Vicky and I got back into Toronto around 9pm on Saturday night. We returned from a fantastic weekend with our close friends Clint and Christel Humfrey (and their son Hunter) and Justin and Elisha Galotti (and their son Jake). It has been a year since we all hung out together, so it was refreshing to be in their company. It’s funny how deeply you realise you miss someone when you see them after a long period of time.
We flew into La Guardia on Tuesday night where Justin met us and took us to his dad’s summer home near Providence, RI. Vicky and I had eaten at the TGI Friday’s in Pearson Airport (Toronto) and I got pretty sick from the disgusting hamburger. As we flew around Manhattan, Vicky enjoyed taking in the sights and I merely tried to keep my cookies from being tossed.
It was great to see Justin. I was struck by the feeling that it had only been a few days since I saw him last. I guess that’s a sign of our lasting friendship. We had a good three hour drive trying to follow his GPS to RI.
Justin’s dad’s summer home was awesome. Very spacious – with a cabin-esque feel. Walking in to see Elisha and the Humfrey’s was like coming home. We sat up for quite a while catching up. The boys were asleep so we only got to see them in a quick peak.
In the morning we got ourselves ready and headed into Providence for the 60th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. The whole of Wednesday and Thursday was taken up by attending various sessions. What a strange thing to be walking around the facility seeing people like John Piper, Vern Poythress, Justin Taylor, Denny Burk, Michael Bird, Ardel Caneday, Bruce Ware, Peter Gentry and a whole host of others just hanging out. I felt like an idiot gawking at everyone’s name tags.
Over the course of the conference I took in the following lectures (no particular order):
Miles Van Pelt – Framework Hypothesis
Clint Humfrey – Paul as a tentmaker
Joel Beeke – Calvin on Prayer
Michael Bird – NT canon
John Piper – Why God is not a megalomaniac
Peter Gentry – OT text
Dan Wallace – NT text
Charles Hill – NT canon
Denny Burk – Righteousness of God
Daniel Janosik – John of Damascus
Al Mohler – Desecularisation (Q&A)
I think there was more, but I can’t remember.
In spite of all of the excellent lectures, the highlight was being able to hang out with friends. Driving about, eating food, sitting up at night chatting, that was the best part.
On Friday we drove to Newport, RI (where they hold the famous jazz festival) and had a good time touring the place. We ate (awesome chowder) in the White Horse Tavern, supposedly the oldest tavern in America. The food was fantastic as was the old atmosphere. We had a nice little room to ourselves where the kids could be kids.
We walked about Newport, bought some fudge, saw the ocean and then took a drive up the coast past all of the mansions. Rhode Island is one very picturesque state and it’s coastline is unbelievable. I felt like I was in a movie. If you’re friends with me on Facebook I’ll post pictures soon.
On Friday night we drove back to the Galotti’s in Ossining, NY. We were so wiped from the drive that we just lounged around until bedtime. In morning we awoke, had breakfast and drove into Manhattan. I must say: I really, really like NYC. I wish that I had more time to explore and take in the city. It’s much bigger than Toronto and (I think) much cooler. We walked around Times Square and then went to eat pizza in Little Italy and a fantastic restuarant called Lombardi’s.
It was there that we parted ways with the Humfreys as they went in search of the perfect dessert and the Galotti’s took us back to La Guardia for a less nauseating flight back to Toronto.
It was very sad to leave our friends, in spite of the promises to see one another again soon. God has blessed Vicky and I with amazing friendships and our hearts desire is to have them close to us. Calgary and NYC are nice, but they ain’t close. We really miss them.