Dad and I went on the Santa Monica Stake's annual FATHER AND SON'S camping trip this weekend. We had a blast. Jamee picked up a HUGE tent for our family during the day at Costco while I was on my way home from doing my 10:15 and 12 noon laser shows (same school). It made it possible to run an errand to surprise her with some paintings we had matted and framed that we got a call for saying they're ready for pick up. We used a shop clear out in the east end of Pasadena (near Arcaidia, where mom and dad practice with the SC Mormon Choir). There are a couple gals that own this shop that would always go to screenings (when their schedules permitted) when I was an audience recruiter for Nielsen and had a screening in Pasadena and they matched the demographic of what we were looking for. After I raced home, it was time to pack for the camping trip. But not before a quick run to Kinkos to make some copies for J. I also picked up a couple Subway $5 footlongs to share with Jamee and dad. We dug in after dad finally showed up. It was my fault for asking him to be to our apartment at 4 o'clock, right around rush hour. It worked out perfect that he was so late in arriving because with the makin' copies errand I could run for my gorgeous wife, packing, and doing a couple reports for work, I was running a bit behind schedule too. So dad's arrival was perfect timing. Jamee and I are very blessed that we've got a bunch of new tenants moving in through out this month that we now have NO VACANCIES! Our prayers have been answered. So. Dad and I took off for the camping and got there just in time to set up the tent with just a little bit of day light left. It was a good thing we ate because we just missed dinner. Then there was a program about putting on the armor of God. Then there were three activities for everyone to "rotate" and do some 1. star gazing/astronomy/north star is like the Gospel group 2. laser tag and 3. making smores. Surprisingly I didn't feel like playing laser tag. All I wanted to do was help run the astronomy group. I love stuff dealing with outer space. And I asked the guy who was running the group if he had a green laser to point out the constellations and he said no and I said, "Would you like to use my green laser, I brought it." It was a huge hit. People would do their activity and then rotate to the next activity. And so Steve Thorn (who, btw, said he's got Shipps in his ancestors) and I did the astronomy group three times. After the first group, I told him that I could explain a little more in depth why it is when star gazing it's important to turn off all our flashlights and explain a little more about how the human eye works. He liked that and the next day over breakfast someone told me how cool it was to learn "that stuff you said about the eye last night". Dad woke up Sat. morning maybe 30 min. before me and was writing all kinds of notes and ideas on 3X5 cards. He will be adding some ideas to his "Ponder and Pray" blog I think. We played some group games (dad watched) like "Spies and Smugglers" and then "Capture the Flag". I was on the winning team both times for "Spies and Smugglers" and the lost at "Capture the Flag". After lunch, dad and I went to search for a near by Geocache. It was a 2 mile drive from our camp site to get to the head of the trail where to park. But then, it was maybe 20 min. to hike and took something like 30 min. of some serious bushwhacking to finally find the cache. I almost gave up. I had shorts on and my legs got a little bit scratched up. We made the search much more difficult that it needed to be. The altitude is such that there were clouds rolling in from the Pacific Ocean. So this "fog" would mess with with the satellite reception of the GPS making the coordinates "jump around" a bit. We were in the correct spot to search but because we didn't find it straight away, we circled around, cutting through all kinds of bushes, looking everywhere the cache was not. We finally found it and make the 20 min. hike back to the van. You can see my post and a map of where we were out in Malibu, on the geocaching web site here. It was super fun to spend some time out in nature just me and dad. We had a really good laugh when I told him about the APRIL FOOLS joke I played this year on the school I had a laser show just 6 weeks ago in Pittsburgh. Be sure to ask me about it the next time you see me. I love telling the story in person. On the drive down the winding road to get back down to PCH, dad said a super funny thing about being glad he wasn't the one that had to build the road we were on. And then as an after thought, "well, I'm sure it wasn't just one guy that made the road." The way he said it just totally cracked me up. We were laughing about that for quite a few a while. When we got home it was so fun to see mom holding Vivian. I can tell Viv is recognizing her grandparents more and more. She was laughing at grandpa the night before when we were getting set to head out for the camping trip. What a joy!