The past week was full of adventure. Parker lost his second tooth and is quite proud of his gap!We drove to San Antonio to say farewell to friends who are like family. The Byers are on their way to C4 (a six month course for Chaplains at Fort Jackson) and we needed one more get-together before they leave this massive state. We’ve been so blessed to spend birthdays, race-days, concert days, and Thanksgivings with them. They truly are like family.
We met at a fantastic splash pad and the kids had a blast together.
We ate dinner at Mi Tierra, our favorite restaurant in SA. Fun story… it was the first restaurant at which we with the Byers and we were even seated at the exact same table!
The dads with the new Texas additions.
Just a cute picture of my Anna.
The bigs headed off to camp, which I will share more about next Monday. When they headed off, Parker, Anna, and I loaded up the van and headed to visit Aimee and Miss Kayla. Aimee was driving from CO to AZ to visit family and since we had originally decided to meet halfway somewhere between CO and TX, we decided to have our visit coincide with her trip. She was going that way anyway so I headed west. We arrived at our hotel within 20 minutes of each other! We planned well.
Anna getting snuggles from Miss Kayla (Miss “teeka.”)
We played at a local splash pad for a few hours on our first day, then went to the hotel to rest. We ate Panda Express for lunch in our room while Anna napped. That afternoon we played in the hotel pool and then enjoyed the free dinner our hotel offered. We were more than happy to eat for free! Staybridge is a fantastic hotel in my opinion.
Anna did NOT enjoy being surprised by the water coming out of this yellow ball.
Our second day we went to the mall to find a few needed things. Earrings for Anna (she lost one and has been wearing a mis-matched pair for a few months) and an iPod case for Kayla. I budgeted $30 for fun stuff on this trip. We ended up doing free activities so when I saw these ride-on animals that were $5 for a 10 minute ride, I was all in. The kids really enjoyed them!
No shopping date is complete without a cup of coffee and, when possible, a new state mug!
After a few days in the pool and some late night chat sessions, it was time to say farewell again. It was like no time had passed and yet, 18 months have gone by since we last saw each other. I am honored to be her friend.
We reentered Texas and set our sights on Fort Bliss.
This is the former home of our friends, the Eastes’. (Why yes, you do see Krispy Kreme donuts in the reflection of my window. We don’t have one where we live so we make sure to get some each time drive past one. Thanks, El Paso, for giving me this sweet treat and for the Military Discount! Military discounts are so often taken for granted and I, for one, am very appreciative.)
As we drove around the post I began to become more and more convinced that should we receive orders to Fort Bliss, one of the most remote CONUS duty stations ever, I would likely survive. It is the one duty station that I dread more hearing that our next duty station would be Fort Hood. If we were to get Fort Hood as our next duty station, I would survive because I have quite the amazing set of friends to do life with. Before I saw Bliss with my own eyes, I was sure I would shrivel up and die. Afterwards, while texting with Matt via Siri (which is why there is an extra word at the end of my second text), I admitted this fact:
The following pictures are taken ON POST. People… If you aren’t military these will look like your every day shopping center. Nothing special. But we never see these kinds of places ON post. It’s a big deal. It’s called “Freedom Crossing” and has its own website. Toys R Us, Under Armor, Things Remembered, Dollar Tree, Texas Roadhouse, Dairy Queen… seriously… these stores and the beautiful setting they’ve created did a world for changing my opinion of this remote duty station.
As we continued our journey home Parker and I saw many dust devils. The camera does NO justice to this particular one.
We were in the car 12 1/2 hours on Friday: half an hour longer than our drive from Wiesbaden to Camp Darby. My kids are amazing travelers!