19 December 2012

College Winter Retreat 2012

This year's winter retreat was probably the craziest retreat I've been on yet. We went up to Leavenworth, which is a Bavarian-inspired tourist town and incredibly popular up here for day/overnight trips and retreats! I must've been to Leavenworth for a retreat 3-4 times, for 3-4 different organizations! hahaha. It's a fun and bustling town in the summer, but in the winter it's gorgeous, because it's almost always snowing. :)

DAY 1



Made a quick pit stop before continuing our journey! Encountered snow less than half-way through our trip *o*

There was quite a bit of downtime, so all of us walked around Leavenworth checking out shops and getting coffee.


The whole town was covered in Christmas lights!
Some of the girls! They're so cute hehe.


After running around for another hour or so, we all get together because of some bad news -- the ranch we were staying at for our retreat was out of power due to the snow! D: Not only that, but the heavy snowfall was causing numerous trees to fall and block the roads leading up the mountains -- where the ranch was... it was really scary because by now it was pitch black, and we weren't sure what was going to happen. In the end, we decided to press forward and head up the mountain. At one point, we encountered a tree that fell in the middle of the road -- so the guys all got out to move it out of the way. It was a really amazing (and hilariously testosterone-filled) adventure, and I think a lot of people were actually excited for how this retreat would pan out. After the tree incident, iirc (I was half-asleep), someone's car was stuck! So the guys got out again and helped push the car back onto the road! hahaha. So crazy!!! We weren't even to our destination yet!

We finally made it up to the very edge of the ranch, and began unloading all of our equipment and luggage into a giant wagon attached to a tractor. The guys had to walk to the ranch, but the girls were able to ride in the wagon with all the luggage. It was so fun and scary in the dark because there weren't any seats HAHAHAHA! I wish the other girls enjoyed it as much as I did... 

Once we got there, we were briefed on the state of the ranch. There was NO power to speak of. All of the food had to be cooked on the firestoves, that were subsequently the only source of heat as well (for a huge open building!! ahhh!!). No electricity, no hot water... omg! It was insane hahaha. Thankfully, dinner had already been cooked, so we opened up with prayer and got to eating. :) We had service that night too (I thinkkkk), but afterwards we were left to hang out with each other. A few of us were outside around a campfire listening to the quiet, trying to scare each other with ghost stories and shadows we saw in the distance LOL. It was pretty late by the time we went back inside, but it was really really fun getting to know more people.

DAY 2

Wahhh!!! Since we came over at night, we didn't get to see just how beautiful the outside was!!!!!



OMG! *^*
After breakfast (cereal and oatmeal!) it was time for morning service. It reminded me of service when I was really young, before churches used amps and stuff in every room.




Our guest pastor's son! So cute ;w;

One of the staff members at the ranch delivered more firewood, so the guys lined up to stock the racks inside the building!


Free time nowww! We all donned our coats and gloves and headed outside for some activitieeees! The sun was shining and gah, it was so beautiful ;o; !!

LOL some of us more enthusiastic about getting in the snow than others.









Because of how deep the snow was, a bunch of us wore skis/snowshoes just to get from Point A to Point B without getting lost down below. There was a huuuuuge hill meant for intertubing, and another area for skiing, so a bunch of us went over with intertubes!




Then a snowball fight ensued!!




Colonel Sanders, dat you.

The sun began to set, so we all packed up our things to put away and headed back inside for dinner!

Service is always a very personal and humbling time for me. It's taken me years to find a church that's as welcoming and unconditionally loving and open as these guys. I'm a huge crybaby and feel a lot, so I always end up tearing up LOL! It was a very lovely service this time around, and I feel like I was able to connect with some of my sisters and brothers about the troubles we've been going through in our lives.

At night we ended up playing Hide n Seek, Sardines, and a bunch of board games! The building was perfect for the first two games, because there were SO MANY hiding spots, and SOOO many scary spots that a lot of people avoided HAHAHA. Ughhh! One time David and I searched around the kitchen, and we regretted it so bad... never again LOL. I was terrified. Some of us busted out the ramyun, so we had that as a night snack, and a lot of us stayed up talking for a really long time. It was so much fun :)))

DAY 3

Time to head back home! We had to dig out all of the cars ahhhh. So much snow!!!



The ride back down was scarier than the ride going up.. we kept hearing trees falling everywhere -- especially on the road! A lot of them were too big for humans to move away, so we kept having to wait for a team of people to cut down the trees in segments and transport somewhere else.


Most of us were really sleepy, so it was a very quiet drive down. Soon as we got back to VDC, some of us stayed back to make + eat some buddaejjigae (my favorite!!! ehhehe). It was soooooooooooo worth it. *^*



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