Saturday, May 07, 2011

Williamsburg Weekend

Last weekend Jim and I were blessed to be able to get away for a couple of days.  Well, we were blessed, and we got away for a couple of days, but it wasn’t only for vacation.  We went to check out a couple of options for Rebekah’s living arrangements for the summer. 

Rebekah will be “externing” at the Williamsburg Lodge for 18 weeks, beginning next week.  As a student at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) she is required, as part of her instruction, to spend a period of 18 weeks working in a real kitchen somewhere.  Thousands of restaurants, resorts, caterers, even cruise ships, line up to have an opportunity to host the students from the CIA for their externship.  From the myriads of choices Bekah picked three with whom to interview, had her choice of the three to work with, and chose the Williamsburg Lodge.

Naturally, we were thrilled.

And then we found out that she needed to find a place to live.

To make a long story bearable, we were able to contact several churches in the Williamsburg area- or rather, their secretaries- and they sent the word out to the congregations of our need.  (Church secretaries ROCK!)  We ended up narrowing the possibilities down to two families who were willing to rent a room to Bekah, and though we liked what we heard on the phone, we wanted to meet the folks and see how their situations would look for our daughter.

Friends from church gave us the use of their time share in Williamsburg, and Jim and I drove down on Friday evening. 

The place where we were staying was so nice.  The rooms were comfortable and the grounds of the resort were lovely.  Since we wanted to shop for simple food instead of eating out for every meal we found the local Trader Joe’s and got what we needed there.  =D  After breakfast on Saturday we drove around to orient ourselves to the area since our experience in Williamsburg on our vacation two years ago did not involve leaving the Colonial area at all.  As it happens, there’s a whole bustling town around Colonial Williamsburg about which we had no inkling before!

After lunch it was time to meet the first family and we were so blessed by the warmth and friendliness which they showed us.  I’ll just skip to the end now and tell you that we accepted their offer to house Bekah after the weekend was over.  They have a room that used to be a porch and has been converted to living space with a bathroom and even a laundry which will be for Bekah’s exclusive use.  She will have her own entrance as well, and a view of their backyard which is simply beautiful. 

Even more wonderful than the room is the fact that the father of this family is an elder at the church which she will attend when her schedule allows.  Furthermore, he works in the hospitality industry and knows the chefs with whom she’ll be working- so he knows what her life will be like and may be a fount of wisdom for her in that area.  Mom home-schools their two daughters, (which in VA is much easier in some respects than in PA, but I digress) and the girls are each just younger than our Erin and Isaac. 

God is so good!

For the rest of the weekend we walked around the Colonial Area, had one nice dinner out, and met with the other couple who had a potential room for Bekah. 

Returning late to the resort we gave the hot tub attached to the rooms a try, only to realize that hot tubs, when way too hot, are way overrated!  I felt like a lobster seeing its life pass before its eyes.  Good grief- was every hot tub in my youth this hot?!  So, the old lady abandoned the boiling brew, showered, and went to bed.

An early morning run around the resort on Sunday morning gave my day the perfect start before we packed up and checked out.  We attended worship at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church and were so very blessed by the fellowship of the saints. 

I do pray that Rebekah will be able to attend worship on a regular basis.  Her purpose there over next few months is to learn what it is truly like to work in an actual working kitchen, and resort guests expect to be fed Sunday brunch.  We do anticipate that Sunday mornings will be difficult for her.  But there are other avenues for fellowship, between their thriving campus ministries with Bible studies which we hope she can also find time for.

Our drive home Sunday afternoon was uneventful, if long.  What we did not realize at the time was, while we were driving past Washington D.C., the president and his staff were in the situation room glued to the screen watching SEAL Team 6 take down Osama Bin Laden…

But that’s another post.  Time for me to prepare for Bekah’s homecoming- Kate drove up to Hyde Park yesterday to get her, and they’ll be on the road soon!

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