Dates: Friday Jan. 27 - Sunday Jan. 29
Candice showed up at my work on Friday and says, "Thomas is being deployed tomorrow to Afghanistan."
None of us really knew when he was going to be deployed because the Marines kept changing the date on him. This time, though, he really was leaving.
I called up Candice that evening and said, "I talked to Scott. Let's go down to California."
And she said, "I talked to the parents. They are for it!"
So we left! ("We" is me, Scott, Can, Mom, Dad)
Tom had stayed the night at Gina's, so we drove straight there and got to see him and wonderful Gina and Lori and had a fantastic breakfast (especially after our exhausting night of driving and attempting find a McDonald's at 3:00 in the morning and ending up having to go inside a casino in Primm and waiting 45 minutes for them to get everything set up for breakfast). They are such great hostesses!
We relaxed for a little bit that morning, and a few of us took showers, and then we went to Seaport Village to have some last minute fun with our Bud! We toured the USS Midway Carrier ship - that was awesome, and totally worth the money! That was the highlight of everyone's day. I loved the military feel of the whole place, especially since we were saying goodbye to our military bud.
We walked around a little bit more, but by the end, I was exhausted and just wanted to get back to the car. After that, my leg hurt. A lot. Like a major cramp in my calf that wouldn't go away, no matter how much stretching I did.
We ate another fantastic dinner at Gina and Lori's, gave Tom a blessing, and said goodbye to Gina and Lori as we drove off to take Tom to Camp Pendleton. We went to his barracks where he ran around like a chicken with his head cut off trying to pack everything up. It was a little stressful for me to watch, with how unorganized he seemed! But he did it!
We were probably at the Barracks for an hour, but it felt like an eternity. And Nancy was getting hot. And she was tired, and her leg would not give her a break. There really wasn't anywhere comfortable to sit (these are like dorm rooms - no couches), and it was hot. I finally stepped outside to get some fresh air and just started bawling. I didn't know what to do. I was so drained.
Scotty took me for a walk to stretch out my legs. Then Thomas got all packed up in his bus and told us to meet him at Delmar Marina (can't remember if that's the name or not). We followed behind his girlfriend's car. Apparently he gave her directions, or a map, or something, but we got SO lost and were turning around more than....more than a figure skater turns around in their spins....
By the end, we all were getting frustrated, especially since we were wasting gas that we needed to drive home with. Finally we found the little gathering place for the families to say goodbye. By the way, this was about 11:00pm or so. We went inside, and what does Nancy do again? She starts bawling. We made up a little bed inside the car for me and I slept and gave Tom a half-asleep hug when he came to say goodbye and that was it. And we drove home.
Oh, and mine and Scott's account got put on hold because we were paying for all the gas and we NEVER use our debit card and we didn't take out cash for this trip and, well, you can imagine how sudden charges in St. George, Las Vegas, Primm, Barstow, San Diego...how that would look a little fishy. Great fun.
One last thing that I want to say. I feel very grateful for this trip. Scott and I never take random jaunts like this, especially with me being so pregnant. But somehow, everything worked out. We were very fortunate to have our Magnum. It was very spacey and had more than enough room for 5 adults to travel comfortably. Not to mention, it has a very large trunk space (it's a wagon). We folded down part of the seats and made a bed. It was rather convenient and comfy.
Another blessing about our car was that it was good on gas, the tires were brand new, and everything on it was very mechanically sound. We were very blessed to have our car be in such a great condition to allow us to travel down to California and be there for our Bud when he needed us.
We are also grateful we had the funds to go. It was a very fortunate, and fun, trip, and I will always remember it. Even through the crappy pregnant-body times. :)
I love you Bud and good luck in Afghanistan! We can't wait to see you in July and for you to meet Hailey!