Monday, January 28, 2008

Snow Days in SoCal

Since last week was an incredibly emotionally difficult week for me (having felt slandered, publicly attacked, spoken harshly about, had my motives and character questioned, wrongly accused, and just plain persecuted by a couple (perhaps, really just one) of immature guys who claimed to be Christians (and my friends at one time) and were having a tantrum because their expectations for a meeting weren't met and so launched a witch hunt campaign against me which only succeeded in revealing their own pride and malicious nature), I decided to get away from the drama for a weekend by celebrating my pal Ryan's 30th birthday up in Big Bear.

I've gotta say that I had THE most absolutely FUN weekend EVER!

Oh my gosh, seriously, I enjoyed myself so much with genuine friends! It was Ryan's bday weekend so we rented a cabin, made a snowman named "Choncho", played board games (including a fun one called Boxers or Briefs), drank and were merry, enjoyed an awesome fireplace, hung out in the jacuzzi in the rain, stayed up all night, then had waffles for breakfast and spent Sunday afternoon inner-tubing down the slopes. Plus, I experienced my very first falling snow!!!

I had always romanticized "the snow" because i've never really lived in it. I left the Philippines when I was three years old. My family lived in Illinois for a couple of years after that so the last time I remember snow and making snowmen and making snow tunnels was back when I was around four or five years old! After this we lived in Hawaii for all of my elementary years, then I've lived in Southern California since then. So I've always wanted to experience falling snow. And now I have! I was way super excited and I was like a little kid when it finally happened.

The coolest thing though is that my friends didn't make fun of my exhilaration. They were excited for me and even participated in my anticipation of it. Wow, see these are the kind of friends with whom I want to surround myself. In our small group this weekend, we were all pretty much Ryan's friends. It was, afterall, in celebration of him! So some of these were actually new friends for me which speaks volumes of the kind of guy Ryan is and the kinds of friends he keeps.

Yeah, I'm a fan. He's my pal who I've grown to love and respect. Among the numerous things that I admire about him, one is his sense of adventure. Knowing him inspires me to want to live and experience life and new things. I've experienced many "firsts" with Ryan as we've hung out. Experiencing my first snow and going inner-tubing for the first time are just the most recent added to that list. The cool thing, too, is that we're working together in Catalyst and it's been so much fun connecting with him and sharing common vision and passion for serving the community. Ryan makes the list of heroes. It's going to be exciting to see what God has in store!

So anyway, as I searched online for a meaningful gift for Ryan, I wanted to find a photo that captured "Adventure". And I found a perfect one entitled, "Endless Adventure". I ordered it, cropped it myself, framed it myself, and presented it to my pal.

All this is to say, "Happy Birthday, Ryan!" Here's to endless adventures!

Check out our fun photos from our super fun Snow Days in SoCal here.


Anonymous said...

Happiness is freshly fallen snow! :)

Steve said...

Woohoo! You look SOOOO happy in that picture with the snow falling! You deserved and actually very much needed that weekend my friend!

And I'm in the "I heart Ryan" fanclub too.

Steve said...

(I'm a different Steve!)

What a great post, Eric. The words and pictures convey so much joy. Thanks for being mindful of your experience and sharing us with it.

Peterson Toscano said...

Having just spent nearly a month in Northern Sweden, I have renewed my love for SNOW. They just go crazy for it in Sweden. Once it begins snowing, that when people head outside. They even ride their bikes in the snow!

Glad you had a good time away!

Anonymous said...


I am so glad you had fun!!!!

It has been snowing here for over a week!!!! YOu should come visit GR now!!!

Love ya

Becky O