Turns out they really only want you to use the free seven day pass thing if you're a local resident. I get it, but "Mark" was kind and decided to give me the pass anyway so I can come in and use the gym over the next several days at no charge--even though I will never be joining that gym.
The place is very impressive. In total square footage, (I believe he said 60,000) larger than the Y I'm used to, and layed out differently. It is a huge rectangle with an upper mezzanine level. There's the group fitness aerobic class behind a glass wall so everyone who comes in can watch, a "pro shop" where you can buy your vitamins and protein shakes, a ton of treadmills, eliptical stuff, and a cycling class room. There's also a basketball court, lap swim lanes, and a spacious weight area, full of all sorts of great machines.
The place was packed and that was probably because it was Saturday morning, but I still had no trouble getting to the equipment I needed for a good shoulder work out. One weird thing, when I got up stairs to the weight area, I saw a sign that said something like "Towels are mandatory, sweat is optional." OK, I thought, where do I get a towel?
I went to the front desk and asked an indifferent employee about this and she told me I had to buy one for $3.25 or bring one from home. Well, since I was already THERE, I decided to just buy one. No complimentary towel service? Weird.
After the workout, I got a sandwich and some guys came in to get some food in this car. I have no idea what it is, but it was very cool!
Kenton changed his plans and came in on a train to the Irvine station, just five minutes from where I'm staying. That worked out real well and it's been great to catch up.
We went to two services at Saddleback. The first, at 4:30, was what they called their "Classic" service and was led by Rick Muchow, a band, a trio, and an orchestra.
The message was great, about Paul and Silas in jail from Acts 16, and was given by Buddy Owens. I have to say, if you go expecting Rick Warren and you get Buddy Owens instead, that's not so bad. He did a great job.
We had planned on going to the "Elevation" service, but found out it was a singles service. It was in a different venue, at 6:30. Despite being married, we decided to sit in the service for the music set and then left once the same sermon we just saw started.
Aside from one song (Selah's I bless your name), the whole worship set was different, but the thematic content was the same. The band was pretty good--your average church band (though I have to say the band at the "classic" service didn't exactly knock my socks off--and I realize I'm being hyper-critical of the pianist who had a hard time with time. Don't we all? The drummer was very solid and in two slow songs, a cut time song and a slow 6/8 held everyone together). Anyway, I'm glad we went to the venue. It was well-equipped. Oh, and both venues had a B-3! How cool is that!?
After the services, we grabbed something to eat and decided to go see Indiana Jones. Let me save you the time. Don't see it.