The night before our run for Tuesday was spent in La Mirada with a friend of ours. He drove to Huntington Beach, picked us up and the hilarity began. That evening I felt like I was back home hanging out with friends, while stories were told back and forth. Mr. Grindle, you are the man! It was a sarcastic filled night of meeting new people and hanging around a college campus. Our host was actually the brother of a close friend, and his uncanny likeness with his twin made us feel back home in Tempe at ASU. We stayed with him, as guests of the guest (him) in an amazing family’s home with their two beautiful children. After devouring a pasta meal, enjoying the pleasant backyard while the sun went down, entertaining the dog, we then headed over to Biola University to a cafe. We were staying in a home which was located right next to Biola. We literally walked accross the street, then into a neighbors backyard, under the trees that overhang the entrance and exit, and out their back gate which lead straight onto campus by the cafeteria. Feeling like we had just walked in and through the wardrobe from Narnia, we tried to regain our senses and bearings. I half expected snow to be coming down as we came out the other side along with a half-man, half-goat, welcoming us with a song of rejoice on his flute. “Welcome young travelers, you have arrived. Aslan come quick! Meet our wanders.” Anyways, we enjoyed our time with Stephen and catching up on some quiet time at the cafe with all the Biolians studying for finals.
The next day was probably our hardest yet, mentally. We headed inland to bipass some major extra miles. However, we didnt know that by doing so would put us running through Long Beach, which reminded us with the familiarity of downtown Phoenix. Now nothing is wrong with downtown Phoenix, or Long Beach. We wanna love on these people and show them Jesus. But, two 20 something year olds, wearing short shorts, pushing a baby-jogger, shirtless, made our plans to run through this area become a bit interesting. There also must have been a city-wide annual “Breaking of the Glass on Every Street Corner and Wall Parade” the day before. Long Beach, you need to get rid of that parade and tradition. Please… So, our run turned into a speed workout to say the least. A 28 mile run with a 10 mile stretch through Long Beach filled with confused onlookers, that would have much rather gestured something else than wave back, made us weary and wanting to get this run over with. It was awesome though. We met an amazing woman along the way that shared her story and heart with us, while not holding her questions and beliefs back at all. I greatly admired her for how much she has questioned her life and the way the world works, not settling for the religion and beliefs that everyone else has pushed on her. After almost an hour of talking, we were on our way, and we hope she had a fun night with her kids at the Dodgers game. What a great mom. Also, along this run we got to see some good friends who were in LA on their way to go on a missions project to East Asia. All five of us prayed together and got to encourage one another through our meeting. What started out as a dreaded, fast, and concerning stretch of milage, transformed into a day that we could not have planned to encounter and take part in. We slowed down, enjoyed the people, and finished out the day. That night we made it 28 miles later to the border of Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach, which was a beautiful area. We were so relieved that our next host lived so close to our end spot. Maybe a quarter of a mile away, if that.
Paul and I made it to our post college dream apartment. We stayed with 3 awesome guys who had one of the coolest bachelor pads ever. Simple, manly, and had a couch that, well lets just say Paul and I would have stolen it if we wouldn’t have had to take it back in the baby jogger. We slept so good that night on that huge couch. While out at dinner, you could have recognized two Arizona boys with their jackets on and jeans, as the ocean air was just too much for us to handle it seemed. Our conversations went deeper into what we aspired, hoped, and dreamed for in each of our lives. We felt really liked and important to our host. Being not that much older than us, but also at different points in our lives, it was really sweet getting to know James and being treated so genuinely. We felt at home.