Friday, December 30, 2011
Well it's been quite a while since I updated this blog. In the interim, I have spent a month at Ft Dix, NJ for the greatest training of my life. I did so much stuff to prepare for this deployment that I won't ever have to use, not even the day after never. It was only a little bit frustrating but oh well, it's over and I will never do it again. Fortunately, Jess got to come up to NJ and spend a week with me. We went to NYC with the fam and did quite a sizable amount of damage. We checked out ground zero, but weren't able to get the grand tour. It was still pretty incredible to think of how big them buildings were and how big of a change in our lives they have made. We checked out the statue of the bull on Wall St and laughed at the line of tourists taking pictures with it b/c there was one line taking pics with the front of the bull and another line taking pics with the ass of it. I know that I would have been in the line of ass pictures had I wanted a picture. That night we got to go see Sister Act on Broadway. It was great even though the songs in the play were all different from those in the movie. Afterwards, we strolled through Time Square on our way to dinner. Jess immediately flashbacked to the days of TRL and where the mobs of tweens once stood hoping to catch that fateful glimpse of Carson Daly. The next day we hit up 5th Ave and Barney's. We did find a purse for $18,000...yes the equivalent of a car but I promise you that if Carey Bradshaw had mentioned it one SATC, it would have been this year's big Christmas craze despite having the equivalent value 5 slightly used Gremlins. Se la vi! I did find a Lindt chocolate store and decided to try their 99% Cocoa chocolate. Despite taking a rather small nibble, it is still so bitter I could only manage to eat a few bites. However, the expression on Jess' face when she tried it was priceless. I would try to describe it but I lack the vernacular. Just trust me when I say it was priceless. That night we ate at Les Halles, one of Anthony Bourdain's old stomping grounds. It was delicious and very much a French eatery...more butter than Paula Deen ever dreamed of y'all! We exchanged gifts that night, with the big gift being a game of Taboo. Guys vs Girls quickly ensued and of course the MEN won! The next morning, Christmas Day, we went to a nice old church then to a delicious steakhouse before making the trek back to Ft Dix. A lovely thing about taking the NJ Transit train is that at NY Penn Station (a very busy hub), they don't announce which track the train will be arriving/departing from until all of 10 min before the 300 passengers try to blitz simultaneously. So you can imagine four tourists with luggage trying to keep pace. We faired rather well I believe. I had to say my goodbyes to my parents that night as they were headed further into Yankee land to visit family in Massachusetts. Jess and I relished our last day together on the 26th. She surprised me with some Tex-Mex for my last dinner in the Estatos Unidos...she spoils me, I'll admit it. The next day I had to tell her goodbye and that just sucked, plain and simple. That evening, I popped some Benadryl and boarded my first international flight only to wake up flying somewhere over Germany. After a brief layover in Leipzig, I boarded another flight and ended up here in Manas, Kyrgyzstan where I've been ever since. I head to Afghanistan shortly and will eventually end up at my final destination. In the meantime, I have tasted Russian beer and tried to pass the time. There isn't much to do at transit centers like this but they have amenities like a movie theater and decent internet. Jess and I have found a plethora of iPhone apps to help us stay connected. We can now send each other video messages, altered pics, and even call whenever I have a wifi connection. All in all, it ain't that bad and could definitely worse. Hopefully, where ever I end up has decent enough internet to allow us to continue using these toys. I'll try to update this blog when I get the chance. I shall leave y'all with a tidbit of info that is no secret but still fun to say...my wife is amazing!
Saturday, December 3, 2011
So a bazillion years ago, we went on our honeymoon to the Florida Keys - Marathon Island, more specifically. Early early early (4 30am) Sunday after the wedding Trace and I loaded up the truck and drove 3 hours home to San Antonio in order to catch our 9 00 flight to Florida. We spent the majority of that day flying and driving which doesn't sound so bad, but we were exhausted. It was on the first day of the honeymoon that the reality of Trace's deployment really hit home. Planning a wedding is the most fabulous distraction ever. We spent the next couple of days lounging in our cottage, swimming, having several near death experiences (canoeing and scootering), eating and driving - we did a lot of driving.
We managed to snap just a few pics.
obligatory honeymoon drinks in souvenir glasses
75 and sunny every day!
somehow my makeup didn't make it into my suitcase. a week without having to wear makeup is definitely my kind of honeymoon.
We were much more diligent about documenting the honeymoon with the video camera that Trace bought for his deployment. I have watched all the videos at least 10 times since he left. The videos are taking forever to upload, so I will have to do some research on that.