We’ve all seen Dirty Dancing. Okay, most of us right? We all remember the iconic song, “I’ve had the time of my life.” And we just want the incredible experience to get the chance to belt the chorus.
I think I experienced a moment close enough for a chorus or maybe two.
Let me paint you a picture.
It’s the California sunset, cast over the golden mountains in the distance, a clear picture from the wooden deck I sat on with my family and friends. Jump back a week, the friends embark on a journey out west from Upland, Indiana. 32 hours in the car can drive someone crazy, if you don’t find the right people to spend it with.
Thankfully, we picked all the right people. And the drive? That was the best part. We stopped at every small town, Route 66 attraction we could find, along with the Grand Canyon. We saw a whale that couldn’t swim, Cadillacs that couldn’t drive and soda pop you couldn’t drink. Despite all the “could nots,” the sights were spectacular.
Arriving in California, you can imagine our fatigue and then we came to find out we would be sharing our Airbnb with a man named Bob. He was a nice man, but we didn’t expect to meet him there.
We filled our days with sightseeing, laughter, road trips and celebrity house hunting, taking wrong turns and joking about it the whole way. The hike to the 7.5 mile hike to the Hollywood sign took a lot out of us and by the end, we were just happy to see our car.
We cooked meals and went out to eat, most popular among our group were pizza and tacos. With two boys and two girls in our company (and Bob of course) us girls had to eat and cook with a man’s appetite, but it all evened out with the hiking we were doing.
After a free guided tour of Fox Studios, we got gas, which was $4.99 in LA, and headed to Thousand Oaks, CA to visit family for the last two days. We were greeted with a feast of enchiladas, chips and salsa, much better than anything we had prepared and eaten that week.
Then we stayed up late into the night, catching up on three years of lost time with my cousin. The next day, we hiked, found the beach and ate more tacos, before the scene I described earlier took place and it was time to leave.
It was serene in California. It was just the four of us and nobody else needed to be thought of. We are four single people who will never experience a trip like this one again as our lives progress forward.
The trip in whole didn’t consist of deep theological talks or nights filled with emotional conversation, but laughter and jokes that continue on past Spring Break. The ride back was not all the fun and games the ride there was, because we were tired and drove through two nights instead of one.
But we hugged and missed each other the whole weekend following. We went from spending every waking moment with each other, to no time at all and it was sad. But the joy I felt with those people at that time, continued into joy at school and in other relationships.
I can’t imagine a life where trips like these are in the past and not upcoming and always present. One day, I’ll look back but today I’m eagerly awaiting the next adventure and the next.