Day 3 - To Richmond and Back

It was nice to wake up Saturday and see nothing but sunshine. Chris let me sleep in, even though I am pretty sure he'd been awake for a while. Oh and by the way, sleeping in was about 8am. I am not a sleeper. For those who know Chris, the Marines have made him less of a sleeper, but he's still one of the best nappers I know. So we woke and up and got ready for the day and then went for Breakfast. Chris decided that he wanted to go to Sheetz. It's a hard place to explain, but basically it's a convenience store that serves some of the best food. EVER. And if I'm saying that it's good, it really must be. After all, I do not usually venture to a convenience store of any type of hot meal. The place is neato because you order at these touch screens listing all the items and all the toppings/sides/etc. things you can get on your meal. For breakfast we went with sandwiches. I opted for the Sheetz version of an egg mcmuffin and Chris got something with pretzel bread. After that, we headed over to the barracks. Chris needed to do a few things, so we hung out there for a while and talked with his roommates and then we decided to head to Richmond.

The counter at Sheetz. See how fun it is???

Neither of us had even been, and we wanted to check it out. Its only an hour drive from Fredericksburg, so we headed out without any kind of solid plan. That was our first mistake. First we had to stop and make a pick up midway. Chris had ordered a part for a gun (don't ask, it's a Chris thing) and it had arrived and we had to go and pick it up. That took a little while, and then we continued our trip to Richmond. We were hungry before we got there and we stopped at another Sheetz for an afternoon snack. It's a good thing we don't have either Sheetz or it's close cousin Wawa here in Arizona, or I would gain a few pounds. We finally got into Richmond around 4:15. We had no idea what we were doing. Initially we had wanted to go check out the suburbs and maybe see some houses and then check out the downtown area. We finally got to the tourist bureau and found where we could see things downtown. Then it all went downhill. Chris decided to start driving around to find some suburbs, and we ended up in the wrong part of town. Let's just say I'd never seen parts like that in person, only in the movies. Even during my 3 year stint in LA, I'd never wandered into something like this. It took us forever to get out of it, and back to the downtown area, and at that point we just wanted to go back up North. Originally we were going to do dinner down there, but decided we'd just go back and eat in Fredericksburg. And that's exactly what we did.

The evening ended up pretty chill. We ate at the Olive Garden thanks to a gift card we had gotten for Christmas 2007 that I had remembered to bring, and after that we went back to the hotel and had a drink and birthday cake and watched tv until we both fell asleep. It was certainly an adventurous day in the land of Virginia. Unfortunately we didn't take any photos that day. I had wanted to take some of the ghetto we landed in, however I feared someone might try to carjack me for the camera, so I didn't. Stay tuned for Sunday's recap!


Day 2 - Virginia Rain

Day 2 started out very very early. I didn't go to bed the night until 11:30 or so Virginia time, and only after forcing myself to try to fall asleep. The alarm rang at 3:25am! Yes, you read that right...3:25am! Chris and I had to drive to the base so that he could start his Friday bright in early. Except that it wasn't bright. It was pitch black and foggy. For those of us desert rats, fog isn't something we are too accustomed to. Of course, back when I lived in California, I was used to the fog, so I wasn't too worried about having to drive back to the hotel by myself in it. All I did was brush my teeth and we headed off on a 20 minute drive or so to the base. I had to take directions, on a chinese food takeout menu, on how to get back there later in the afternoon for the company picnic. Luckily I had been to this part of the base once before, so it wasn't too bad. We almost were to Chris' barracks, when I realized something. There were deer on base! For most people, I'm sure hitting a deer while driving never crosses their minds. This however is one of my biggest fear while driving in the dark in deer country. Glad to report though, that I managed to get back to the hotel in one piece, through the fog, without hitting any animals.

I went back to sleep until 8:30 or so and woke up to rain. Pouring down rain. I looked out the window in the hotel and saw a minor flood in the parking lot. This alone made me question why I was going to run errands in that weather. Luckily by the time I made myself nice enough to be able to appear in public, the rain had stopped. I went to Caribou Coffee, something we don't have in Arizona, and then I moved onto Target and Costco. My plan was to buy Chris a birthday cake at Costco, but I was really disappointed in their selection, so I had to head over the a grocery store and get something. I got his favorite, angel food with strawberries and whipped cream. After that I headed back to the hotel and got ready to go to the bbq. By that time, the sun had managed to come out and the rain looked like it had moved on other locations. I was pretty happy about that, since a bbq in the rain didn't seem like any fun at all.

The bbq was a lot of fun. I met a ton of people that I had heard Chris talk about. The grounds were really muddy and it was really windy, but other that that I loved it. We hung around there for a few hours, eating, drinking, and laughing a lot, and then we had to go to the barracks. I actually got to go inside and see what it was all about and let me say that I officially feel sorry for him. Each group of 6 has two rooms, a sleeping room and study room. Both are incredibly small, with little space for anything. It also smelled really bad when I walked in, but I give them credit because they had gone on a 12 mile hike in the rain that morning and all their gear was wet and in their rooms. It was also literally damp. I mean I walked in and it was wet in there. But I am happy to report that it was incredibly clean. They have room checks for cleanliness and I'm glad. We hung out with the roommates and then went back to the hotel. Chris slept and I hung out and then we met 4 of his friends in downtown Fredericksburg for dinner and drinks.

We had a ton of fun that night. I was excited to finally get out and have a good time. We went to the Capitol Ale House and had some dinner and beers. They have 70+ beers on tap, and it was fun to try different things. I also had this incredibly good sandwich of sausage and sauerkraut on pretzel bread with cheese. I can't wait to go back in a few weeks and have another one, it was that good. The place stuck us in the basement and that's probably a good thing, because we were all really loud, there was a lot of laughing that night. After dinner we headed over to an Irish pub, very interesting place because you can still smoke in Virginia in bars and such. I was not a fan of that part, because I was afraid that my hair and clothes would smell like smoke. Luckily we didn't stay too long and I came out unscathed. We headed home after that and went to sleep.

Here's some photos of Friday. Sorry for the long post, I forgot how much I can write and it just all started spilling out. Stay tuned for Day 3!

Us at the bbq. You can see how windy it was.

The lake where we had the bbq. It was really pretty, and I look forward to coming back.

The sleep room. Can you see what I mean about lack of space?

The "closet" in the study room. You can see that they really don't have space to put much, so it seems to kind of spill over into the room.

Chris' desk. This is where he spends a lot of time, eating, studying, and talking to me on gchat!


And I'm back!

Technically I've been back since Monday night, but I've been too drained to blog. For those of you who might have seen my facebook status, my trip home Monday was not nearly as easy as my departure. I will blog in more detail about it later, but lets just say that I ended up coming home 10 hours later than planned, and missed a day of work. That part wasn't a big deal, but I sure was glad to finally get home. I've barely been home at all this week, so I have to yet to download the few pictures I took.

In short, the trip was great, and as sad as I was to leave, I know that I'll be back in a month or so for a 10 day visit. Tonight should be pretty relaxing, and I can finally sit down and blog the rest of the trip. In the meantime, happy Easter Weekend!


I arrived!

Well today was certainly a busy day. The good news? I arrived safely in Virginia! I will say that the whole flying standby thing was certainly an adventure. I arrived at the airport less than an hour before the flight, flying standby doesn't require the whole 2 hours before deal for normal flights. Going through security was a little bit of an adventure, because of course, at least according to the TSA, I can't follow directions. Apparently even though they have changed the rules for laptops and have ambiguous signs, it's my fault that the sign isn't more direct. Oh well, I won't make the mistake of not taking my laptop out of my bag, even though the sign says you don't have to if it's in a certain type of case, one of which I have. I must admit I haven't flown with a laptop in a really long time.

So after I got to the gate, I was told that the flight was full, as in everyone had checked in, however not everyone had claimed their seat yet. They had 10 minutes to take their seats or the standby passengers would get them, and let me say it was the longest 10 minutes of my life. I kept hoping that each person walking by wasn't getting on my flight. There were probably 5 or 6 people that came after me, and I was getting really worried. However, when I felt like I wouldn't get a chance this go around, they called my name and the name of another standby passenger to get ready. There was only one seat left and I got it! I was so incredibly relieved, as they opened the door and I pretty much ran down the ramp. I even had an aisle seat, not so much of a big deal for me, since us 5ft folks don't need much leg room.

The rest of the travel was pretty uneventful. I dosed a little, listened to some music, and watched The Rocker with Dwight from The Office. Chris was actually close by the airport when I landed, and I was pretty surprised, because I wasn't sure that he would be released so early in the day. He brought me Subway which was awesome because they only thing I had eaten all day was the chocolate cake I ate for breakfast. Yay, I know, totally unlike me, but I couldn't resist another piece.

The drive to the hotel was incredibly long. If you think traffic where you live is bad, I swear DC traffic is some of the worst. I think it took us close to 2 hours to get to Fredericksburg, where we are staying. We just hung out, Chris did a little bit of work, and then I went out and grabbed some dinner while Chris took a nap. I went to Sonic, a little adventure, but thanks to Tom Tom, I found it and a grocery store and came back in one piece. Now because of the time difference, Chris is sleeping and I'm wide awake. We have to leave here at 3:30am tomorrow to take Chris back to base and I can have his car, which is only 4 hours or so away. At least I can come back and sleep for a while.

Stay tuned for more tomorrow. I forgot the cord to transfer photos to my computer, but I'm thinking that Chris might have one that I can use so I'm going to see tomorrow. For now, enjoy some posts without photos. Stay tuned for (hopefully) daily posts on my trip to the East Coast!


Today is my Friday

And I'm pretty darn excited about it! I'm actually blogging from work at the moment. I've been finishing up projects since I'll be out of the office until sometime Monday, so I have a bit of free time. Last night was a loooong night for me. I worked out at my new gym (on a side note, I dead lifted 95lbs and benched 65 lbs, big feats for little ole me, but more about that later) and then came home, scarfed down some dinner, and got to work on my to-do list. I did a ton of exciting things like resetting the pool timer, laundry, packing, putting dishes away, packing up the animals' things and most importantly, getting my ticket.

I'm pretty sure I mentioned before, but I'm flying standby on an employee pass, so I never had to actually commit to a flight until last night. Technically I didn't have to last night, but I needed to give Chris an idea of my plan since he'll be picking me up from the airport. We figured out the flight and then went to book. *This is where my lesson comes in. Listen up all you peeps in relationships that involve sharing things like credit/debit cards. I still have to pay the taxes, so I was giving my aunt my credit card information over the phone, and for some reason it wouldn't take. I couldn't understand why it wouldn't accept our zip code. Now, over a year ago the Post Office changed our zip code, so sometimes databases don't accept our new one, but they take our old one, so I just move on. But this time, my aunt must have tried it half a dozen times. This specific card is linked to Chris' account, but has my name on it. Then all of sudden it hit me, he must have changed the billing address to his address in VA when he was having trouble proving temporary residence a month or so ago. HOWEVER, he never bothered to tell me that I would need to use that zip code for it's billing address. I actually had to go onto the card's website and verify what he had done, and yup, I was exactly right. Of course when we tried it with the new zip code, it worked like magic. The moral of the story...don't forget important financial details! I can only imagine how embarrassed I would have been if I had been at a store buying something and asked to put in the zip code, only to be turned down. Not that a lot of places do that, but some do as an extra security measure. So after over an hour of trying to booking my flight, I did it.

Of course, it doesn't mean I'll get one. I'm trying to think positive, but something in the back of my mind keeps saying, "what if you don't get on?" There are 3 non stop flights tomorrow, and I'm trying to get on the earliest one first, so I have at least 3 chances, not including the flights with stops. So any little travel prayers you'd like to send my way, I'd really appreciate it. It might sound trivial, but going 6 weeks (or even longer as we have before) without seeing your best friend is hard, especially when it's still not a sure thing.

Oh a completely separate note, I'm headed to the Suns game tonight! The third time in a month! I'm going with my Grandpa, Dad, and three guys that my dad does business with. I'm sitting with my Grandpa in his seats, and the other four are in my Grandpa's firm seats. I'll try to fill you in more about that either tonight or tomorrow morning. I'm sitting in Row 7 (Yes, I am that cool) so I should get some really good pictures. They are playing Houston, so I'm hoping to get some good photos of Yao and the gang. Go Suns!