Monday, March 4, 2013

It was cold, we ate some fried food, and I cried. In other words, all my dreams came true.

Our departure time on Thursday morning was 8:20 a.m., so naturally I woke up just before 4:00. I couldn't sleep. I was nervous, and excited, and goofy.  Sylvan wanted to be at the airport 2 hours early, which I had originally thought was silly, but when the time came I was so ready to go that I would have happily been there 3 hours early just to get the show on the road. Scott was supposed to drop us off at the airport and few minutes before 6:00 I was getting antsy so I sent him a text to make sure he was on his way. He's real funny that guy. 
Lucky for him he was just kidding and we made it to the airport in plenty of time. 
Remember how I told you I was nervous about the weather? Well, I had every reason to be. Oh my gosh you guys! It was so cold~ when we stepped out of the airport it took my breath away. I'm not even making that up. I can't believe people live in places like that on purpose. I'll take living on the flaming hot surface of the sun any day. 

 No offense people of the frozen Midwest. I'm sure that when Spring arrives your land is lovely.
We flew into Milwaukee instead of Chicago because it was a little bit cheaper and I had heard that the airport was easier to manage. That turned out to be true. It also turned out to be true that if we had flown into O'Hare we never would have had the pleasure of visiting the Mars Cheese Castle. Which, sadly, is not a castle made of cheese.
They did however have lots of cheese, and also cheese shaped hats. And, those hats, I mean really, they could be reason enough to move to Wisconsin. 
Or not.

 I probably took 30 pictures of snow piles. They were EVERYWHERE! 

 After we checked into our room we did exactly what you would have expected. We started eating our way across America. Sylvan had been working on his list of places to eat for about a month, and he and Edge were pretty determined to fit in as many culinary delights as possible.

First stop~White Castle.
Never mind that we had already eaten in another castle just a few hours earlier. Thank goodness we didn't skip it because White Castle now has Mac&Cheese Nibblers.....for bite sized cravings. Mmmm. (Call me crazy, but you can add fried macaroni and cheese to the list of things I do not get. What's the deal?)
It's been a few years since I've been to a White Castle, what with us not having any out here and all, and I have to say, I think they may have gone a little overboard with the menu. The addition of Chicken Rings, which look like a cross between an onion ring and a donut, may have pushed them into a fast food realm that was never intended to be explored.
Just sayin'.

After "dinner" we went back to our room and tried to get some sleep because we'd been told that, even though the graduation ceremony didn't start until 9:00 a.m., it would be a good idea to start lining up at the gate around 5:00. We when we got to the gate at 5:20 a.m. there was one other car there, but by the time they opened the gates at 6:15 there was a pretty long line, which we were basically at the front of. Not that it's a contest. (But if it were.....) Once we were inside the hall there was more waiting, but it wasn't too bad. There were only 6 divisions graduating, sometimes there are a lot more (up to 13 at a time I think I heard), so it wasn't nearly as crowded as it could have been. 

 The graduation hall isn't fancy, it's just this big building with a concrete floor and metal bleachers and on the back wall there are a couple of like garage type doors. Finally, after what seemed like hours (probably because it WAS hours), it was time for them to come in. The door rolls up and it's snowing outside. It looked like a postcard, like at the end of White Christmas when the barn doors open and it's snowing and everyone is so happy because they've been praying for snow, and we can see them standing out there, with those big snow flakes blowing all around, waiting to march in, and of course I start bawling.

 This is Wesley's division marching by. Sorry about the blur. 
I was crying. Of course.
 When it's all over, the peeps in charge yell, "Liberty!" and the sailors are free to go with their families. It's kind of crazy because everyone is trying to get out of the stands and to their kid/husband/boyfriend, but again, not nearly as bad as it would have been with twice as many divisions. I didn't have to knock too many old ladies down trying to find him.

And Ta~da! There he is, a sailor. 
 At the risk of sounding like a big sap, it really was an amazing moment. We were so proud and happy to see him, and I think he was so proud of himself and happy to see us, as well as being relieved that it was all over. It was pretty emotional. He's changed so much, it was incredible to see the growth that has taken place in just a couple of months. 

To be continued.......

ps~You may not be able to tell from this picture, but I'm wearing 3 shirts, 2 coats, 2 pairs of gloves, 2 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of socks, a scarf AND holding a blanket. I felt like the Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man. 

1 comment:

Ginger said...

Can I tell you I've been anxiously waiting to hear how it went? I was thinking about you this weekend!

I was laughing my way through your post. You crack me up.

I can't believe how young your son looks. He looks like he shouldn't be old enough to be a sailor! But how awesome... That is such an accomplishment!

And I have to say that I love that you took a picture of our awesome AZ flag. :) (I can't comment on everything... I will go on forever.) Just know that I'm glad you made it safely, hugged your boy, and survived the cold.