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Katie Linsey

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February 2, 2016

Ask The Trailblazer

February 2, 2016 | By | No Comments

Hey everyone! So, if you didn’t know, I’m video editor for The Trailblazer at MNU.

This semester, we’re trying something we’ve never done before. We’re launching a video series called “Ask The Trailblazer,” where students can submit anonymous questions regarding anything (yes, anything) about MNU. Then, The Trailblazer chooses questions to find the answers to.

The videographers find the right people to interview, and get the answers to the questions you’ve always wondered, or the questions you’re too worried about asking in public.

We’re hoping to launch our first video in the next week or so.

I’m really excited about this video series, so if you have any questions, ASK!

Here are a few examples of things people have already submitted:

-Why do students have to get the unlimited meal plan?

-How to REs decide when open dorm hours are/why did they choose those times and days?

-Did MNU get Google Fiber? Are we using it?

So… if you have a question to ask, here’s the link to the Google Form that you can submit it anonymously!

http://goo.gl/forms/bIkNsJFRvx

-KT

Renee DeVault

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February 2, 2016

Theatrical Escapades at MidAmerica

February 2, 2016 | By | One Comment

This has been kind of an insane week for me.

This is mostly because I am now a part of four shows at MNU and all four were a part of my week this week.

  1. Mousetrap

I am super excited for Mousetrap! It is a show written by one of my favorite authors, Agatha Christie. It’s a murder mystery set in post WWII era London. I play Mollie who owns a guest house with her husband, Giles. The play begins with the opening of their guest house and as the play continues the audience sees how the young couple’s big plans are kind of interrupted by a murder investigation.

It’s an eight person cast which is incredibly fun because we get to know each other but it’s also incredibly difficult because we’re almost all on stage all the time. That means we have to be on our game and completely in control for the whole show.

Some other fun aspects are that Quinn is playing Giles so we get to be a couple on stage. It certainly makes stage kisses less awkward :)

I also get to talk in a British Accent which has been very difficult but I think I’m getting the hang of it. I’ve never had to do an accent for so long so it’s a nice personal challenge.

The show is going to be February 25th through 28th and tickets can be bought online. It would be a great show to go to if you want to have date night, or friend date night, girls night out, or just if you want to pretend to be Sherlock Holmes for a while and try to figure out “who done it.”

Enjoy some pictures that our director, Heather, took without us really realizing what she was doing.

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2. Action Pact Improv Team/ The Complete History of the Old Testament in 20 Minutes

I have combined these two because they’re pretty much the same thing but also completely not. I am on Action Pact, MNU’s improv team that does improvised shows on campus but I am also on the travel team which does scripted shows as well as improv at churches in the area.

Thursday, we had an improv show on campus, which was incredibly fun. We tried Smith 200 as our venue that evening and it was great to have a larger stage.

Improv can really take you anywhere. At one point I was a chicken, another time I was a drunk alien, and of course, miming that I was giving a bath to Justin Bieber’s Demon pet dog was fun.12605331_1127347973945180_1940716450105923383_o

This is Elisa and Quinn doing a scene together. I honestly do not remember what it was about but this picture says a thousand words about the silliness that happens whenever our improv team gets together.

We also like going out together after shows with any audience members willing to put up with us for any length of time.

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The improvised aspects of Action Pact are incredibly fun. The travel team is also fun, but it’s in a completely different ballgame.

This last Sunday night the travel team hoped in a giant white van and rolled down to Pleasanton, Missouri, a very pleasant town about an hour from MNU.

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They’re silly.

We enjoy singing to the radio loudly on the way to the churches as well as making decisions such as what games we’re going to play (if we need to play games), and where to stop for coffee so we don’t collapse from exhaustion before getting up to perform.

We performed in two services for the church we went to. The first service was in their main sanctuary where we performed “The Complete History of the Old Testament in 20 Minutes” which is an incredibly fun show.

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There’s like a hundred characters so the six of us play multiple roles. I narrate a large portion of the show but also get to play fun characters such as Potiphar’s Wife and Delilah (yes, the team makes many jokes about that).

After we performed the show we played an improv game for the congregation and talked a little bit about what God is doing in each of our lives and on the MNU campus.

Their “Youth” service ended up being the youth plus the majority of their adults because so many members of their church wanted to see us do more improv. We played about four games with them and had a giant pizza and dessert party.

It’s great to fellowship with so many different people from different churches and share a little bit of joy with them. I never thought about theater as fitting so well into church until joining this team. It has certainly been an incredible experience.

3. Student Directed One Acts (It’s All About Lewis and Any Body for Tea)

Auditions for Student Directed One Acts were on Friday and the cast list came up on Monday.

Basically there are six students who are taking the “Directing and Play Productions” class that MNU offers so each of these six students are directing a one act play. All six plays will be performed in a huge festival that anybody can attend on March 31st and again on April 1st.

Since Quinn recently switched his major to be a Speech and Theater Education major, he is taking the class. I enjoy writing. Quinn needed a funny one act. It was a match made in heaven.

Over winter break I adapted a mini series that I had written into a one act play. I never really expected for the story to see the light of day so I was incredibly excited for the opportunity to get it up on its feet and in front of people.

It’s called “It’s All About Lewis” and it’s a comedy about a talk show host named Lewis Daily and the dysfunctional relationship he has with his show’s producer, Debora.

It was awesome to watch people audition for this show and see my script come to life. I can’t help but think what an incredible opportunity it is to get a little more exposure for my writing.

I auditioned for all of the one act plays and actually got cast surprisingly as Debora. It’s going to be an interesting challenge playing a character that I created. I also got cast in Elisa’s one act which is about a houseful of old women who begin killing each other off in order to get visited by the cute homicide detective who lives next door.

Both shows are going to be incredibly fun.

Auditions were awesome too. It was a whole bunch of cold readings and I got to play about a dozen different characters and watch others do the same. It was probably the most fun experience I have ever had at auditions.

Here are some guys who were giddy and running around being silly at Bell after auditions.

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It’s going to be an awesome semester for theatre at MidAmerica.

I just enjoy the opportunity to be able to serve God through my love of theatre as well as build some great relationships with people from all different walks of life and who are studying in all sorts of different areas. Theatre brings people together and when we get together in joy to celebrate God and the opportunities he’s given us, we bring people joy and show off his amazing creativity.

Stephanie Krohn

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January 29, 2016

A New Job

January 29, 2016 | By | No Comments

It took me one and a half year to realize that I need a job. I knew that I was short on money after I saw what kind of books were required, but finding a job and organize it with my schedule took way longer. As an international student, you have to take different steps before you can get enrolled for a job on campus. The golden rule if you don’t want to be deported is: DO NOT WORK OFF CAMPUS!

I only have a student visa which means I can’t make money unless it happens while being involved with the school. I could do an internship since it is required for my classes, but other than that my options are pretty limited. After I figured that out, the Business Office told me that I have to get a Social Security Number – not that Germans don’t have one, but it is different from the system here. So one day, I went to the Social Security Office in Olathe. It opens at 9 am and when I arrived – German punctuality taken to another level – at 9:03 am, there was a line that ended where the street started. I had to fill out different documents (name, name of my parents, major, job on campus, etc.). I also had to bring my passport, my visa, and a letter from MNU. At the end, I received another letter that I had to give to Business Office followed by more and more paperwork, contracts, and signatures. Finally, I signed my Social Security card, and now I am working in the Kresge Center. The process was really long and confusing, but now I am glad that I did it.

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I really enjoy working in the Kresge Center. I used to go there a lot during my freshmen year because all the different writing styles were too overwhelming for me and citing sources is not one of my favorite things to do. After a semester of Probability and Statistic, I was recommended as a math tutor. The only problem is that in Germany, we use different calculators and ways to write down equations. Also a decimal is written with a “,” and not a point, and in school I was never taught what the translation for “associative property of addition” is. So sometimes, I am more confused than the people I am supposed to tutor, but I keep learning these things as I go. It is actually really fun because there is nothing better than when somebody has this click-moment when everything makes sense and you know you were the person responsible for it!

 

Isaac Walker

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January 29, 2016

My Hymn For The Weekend

January 29, 2016 | By | No Comments

Hey friends!

I don’t know if you know, but Coldplay released their music video for their awesome song Hymn For The Weekend feat. Beyonce and it is amazing.  I titled this blog after their song and also because I am going to tell you about a great weekend I had two weeks ago.

Two weekends ago, I drove me and a van load of my friends to the River Market to do a little shopping.  For those of you who are new to the KC area or just do not know much about it ( I am one of those people.  I don’t know much of anything.), the River Market is a part of the Downtown Kansas City area. On the weekends, there is a lot of local produce sold.  It is not the best in the winter though, because it is not as big.  Not as many people are there selling their goods.  It was definitely still worth the trip though.  We mainly bought fruits and vegetables.

Before we went to the market, we stopped by Quay Coffee for some caffeine goodness.  From there we walked over to the market.  Once there, we began to look for some good stuff because we wanted to come back and cook dinner with all the things we bought.  I got some peppers, hummus, pomegranate tea, and some bubble tea!  We also stopped by an Italian store to get some pastries.  They were ‘fracking’ delicious.  I also saw a man carrying a mesh sack with two LIVE CHICKENS!  I panicked a little when I saw them….I have a strange fear of chickens.  Don’t ask why.  That’s a long story for another time.  Maybe next week’s blog?

After we bought all of our goodies ( I hate that word and I have no idea why I used it.  I am sorry.)  We walked over to the the big Chinese market across the street.  I LOVE Chinese markets.  This one smelled like fish though.  Like it smelt really bad!  They had a big fish market in the back.  They would chop it all up for you on the spot!

When we had our fill of culture and diversity for the day, I drove us back to cook our dinner!  We had kale salad (did not like it.  Kale is overrated), avocado spread for pita bread, hummus, and peppers.  It was a pretty successful day, if I do say so myself!

Amanda served as our photographer for the day!

This was the gang for the weekend. Amanda, Me, Wyatt, Phil, Ty, and Erin

This was the gang for the weekend.
Amanda, Me, Wyatt, Phil, Ty, and Erin

This is what Amanda got to drink at Quay.   V artsy and hipster.

This is what Amanda got to drink at Quay.
V artsy and hipster.

Amanda is also a master of getting candid pictures.  This is me awkwardly trying to decide of I should get the spearmint tea or the pomegranate tea.

Amanda is also a master of getting candid pictures. This is me awkwardly trying to decide if I should get the spearmint tea or the pomegranate tea.  It was an overwhelming task for me!  Look at all my options!!!

Here Amanda is fascinated by the pickled octopus.  Shortly after this was taken, the man running the cash register told her that if she is going to take a picture of it, she had to eat it.  So she did and she did not hate it.

Here Amanda is fascinated by the pickled octopus. Shortly after this was taken, the man running the cash register told her that if she is going to take a picture of it, she had to eat it. So she did and she did not hate it.

Here is a pic of the guys right after we got our bellies full of Italian pastries.

Here is a pic of the guys right after we got our bellies full of Italian pastries.  Look at our cute heads.

Amanda got some v artsy pics of the stands.  Here are some spices.

Amanda got some v artsy pics of the stands. Here are some spices.

Here are some v artsy apples.

Here are some v artsy apples.

I was not aware that the picture was taken.....

I was not aware that the picture was taken…..

If you were wondering, I did make a typo! I meant to say “v artsy”.  V means very.  As if it was not short enough already.

But I suggest that everyone go check out the River Market sometime!  Especially in the summer when it is a lot bigger and hoppin.

Until next time friends!

Lynsie Petersen

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January 28, 2016

Improvising the Improv Show…And Leaving a Legacy in the Mean Time

January 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

So after a crazy night of rehearsal, followed by an even crazier improv performance with Action Pact, and completely overtaking McDonald’s on Santa Fe, I managed to start leaving my mark and I hope you decided to as well! :)

Tune in next week for a behind-the-scenes look at “The Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie!

Katie Linsey

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January 27, 2016

The Truth About Community

January 27, 2016 | By | No Comments

Going to MNU has definitely taught me a lot about what it means to live in community.

Coming into my freshman year, I had a lot of unrealistic expectations about the community at MNU. For example, I expected to be best friends with everyone. I didn’t expect cliques, drama, or really any hardships at all.

I’ve now been going to MNU for 3 full semesters, and in that time I’ve learned some simple truths about community.

Truth #1: You won’t be best friends with everyone

The community at MNU is unique because it’s giant. When I hear the word “community,” I think of a small group of people. But the community at MNU is made up of over 1,000 people.

When you’re living in a community of 1,000+ people, expecting to know everyone is unrealistic… and exhausting. I tried to do that my freshman year and it was brutal. It was great to walk into Campus Center and know I’d have someone to sit with all the time, but the relationships I formed couldn’t be deeper than surface level. You simply can’t have that many close friendships without going on at least 29 coffee dates every week.

I think of community as a big family. You’ve got your “siblings,” or your closest friends, that you see all the time and tell everything to. Then you have your “cousins,” who you love to talk to when you see them, but don’t keep up daily. And then there’s your “second cousins who live far away,” who you really don’t ever see, but if they ever needed anything, you’d be there simply because you’re family.

I would classify a majority of the students on this campus as my “second cousins who live far away.” I love them and would do anything for them, simply because we live in the same community, but I wouldn’t call them close friends. The cool thing about the community at MNU is that we can come together to worship, laugh, and cry together without being best friends. There’s a special connection you have with people when you share a community with them.

Truth #2: Community is made up of human beings

I have had drama at MNU. I have strained relationships on campus. There have been times when I’ve been frustrated with the community. But, I should’ve expected that, because anything made up of human beings is going to be imperfect. People don’t love the community at MNU because it’s perfect. They love it because it’s real. Because, at the end of the day, even with all the imperfections, it’s beautiful. Being a part of this community has taught me love, forgiveness, and grace on deeper levels than ever before.

Truth #3: You won’t love everything about it

I don’t love everything about MNU. I hope I don’t get fired for saying that. But in all honesty, if you’re planning on coming to MNU, chances are you won’t love everything either. I don’t know if there’s any community that you’ll love absolutely everything about. Sometimes I don’t feel like going to chapel. Sometimes I sit in my room while everyone else is at an ASG event. Sometimes I need to get away. And that’s okay. I had the expectation coming to MNU that I would love every second of every day. That it would be rainbows and butterflies all the time. But I thank God that’s not the case. Living in community with imperfect people creates great opportunity for growth. And that’s exactly what I’ve done while I’ve been at MNU. I’ve grown so much.

If you’re thinking about coming to MNU, I hope that being honest and vulnerable with you has opened your eyes to what community is all about. I hope that this excites you about the possibility of attending a university with an authentic community.

-KT

Renee DeVault

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January 25, 2016

Them there Crazy Christian People

January 25, 2016 | By | One Comment

Sunday night my small group gathered together in Weatherby chapel, sat in a small circle on the floor at the front, and spent the next two hours praying together and singing worship songs. I wish this was more normal for us and in time I hope it will be.

It got me thinking though…why isn’t this more normal?

Why do I feel uncomfortable praying for more than thirty seconds or worshiping without a leader or even a single guitar?

Jesus said in John 15 that the world will hate us as Christians because they hated him. We have been chosen out of the world. This is a theme all through the bible. In Exodus 19 God describes his people as a holy nation, a people set apart for him.

Being set apart naturally means that we will not fit into what is considered “normal” in this culture.

In 1st Peter we are called (depending on translation) aliens, foreigners, sojourners, and exiles and are told that we will be spoken against by the gentiles, or, metaphorically, people who haven’t accepted God’s Kingdom. As aliens, members of God’s kingdom living in this earthly kingdom, our actions will naturally be different because we are of a different people group.

Just think about the insanity that we are accused with when we obey God. Isaiah 55 explains that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways. When we become obedient and align our thoughts with God’s thoughts and our ways with God’s ways we cannot help but look foolish to the world because God’s thoughts and ways are different from what is traditionally accepted.

We’re freaks and weirdoes.

At least I believe we should be.

I began to wonder, while in my worship and prayer session, about something my pastor asked us this Sunday. He asked if all of our decisions made sense. He asked if the way we live appeared completely normal by worldly standards. Do we put our own interests first, do what seems logical, and spend our free time enjoying ourselves or are we something radically different; a wild, exotic freak.

Think about quitting a high paying job to pastor a small church. That doesn’t make sense.

Think about spending hours on end in prayer and worship. That doesn’t make sense.

Think about giving generously and without even thinking even when you don’t logically have the money to spare. That doesn’t make sense.

Putting others above yourself, loving your enemy, and taking care of the poor don’t really make sense.

Even talking about God in everyday conversation seems odd to me at times. I could go for days without bringing up God in my personal conversations with my friends and it would be perfectly normal by cultural standards.

Christianity doesn’t make sense within the value system of our culture because these actions put value on something other than personal gain, enjoyment of life, comfort, and money.

These are the kind of crazy things that I want to be normal for me. I want a new normal. To do this I believe I need to reconnect with my homeland, with a God utterly rejected by this world, and begin to think thoughts that that aren’t my thoughts by nature and live in ways which would not be my traditional ways.

This requires a flipping of the perception of what is valuable. Prayer and worship is valuable. Other people are valuable. Generosity, following God’s instructions no matter what, and trusting in him are valuable. I want it to be normal for me to discuss him with my friends in casual conversation because he is what I want to be the most important to me. And people talk about what is important to them.

This is all simple obedience which stems from the joy of catching a glimpse of the greatness of our God and the magnitude of the mercy he has on us. That messes with a person.

It’s about obedience. These “crazy” things may seem impossible to do, but if God has called us to them, we can do anything because he will give us strength (Philippians 4) and we will find contentment in our lives. Plus, God’s plans are to prosper you, to give you a hope and a future (Jerimiah 29) so that “crazy” thing is for your good…I’d say it’s probably best to do it.

So at least in myself and with my friends I’m going to try to make that a reality. I want to be seen as illogical and crazy. I’m praying for that right now. It’s scary, but also very fun. I’d challenge you to do the same.

 

Katie Linsey

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January 21, 2016

A Passion to Serve at MNU

January 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

MNU has lots of wonderful ministries that give students the opportunity to go into the community and serve others.

To be honest, I’ve been to a few ministries, but haven’t found time in my schedule to regularly commit to attend a ministry.

Last week, I was hired to create the MNU Ministries launch video for this Spring 2016. It was such a blessing to me because it allowed me to hear impactful stories from students who have been investing in ministries for a full semester. It’s encouraging to know that there is a group of students at MNU that devote time to ministries every week.

I love attending a school that equips students to serve in the community, and do it with the passions and talents that the Lord has given them. There are many different ministries, which I’ve listed below in case you’re curious about them.

LOL (Loving on Littles) – A group of students that goes to an apartment complex and plays with children.

Deep Cries Out – An anti-human trafficking ministry that educates themselves, brainstorms ways to help, and prays for the victims.

Freedom Fire – A group of students that goes to a community center to play with children and tell them the Gospel.

EMT (Emergency Mission Team) – This is a new ministry this semester. This group will be available for any “emergencies” that come up in the community.

SMILE (Students Ministering in the Lives of the Elderly) – This group of students goes to a nursing home and sings hymns to the elderly.

Center of Grace – This group of students goes to a soup kitchen and serves people in the community.

I’ve attached the video below so that you can hear from the students yourselves. I hope that you’re inspired and encouraged like I was!

If you’re an MNU student, it’s never too late to sign up for a ministry, or simply attend for a week. :)

If you’re not an MNU student yet, this is what you have to look forward to! A university with a passion to serve, that encourages and equips students to go out and be the hands and feet of Jesus.

-KT

Lynsie Petersen

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January 21, 2016

It’s Never Too Late For A Peace Treaty

January 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

I hate watching the news. It’s full of hatred and anger. I can’t tell you the last time I turned on Fox News and heard a story of peace and love.

Why is it that we live in a day and age where my Bluetooth speaker can tell me the weather report and my daily schedule, but I can’t feel safe walking out to my car after dark?

This week we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr Day and I sat through a passion filled chapel, but the whole time I was struggling with the concept of “peace”. Dr. King called for it and yet we haven’t gotten any closer in the last 43 years.

In Tuesday’s chapel, Michael Randle spoke about loving God with everything and loving our neighbors as ourselves. “We don’t need justice. We need to extend mercy to one another” -M. Randle

Michael Randle preaching about loving our neighbors.

Michael Randle preaching about loving our neighbors.

Randle spoke about showing mercy to all people, just like God does for us.

Randle spoke about showing mercy to all people, just like God does for us.

We live in a time where things can still be changed. Yes, I’m white, but that doesn’t matter. God calls us to love all people, no matter their race, religion, or walk of life!

I want to leave a legacy worth leaving, so maybe this is the first step. If we join together, we really can change the world. My parents always taught me to leave a place nicer than when I arrived, so why isn’t that applicable to the world we live in?

Stephanie Krohn

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January 20, 2016

From Cali to Kansas

January 20, 2016 | By | No Comments

After having such a great flight, I had an even better stay in California. When thinking of Cali, all I think of are movies that depict long, white beaches with sparkling blue water, big houses, and rich people driving around in convertibles. The sun always shines, and the streets are full of surfers, skateboarders, tourists taking pictures, and people in bathing suites. I think of palm trees, In-N-Out Burgers, and Mountains or in other words: paradise.

The good thing: It was exactly like paradise. The bad thing: It was over too soon.

My boyfriend picked me up from the airport and the first thing I noticed was that there were palm trees everywhere.For somebody from a moderate climate zone, that is something really special. We drove along the highway to Lompoc, on the left the deep blue ocean and on the right the beautiful mountains. Just the highway number one is worth a visit.

Day 1:

On the first day, we went on a hike to the Gaviota peak where you can walk on a trail while looking into the valley and watch the ocean.

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An interesting fact was that people would walk the trail and leave water bottles hidden at the side of the trail in case somebody comes by and forgot to bring something to drink. Very smart and very nice these Californians! W

Day 2:

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The second day, we went to a little town, called Solvang. It is also called the Danish capitol of the United States. There were a lot of timbered houses constructed in an old Danish style which makes it look really pretty. The stores contain all kinds of typical European souvenirs. I almost felt like home. After that, we went to the Purisima Mission in Lompoc. It was founded in 1787 and was home to the Chumash people. Since a lot of Native Americans were slaughtered here, it is said that their spirits are still leaving in that mission. It has a lot of old rooms and the chapel is really scary and cold from the inside. I took the pictures during the day, but we came back at night again to see if there is really paranormal activity happening as seen on TV. At 1:30 am, we walked over the pitch black grass towards the building. We were a group of five people and two had already seen something on earlier visits. Besides being scared of the darkness, there wasn’t anything going on until we reached the end of the colony. There was a loud sound as if a door was shut. I panicked and I wanted to run back to the car, but everyone else froze in place, so I did the same. It was one of the scariest moments in my life. After that, we made the way back and left the park – luckily.

Day 3:

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Today, we went to my favorite beach of all times so far: Pismo Beach. It has a pier where a lot of people fish. That’s where we found this pelican that almost ate a kid. It was almost scarier than the Purisima Mission because this bird was reckless. We stayed until the sun went down and it was so beautiful. The beach was endless and the water was not too cold so I actually went inside to the height of my knees. We found a sanddollar and little crabs, both are really hard to find.

Day 4:

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Day 4, we spend in Santa Barbara shopping and on the pier. The streets were super long and surrounded by flowers and palm trees on each sides. People were sitting outside dining and others just enjoyed going window shopping. They had really cool and expensive shops there or should I say boutiques? The side walks were all paved and there were small alleys at the sides with sculptures or water fountains. Flags were hanging down from buildings and at night everything was glowing in the light of the street lanterns. On the pier, there were shops. As a fan of the penny collector machines, I immediately had to carve my penny with a picture of Santa Barbara.

I consider California one of the most beautiful places. Now I am back in Kansas with 50 degrees less, snow outside, and no mountains or beach. I have to say though that I missed everyone here and it is always nice to be reminded that friends always stay friends no matter where you are in the world!