That’s how long we were gone. It broke down like this:
- 53 1/2 hours with Brent
- 47 hours driving
- 36 hours with friends (15 awake, 21 sleeping over 3 nights)
And the other 7 1/2 hours? Spent at the hotel after Brent left and before we did… :(
There was lots of time spent here:
and plenty of fun…
time in the ocean and the pool……
and time with Brent (but not enough, and mostly not photographed!)
(Please note that Brent has never lost his fascination with fire and lighters. It provided literally hours of entertainment for the 3 of them!)
So what did I learn on this trip? Some interesting things, like
- I CAN drive 47 hours with two 5 year olds. And survive. They were great travel buddies! (When I got home, I told Jim I felt like I did after the Breast Cancer 3Day in 2001—like I conquered something HUGE!)
- Not all Starbucks make good strawberries and creme drinks. The Starbucks we went to in Medford (twice) was bad. Twice.
- California has a serious lack of rest areas on I-5. At least when and where they were needed this trip.
- ‘Speed Limit’ signs in California really should say ‘Speed Suggestion’ instead. I’ve never been passed so often and so fast, even when I was going over the speed ‘limit!’
- Froot Loops are not as good dry as I remember them. (I LOVE Froot Loops. Growing up they were a treat of epic proportions, generally eaten dry out of a bowl in front of the television. Now, as an adult, they are my breakfast of choice when camping but I don’t eat them often—maybe one box a year. They were just not as satisfying from a ziploc bag as they are from a bowl with milk….)
- Women who are 60+ years old really shouldn’t wear pleather leggings with tie-dyed tops, bolero sweaters, and platform flip-flops to breakfast. Other patrons could lose their appetites.
- Some people will argue about anything, whether they know what they’re talking about or not. Case in point: we stopped every driving day for a ‘travel treat’ of strawberries and creme frappucino. I ordered a tall for me and a tall split into two cups for the boys. Made the morning more tolerable. :) Anyway, one morning we were stopped at a Starbucks. I ordered our drinks and the cashier asked me how far apart the boys were. I answered her as I always do: “Thirteen weeks.” The customer next to me immediately jumped in with, “That’s not possible. It’s just not possible. You mean 13 months.” “No,” I told her, “they’re 13 WEEKS apart.” She then went on and on about how hard that must have been, asked me if I spent the entire 13 weeks in the hospital, who was the smaller preemie, did the second one make it to full term… I finally (when she took a breath!) edged in with “Um, ma’am? They’re both Chinese!” Then she had about 150 more questions—things like “How did THAT happen? You’re not Chinese!” and “Oh…they must have different mothers.” I left there shaking my head…
- Leaving Brent at college in August 2007 has nothing over driving away from him in southern California on Sunday. I am glad Ryan and Logan were there—kept me from bawling my eyes out.
- I am incredibly proud of the young man he has become. I hope and pray that his remaining time with the Marines—however long it might be—is something he looks back on with fondness some day. He has matured tremendously in the last 6 months and I am privileged to be his mom.
- Brent’s experience with military health care has been interesting and eye opening. The waits for non-emergency tests and results is beyond ridiculous. I can hardly imagine how long he may be in ‘suspended animation’ (between trainings) should they decide that his knee is fixable and that he will not be medically discharged. It’s entirely possible that he could spend the next 3 or 4 months waiting for his knee repair! Then there’s rehab, then conditioning so that he can get back into Marine-standard fitness. It’s entirely possible that he could spend a great majority of his 4 year commitment in medical rehab. Of course, completing the paperwork necessary for a medical discharge can take up to 2 years as well…
- I have an amazing husband. While I was gone in his car, he spent all of Memorial Day weekend working on my car—changed the spark plugs, rotor, and distributor cap, the oil, all the gaskets, the transmission fluid, the transfer case fluid, flushed the radiator, and changed a bunch of other little parts as well to get ready for summer and towing season. My garage floor is greasy but my car runs well. :)
- Home is a pretty nice place. And my own bed felt pretty good last night.
Now, off to conquer Mount Laundry, visit the grocery store, and get back to the rest of my (seriously neglected) family.