didn’t make it into Orlando till almost 4:30 which didn’t leave us time to head to Downtown Disney before Friday Nights Service, so we headed to the hotel and had a bite to eat in their food court.
Friday Night was our first service and it started off with a short “concert”, a few dramas and praise and worship with Julian Drive. Pastor P joined us and I will say it was an amazing sermon. I was impressed by not only the hundreds of lives impacted in the auditorium, but more specifically by the lives transformed in our own group. Being able to see some of the students worship and experience God in a whole new way was powerful.
We were truly able to see God working in amazing ways transforming the lives of individuals and transforming the mindset of the whole group over the course of the weekend. Following service we were able to meet in a group and a few students shared what they had experienced during the evening’s service. After our meeting was a few hours of card playing, and thanks to Robin several girls (my sister Emily included) attempting to learn what I call the “Power Whistle– aka: You know you are being called when you hear it whistle”. A few of the girls were able to get a little chirp out by the end of the night. Following a dance party or two in the Hallway we finally called it a night and headed to bed.
On "The Hulk"
Saturday was Theme Park day and we set out bright and early for Universal Studios Islands of Adventure! We had a large group this time staying together, around 25 of us, and it made the park extremely enjoyable even with the small number of rides we were able to complete. First of course we had to take a ride on “The Hulk”! It was a blast, however this time I wasn’t able to film at all on it because they made me put my camera up! (Note: To see last times filming on the coaster click here).
Following “The Hulk” was a tour of the streets of New York with Spiderman! If you have never experienced this ride be sure to next time, the 3D effects in it are simply breathtaking! It’s almost worth it to ride a second time without the glasses on just to gain an appreciation for the power of technology! We were a little afraid that the villains had taken over the city when the ride was experiencing technical difficulties for a good twenty minutes! Finally though we were able to get on.
Of course next we had to meet the “real” spiderman, although right when we got to the front of the line Spiderman had to “run” for two minutes…. well anyway after he returned we all got into our spidey pose and snapped a quick picture.
We then headed over to the Dueling Dragons roller coaster which is also amazing! The two coasters that challenge each other come within inches (ok, it’s probably more like feet) of each other at several points in the ride!
On the Carousel
Of course on the way over we had to make a stop by Seuss land and take a ride on the carousel of Seuss Animals!
Following the Seuss ride we went to our lunch reservation at Mythos, the “#1 Theme Park Restaurant in the World”. It is wonderfully themed, tucked away beneath a waterfall surrounded by rocks and natural light. The food was not as great as California Grill, but was good for actually inside a theme park. All of us ate there for quite a while which unfortunately quickly ate away at our time!
We headed back to “The Hulk” to try and catch it again, however the line was way to long so we opted for the (I don’t remember the name for it, it was like the Tea Cups), which we rode twice. We also ran into the X-Men people… ok I admit I don’t watch this show/movie so I couldn’t name them if you asked, but here are the “guys” with them. The rest of the time at the park we spent shopping and then headed out at around 2:30pm for the hotel and night two of service.
Join me tomorrow for Part 2 of Sonfest.. including the awesome Saturday Night and Sunday Morning services as well as the “party bus” ride back to Habersham.
ONEWAY at Sonfest