The final four days of tour were exhausting and every minute was used up to the fullest. Here's a final update of the last four days!
Wednesday started off without electricity at the Cal Lu campus chapel, and waking up on the pews. We got ready in the dark and got Starbucks for breakfast, then toured the Cal Lu campus. It was a beautiful campus! After we loaded up the HOT bus to head out on the road for St. Paul's Lutheran School, Orange. With a bunch of free time in between our arrival concert and the church's concert at St. Paul's to spare, we had time to go to the mall across the street as well as hang out in their diner themed youth room. St. Paul's provided us with an amazing soup and salad dinner, we performed for them, and after we headed out to our first night of hotel stays!!
Thursday we all got up rejuvenated and ready to go to Disney Land! Headed to Disneyland we were all quite excited about our arrival. The bus passed the inspection and off we went to meet the instructor of our Disney Performing Arts Workshop, He was really incredible and had worked on many shows including Music Man, Mary Poppins and Lion Kin! We all had a blast working with him and hopefully (I'm fairly certain) we all got something out of the workshop. After finishing the workshop we received some gifts and headed over to the entrance of Disney to receive our passes. 13-15 hours later all of our groups were back at the same hotel with great experiences from California Adventure Park and Disneyland, that would forever be memories of a day filled with friends and new adventures.
Friday we woke up to have some delicious Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. We then packed all our things and headed over to Salem Lutheran, Orange to perform/ present a Chapel for their students and teachers. It almost felt like home. After the concert we thanked our chaperones and gave them appreciation gifts. We said our goodbyes to the Vevia's as they were staying behind in California for a family wedding. On the ride home we all got to catch up on much needed sleep and shared our sentimental happenings of the previous day while we were on the long bus ride to our next hotel point. We made it to Redding that night, but with our bus driver on a tightly scheduled bus law we pulled in to the hotel with not much time to spare.
Saturday was our last day of tour! We packed up, and headed down to the hotel breakfast room, to load up on food, so that we could get home in a timely manner. Once we were all checked out and ready to leave we waited for the bus to arrive from it's fueling and we were off, off, and away, homeward. Two movies later and a restroom/ snack break we made it back to Bend! Boy was it nice to know we didn't have to worry about sales tax or good tasting water anymore! We loved our adventure while it lasted but it was ever so nice to be HOME at last!
We woke up to the dew on our tents and the crisp morning zoo air. The beeping of the zoo expansion equipment whirred most of the night and woke several of us up before the employees came, to wake us up, and get our day started. After most of us packed our things and loaded them up we got breakfast provided by the zoo. One last animal presentation was provided before we left on the bus ride out of the zoo for the morning, only for us to re-enter later, to further explore the zoo and grab something to eat. After we all were filled with our zoo heart's desires we headed to another school to sing for their chapel, Christ Lutheran in Costa Mesa. Singing and praising Him was a joy and a pleasure to sing for one of Mr. Vevia's former students, Chris Peterson, who was the Director of Music. They just installed a new state-of-the-art sound system and seeing their new mixer set up was incredible. We then headed up to California Lutheran University where we were able to sing a few songs in their chapel for the CLU choir director, Dr. Wyant Morton. Samuelson Chapel was beautiful and sounded amazing! We were then on our way to a cafeteria dinner provided by the University. Then we quickly grabbed some Starbucks, chugged it down and went on to watch the Cal Lu choirs concert at 7:30...wow, they did some difficult pieces and it was amazing to see a collegiate choir. It was also cool to see Trinity alum Lauren Curl sing with the group. After the concert we got to SHOWER!!!! Yes, I know... showers... who likes those?! We do!! We hadn't showered in almost two days and with 60 of us, we started smelling kinda "seasoned". We headed back to the chapel to sleep on the pews for a hopefully restful night.
raturday and Sunday night we had the same host families. They were so hospitable and treated us all like we were family. Singing for church this Sunday was an excellent wake me up for our full concert later that night. After church we were at In and Out, then took a bus ride over to Balboa Park to walk around and St. Paul's Cathedral to prepare for our concert. It was our last full concert and it went amazing! Each and every one of us were into it, and singing our hearts out for the Lord. I'm so proud of everyone! Last night was especially exciting for me, because I stayed with a good friend of mine that took time out of his day to record me playing a song that I wrote in his very own recording studio. I feel so blessed to have stayed with such amazing people, and I know the whole choir feels the same way. It was a great night that I will never forget!
- Katie Darlington
Monday we woke up and said goodbye to our wonderful host families, we sang in their Church for their elementary school and headed out to their high school for lunch after that. Their high school was very similar to ours and we got to tour it and sing for a class. They had an outdoor eating area, so we ate REAL Mexican food outside in the San Diego sun! Then we traveled to our next concert performance location and sang our set. After that we celebrated Gary's birthday with cupcakes, went to Von's groceries to pick out our dinners' and then we headed to the San Diego Zoo for some fun staying over night with the employees and animals.
From one beautiful place to the next! Our choir traveled from Irvine to San Diego today. We started out the day with a relaxing morning at Concordia Irvine, and some of us woke up early to to hike up French Hill to watch the sunrise. Then, we spent the morning at Horton Plaza, a five floor outdoor mall. After our shopping was fulfilled a group of us took the mile long walk down to the harbor, where we enjoyed the sun and looked at the boats, which included the Midway, a U.S. aircraft carrier. The bus then picked us up and we headed for Mission beach! From about two in the afternoon until 8:30 at night we swam and played in the ocean and surf, buried each other in the sand, lay out in the sun, and generally enjoyed a beautiful day on the southern Californian beach. We ended our day with hot dogs roasted over a fire and worship songs sung on the beach until it was time to leave for host families.
At the start of the morning we returned from our wonderful host families houses to share breakfast at the OSLC. We then departed for Concordia University, in Irvine. The weather on the ride began to slowly get warmer and when we finally got to the college, the temperature was fantastic. We started our day off with chapel. Nate Darlington (Trinity alum '14) was part of the worship team! We were able to see a lot of Trinity alumni on campus. Afterwards we had a great lunch provided by their school's cafeteria. Next, we split into groups to go to a recital, meet Steve Young and talk, or relax around the campus. Then after we took an insightful tour of the college. What a great campus! Afterwards we had a masterclass with Dr. Busch, who taught us the 'Italian' method of singing. It was great and we had a lot of energy! We sang 'Lamentations of Jeremiah' to the Concordia choir, and then a mass piece, 'Requiem' with their choir. It was such a big sound! After such a long day, we all took a break to take in the warm weather and relax on the grass. The bus came at around dinner time and we traveled to Irvine's Spectrum Center. It was beautiful and covered with lights and palm trees. We all had a meal and got in some shopping. Later that night we all return to the Good Shepherd Chapel to get a good nights sleep. The view was amazing and the lights kept the city alive even in the night.
Another early morning on choir tour was presented by thick fog and the sunrise. After a nice breakfast provided by our ever so kind host families we were on the road again. What seemed to be countless hours on the bus was really only 10 HOURS! Oh my was that a long trip, but along the way we saw miles of hills and lots of palm trees. We arrived at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Arcadia late this evening to sing for them at 7. They have a beautiful church with great acoustics, so it was nice to sing in such a gorgeous space after a long day of traveling. The church families were super supportive...great hospitality!! Tonight we are staying at host families to get some needed relaxation, in beds instead of on the bus! :) Tomorrow we head to Concordia University in Irvine!!
Thrilled and excited minds woke up this morning to begin our venture to California for choir tour. The bus arrived mid morning and we began the process to get on the road. Although, it wasn't as we expected... due to our bus having mechanical issues. So, we drove off our scheduled explorations into Eugene with the "dead" bus to get a "live" bus. Though the trip was well worth the upgraded interiors and working windshield wipers, we have been on the road for 9 hours (with food and water breaks). The perks of today included deep grey rain clouds and gorgeous Northern Californian sunsets. Long chats with our bus seat partners, and 3 movies later, we rolled into Redding to meet our host families and get some good sleep. Tomorrow shall be another day with God by our sides and in our hearts as we travel to another destination to sing for Him.