Sunday, August 17, 2008

Home Sweet Home!

Well, we have officially been home for 24 hours and I feel like we never left. Isn't it amazing how that works?
We had so much fun that the 2730 miles we drove didn't seem so long. Isn't it crazy to think I drove that alone with three kids and a dog? We were very blessed to have had no issues. It was a rather quiet trip for me as the boys slept a lot of the way. How they managed to sleep that much I don't know but I'm not complaining.
We really enjoyed visiting with our good friends Lisa and Marlon. We have known them for 11 years (can you believe that Lela???) We met in Korea, Lisa and I forming a bond as we trudged up the insane AFN Hill in Taegu, Korea eventually expanding our relationship to a friendship involving Chicken on a Stick and babies being thrown in the air like a football. I just now remembered our attempt at getting in better shape with rollerblading, LOL..remember all the kids who would stare at us, probably secretly wondering what the hell we were doing, LOL. BTW, I sold those dreadful things shortly after PCSing to Fort Riley, lol.

Marlon & Lisa

Lisa was nice enough to take us on tour of her Vet Clinic to help Michael with his Dog Care Merit Badge.

Anyway, enough of the trip down memory lane..we now have new memories to hold onto until we see each other again (it will not be another 4 years!!!) We were able to make ourselves right at home. Trust me the boys did this, especially Daniel who felt that leaving his stinky boy socks everywhere was ok. Even Sapper enjoyed her time there. At first she was pretty nervous of the two cats and the dog but by the time we left, she was quite brave and attacking them. All of them are quite a bit bigger than her so it was amusing to watch her try and attack them.

It was so nice to escape the monotony of every day life and just relax. We didn't try to cram a million things into this trip, we just enjoyed relaxing and seeing a few things. We went to the Aquarium like I posted previously and the boys got to see the ocean. We ate good food and ventured on Fort Bragg. I also had the opportunity to meet up with my very first roommate in the Army. It was great to see Mildred again, it had been 11 years. She hasn't changed a bit!!

Me and Army roomie!

The boys in front of Iron Mike on Fort Bragg, NC

After spending time with our buds, we headed up to visit family. Kevin's brother Steve and his family live in the Raleigh area and there was no way we could be so close and not visit. It had been a while since we had seen their entire family so it was a good opportunity for us. The boys had so much fun with their cousins and their aunt and uncle. You know it's a good trip when there is sob factor involved. We headed up to Greensboro to Wet N Wild and enjoyed a fun day in the water. Daniel was a bit fearful of being whisked away so he kept a tight hold on his Uncle Steve. Neil and Michael were more brave and spent a good majority of their time in the whirlpool section of the wave pool...think mosh pit in the water. Mom tried it a couple times but didn't get the hoopla about it, maybe I'm getting old!

My fun experience of that day was purchasing a funnel cake as we left. The little wallet I had happens to have a pic of Kevin in the front. The girl working that particular booth exclaims to her coworker "oh she has a picture of a Soldier!!!" I reply, yes, that is my husband. We start a conversation that I will spare you the details on, but basically the girl was proud to say her boyfriend was in the Army or maybe the National Guard, she wasn't really sure. He was going to deploy but didn't know when. Not really sure where he is, maybe in Texas. She asked me how long he would be gone. I was honest and told her the National Guard is gone for a long time when you include training and the actual deployment, anywhere from 18-24 months. She sighed...I told her it took a special woman to love a Soldier and she said, yes she knew. I told her Kevin was over there for the second time in less than three years. She looked at me and said, she couldn't do it two times!! I just smiled at her, requested my funnel cake quickly inventoried the information she had given me and told her to do us all a favor and break up with her boyfriend now.

Aunt DeeDee, Uncle Steve, Daniel, Neil & Michael

The cousins
The boys also got involved in a very serious game of Monopoly with Uncle Steve. They played for a good while before it turned into craziness and fun name calling followed. Josh tried to jump in for a while but they had to call it after a while and close up the game. Everyone had a great time though. Thanks for the hospitality! We had a blast and let's not wait so long to see each other again!!

Moving on...we also had the opportunity to meet up with our buds from Fort Hood. They moved last December to Fort Lee and it was nice to finally meet Mr. I. He is soooooooo cute and lovable!! Linda and the kids made the 2.5 hour drive to meet up with us and I am so glad she did. We had a great visit. January, right? That's when you can come back to Hood???

Hanging out with Mr. I

Linda and I being silly at the park

The whole gang

For our final night in NC, we headed back to Lisa and Marlon's to chill before hitting the road. It was sad to say goodbye. We are so lucky to know what a strong friendship we have that will stand through distance and time. We pick up right where we left off. It was nice to have someone who gets me and understand me and doesn't mind when my inside voice speaks out loud. She is convinced I'm going to get my butt beat someday because of that, but at least I know she's on my side regardless. Thanks for the great visit. We love you guys!! When you coming to Texas???

She adores me, what can I say??? was LATE and we were both tired, lol


J.R. and Michelle said...

It sounds like you guys had a really great time! How fun that you were able to stop in to see Kevin's Brother, and family. I got a kick out of the funnel cake cake girl; how can she not know which branch of service he is in? Strange. You probably cost some unsuspecting divorce attorney a paycheck with the advice you gave her. LOL!

LaNita said...

Glad you had a great time and now you have MORE reasons to move to NC than just me and hunting school!

WooHoo!!! Someone went to NC and all I got were weiners! YummyYummyYummy!!!!! The absolutely BEST souveniers ever!!!! lol Though probably not good for my diet- but they are small weiners -- all SIX packs of them! I will happily be getting fat!! THANK YOU NAY!