Loading in At Panama City

Yesterday was warehouse load-in. I expected the worse since last year we didnt finish till 4pm. That was partly because the semi truck was late. But we did have a ton of junk last year, especially the phone booths in the store. I left StayBridge early to meet mom and dad at the BigStuf house to pick up some things from them and give them the truck. I was surprised to see Jenny already there at 8:40. My parents arrived around 9am and they followed me to the warehouse so I could drop off my luggage. I said goodbye and waited for everyone else to arrive.

Carson arrived and chilled with me and a few others and then I realized I forgot something, and the awesome mom I have brought it back for me. I was surprised to see that Jamie had loaded up a ton already into the box truck and that really everything was much more organized for load in this year. The semi came right as all the interns arrived and it was very nice with LED lighting inside. I really thing that it took around 3 to 3 ½ hours to load everything up. We had subs for lunch and then headed over to the BigStuf house to grab money for the trip and directions. Lauren and Chris Coleman met us there and we soon headed off towards Panama City. I had the pleasure again this year of taking the “Bullet,” now known as “Goldie.” The Bullet had to retire and we introduced it’s younger relative. The plus this year was that it had air conditioning!!!! A definite plus. I planned on going at my own pace down, but I soon met up with Rachel and she tagged along with me all the way down to PCB. The weather got pretty bad at times, but traffic in Atlanta was slim to none. Much better than last year when we left during rush hour and we ran into a bad wreck on I-85 around Peachtree City.

I got down to Panama City in less than 5 ½ hours. I directed all interns around to Outlaws. All the BigStuf veterans wanted to wait and eat dinner there, so we made it about 30 minutes before it closed. Alyson and Bri D, however, were miles and miles away. They took 1-75 south all the way to Macon before realizing that they were going in the wrong direction. They arrived 4 hours after we did. 🙂 Outlaws rocked everyone’s world and I was so happy to see some of the staff and eat corn nuggets and sweet potato fries. So good! After we ate we headed to the hotel, getting stuck in the Memorial Day traffic. There has been a lot of construction going on, but the biggest is across from the Ripley’s Museum where they are building another Ripley’s attraction of an upside down house. It is so huge and much bigger than the ship that you can not miss it from the 5th floor of the hotel. What an eye-sore!

It is so surreal to be back here at the BoardWalk Beach Resort (BBR). A lot of the landscaping has changed and looks so much better. The hotel makes neat changes and improvements each year showing that the economy down here is doing quite well compared to Atlanta. We had to sleep in a temporary room tonight because a lot of PCB Nasties were staying in our summer rooms. Kind of a bummer, but….what can you do??? Like I said, I keep pinching myself… I can’t believe I am back and get to relive this all again.

It is so cool to have all the memories flood back and even have hotel staff recognize me and talk to random strangers about all the good that God does here this summer. We met a random group of ladies who sing in a gospel group and are doing a gospel cruise at Capt. Anderson’s. It is also gross to see all the people here living in sin and immorality. Drinking, smoking, ugh… I am ready for this area to see some hope and a little Jesus.

There is so much awesome ahead and yesterday was just the first day of an awesome summer. And it is not even June yet!!!!

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