Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Mary and Maddox took me to the base with all of my gear. We went to pick-up my weapon and my ride to the airport met us there. I said goodbye to my two favorite ladies, got my weapon, and then started across the water. We got to the airport, and checked my bags. Then I went to the 'Norfolk Varsity Grill' to grab a rum and coke before I went through security (don't you judge me, I wont be drinking for at least the next 6 and half months).
Me in the bar at ORF
Going through security:
The people in front of me were apparently new to the FAA regulations and didn't have a clue about what to do. Meanwhile I was taking off my boots, getting my computer out of my bag, and looking for metal in my pockets. As I was walking through the metal detector I realized that I still had my dog tags on (Im not used to wearing them), but there was no problem with that.
I then looked close at my boarding pass and realized that there wasn't a seat number on it. I guess that Southwest has open seating...Who knew?
I then went to the USS Norfolk restaurant and got an order of potato wedges. They were delicious! We boarded late and landed late... Luckily, I had a long layover in Baltimore.
It was a good thing that I had a long layover in Baltimore. I had to pick up all of my bags, and then lug them across the entire airport. I got to the Air Mobility Command (AMC) terminal and they told me that I couldnt check-in yet. I was with a Captain from the same area as me and we were going to the same place. We decided to get some lunch while we waited
I to check into my flight, as I was waiting in line I started wondering if I could combine my three bags into just two, I was able to do it Yay! My awesome wife made chocolate peanut butter chip cookies for me to take to make friends. I offered the lady at the check-in counter one to start her off on a good foot. She didn't want one... Oh well.
After check-in the Captain and I went to the USO. I ended up running into one of my friends from Korea there, she was heading TDY to Germany. We talked for probably 30 minutes or so, and then she said that she had to go check-in. I stayed in the USO trying to get the internet to work on my computer (I couldn't get it for some reason).
My friend from Korea and I went to an airport restaurant. I forget the name of it, but I had an awesome Bacon cheeseburger and fries (delicious last American meal).
We went back to the USO and I was able to get my internet to work. I sent Mary one last e-mail from the states. Then it was time to go through security again. It was all people from our flight, I gave out a few more of Mary's cookies (they were a huge hit!).
I got through security, refilled my water bottle, and watched the sun set, It was beautiful. Then it got dark and started thundering and lightning, I was worried that they might delay our flight, but they didn't. The guy that I was seated next to was an army doctor, a really cool guy. I told him that I was reading 'Deception Point' by Dan Brown (the guy that wrote 'Da Vinci Code'). He told me that if I liked that then I should read 'Angels and Demons'.
We took off, we had a long flight... I dont know how long. But I think I only slept for about an hour and halfor so of the flight. They showed three movies: 'Ink Heart' 'Quantum of Solace' and 'Madagascar'. I didnt want to watch 'Ink Hear' because it sounded stupid. But I couldnt sleep, so I did watch it and it was stupid. I slept through the end of Ink Heart and the openeing of 'Quantum of Solace' but when I woke up and realized it was on, I couldnt get my headphones to work, so I missed pretty much all of it, and I watched some up 'Madagascar'. The food was alright on the flight. I had the BBQ beef with mashed potatoes. Later they served a continental breakfast, that wasn't even subpar. It had a quaker chewy bar, yogurt, and a gross looking pastry.
Looking back on it, I dont have a clue what hour we were in at this point. We landed in Germany and went to the USO there. It was pretty nice. They had free internet, coffee and drinks. We were there for about an hour or so, then they told us to go back through security, so that took another 45 minutes or so. Then we sat in the terminal for another 45ish minutes. That wasnt too bad of a wait, there was a little boy (a week younger than Maddox) that was near me playing and it was cute to watch him, although, it did make me miss Maddox. We boarded and took off again, this flight was about an hour and half I think. I had a really bad headache by the time we took off. I think it was from a combination of not sleeping and being a little dehydrated. I took some tylenol and chugged some water. I also slept almost the flight. We landed in Italy, and man was it beautiful. As we were approaching we could see snow tipped mountains, fields and even wind farms! The Yellow ribbon club at Avaino had hot dogs and chips for us. They also had a couple of carts full of books for us to take. I was going to check the carts to see if they had 'Angels and Demons', but before I could look, the Doctor that I was sitting next to brought the book up to me. I stood there and read it for about 40 minutes or so, it seems pretty good so far. We re-boarded and took off for Al Udeid. Nothing too exciting happened on this flight, the meal was pretty good though, it was some sort of chicken and Asian noodles.
We landed at 11:00ish PM local time so about 4 in the afternoon Eastern time (the day after I left). Us lower ranking folk had to get all of the luggage out of the belly of the aircraft. A little tip: if you are over 5'5" dont volunteer to be in the plane! After that we in-processed and got our tent assignments. I made my bed and then went to the WiFi area to try and chat with Mary. It was about 7:30 in the evening Eastern time by now (for those keeping track, I was around 34ish hours of travel at this point). I talked to mary for some time and then went to wash up and get ready for bed (around 4:30 AM Local time).
(I have pictures of the sunset and me in the USO writing an e-mail. but I cant hook my computer up right now).
Monday, April 20, 2009
I will do my best to keep everyone posted on my travels and trials and tribulations along the way.
For now I leave you with a list of upcoming happy events (that I will miss)!!:
Leaving for my deployment
Getting into country
Getting to work
3rd wedding Anniversary (5/5)
Niece Taylor's Birthday (5/8)
Mike E's Birthday (5/12)
Re-enlistment bonus saving/spending
Mom and Dad's Anniversary (5/31)
Mason's Birthday (6/1)
Marc and Kris's Anniversary (6/6)
Nephew Anderson's Birthday (6/7)
Independence day (7/4)
Mike and Emily's Anniversary (7/4)
Greg and Leslie's Anniversary (8/4)
Dad's Birthday (8/17)
Maddox's Birthday (8/30)
Mary's Birthday (9/12)
Mason and Jennie's Anniversary (10/8)
Jennie's Birthday (11/10) [I hope to be home by this one]
The preceding list was only of immediate family events. If I forgot you, sorry! Please let me know!