Saturday, November 26, 2011

Engaged Encounter Weekend

It was a fantastic week and weekend, how does time go so fast, why does it seem like you just blink an eye and it's gone. Yes that again was the case last week. I got to La Puente Wednesday afternoon and as usual I was hungry so my lil sis and I went to Las Marias to have some Mexican food, I had the steak and shrimp fajitas which were delicious and more than enough for me to also have lunch the following day.

Thursday I spent all morning in the house and everybody was at work then in the afternoon my sis cooked a tasty steak "bistec ala Mexicana", and at that time I was surprised by Abby whom showed up a day early as I was expecting for her to get to La Puente on Friday. Now that was a wonderful surprise indeed.

Abby and I.

This plate is at the entrance of the chappel.

Our "Engaged Encounter" retreat was over the weekend and it took place at St. Mary's Seminary in the beautiful city of Santa Barbara. I had purchased the snacks we had to take to share with the other couples but being a guy I never read through the lines when I got the instructions for the weekend and forgot we also had to take a pillow, additional covers, a robe (optional), and a towel. Abby also forgot to bring her make up case which she had ready and left it back at her house so the not reading the instructions through cost us an additional hundred bucks, ouch! I hope I learned my lesson.

So we left for Santa Barbara with plenty of time but being Friday afternoon I anticipated lots and lots of traffic all the way. Although I was right it really wasn't that bad, we had to be there at 7:15 pm and according to my car's stereo we got there just in time as finally after taking like 20 left and 10 right turns up the mountain we finally found the seminary, we knew the view must be breathtaking but we couldn't see nothing as it was pitch black going up the hill.

First thing I notice upon arriving is that there is only a couple of cars in the parking lot, so we got off and went to ask where the registration was taking place. The nice couple sitting there whom we later got to know as the senior presenter couple told me, they were not even set up yet because it was still too early. Too early? It is now 7:15 pm the time the instructions said to get there, and then it hits me, not only does it get dark very early right now but my car's stereo has Arizona time which is an hour ahead. Duh! So, from that moment on we were know as the first couple to get there.

Scenes from the beautiful St. Mary's Seminary.

After registration they started promptly at 8:00 pm with their welcome speech and they dove right into the topics. The presenters consisted of a senior couple whom had been married well over 50 years and a junior couple whom had been married about 17 years, and the priest whom I though was one of the coolest most easy to understand and well spoken man. He is currently the priest for the students at Santa Barbara State University so he is used to dealing with young couples which most of them were.

His name is John and at first I did not catch his last name, but on Saturday he wore his name tag and I noticed his last name is "Love". One of the many anecdotes he told us was that before he became a priest he used to date. He dated this girl for about six years and he shared to us that her name was Gay. He said she actually didn't mind the name combo but she said it would have been fun explaining that check book signature. When he broke the news to her that he would be becoming a priest she replied that she already knew it.

So more than once throughout the weekend I got a teary eye as the couples shared their own personal experiences with us, it is very easy to create a bond with these couples and with the priest and the bare their souls in front of us for the sake of making sure our own brand new relationships and commitments take off in the right direction. At the Engaged Encounter is not uncommon to see couples arguing amongst themselves as they explore their most intimate inner thoughts with an open mind.

Abby and I with Fr. John Love.

Abby and I with Joe and Kathie.

Abby and I with Jorge and Katie.

They fed us so much during this weekend that for a moment there I thought I wan on a cruise and not on a retreat. There's a Mexican family that takes care of all the housekeeping duties as well as all the cooking and let me tell you the food they came out with was the bomb.

We had a Sunday afternoon mass and then we received our certificates of completion which are required by the church were we will be getting married, then at around 3:30 pm were were sent home.

Sunday morning we woke up to the beauty of rain and fog and lot's of food.

The gardens there are just too beautiful and well taken care of.

Looking down the hill.

The front of the chappel.

By the chappel facing the ocean.

It was a wonderful weekend, I learned a lot from it and we, Abby and I intend to use what we learned on our daily lives.

The drive back to La Puente was even faster, the GPS app on my phone is now becoming one of the most used and trusted apps I have. I think it's amazing how these computers can think and re-think the routes to our destination with such accurateness.


Wanda said...

Jose and Abby this is so outstanding. Congratulations on completing your siminar and letting us in on the delightful pictures.

You both look SO happy!!! God blessing on you both in this new journey of life!

Jose said...

Wanda we are, and thank you very much. It is definitely becoming a great journey and I will enjoy it as we travel it.

Chely said...

Wow, I finally get to see the pics.

So glad you guys got to experience this retreat. I surely hope you use everything you learned my brother. Lo vas a necesitar si sigues de testarudo. - lol

Jose said...

It is a very pretty place and was worth the trip. The retreat in Montebello we were told has double the amount of couples which would have been way too many.

Sandy said...

It sounds like a wonderful time and full of wisdom and loving experiences. The place looks gorgeous.

I'm really happy for you. YOu look so happy in all your pics. So does Abby.

Jose said...

Thank you Sandy, and yes we are. That place for sure was worht the trip. Santa Barbara seems to be such a pretty city, too bad I haven't had the chance to explore it a little more.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Top Web Hosting | manhattan lasik | websites for accountants