Friday, July 21, 2006

244 - All about R&R!

I’m back again. Bryan left on Wednesday morning and I came right to work that afternoon. Here’s how the previous two weeks went though.
He arrived on the morning of the 3rd. I got up at around 3:30 that morning so I could get ready and look nice for him. I left for Frankfurt around 5am and was a nervous wreck the whole way there. I found what I thought would be where he arrived and waited not very patiently for him to walk through the door. Everytime the door opened and someone walked through, we (all of the people obviously waiting on soldiers from downrange) would all strain to try to see if we could spot our loved one back there somewhere. I wasn’t sure how I would react when I finally saw Bryan. I always thought I would cry, but the closer it got to seeing him, I decided that I would be too excited to cry. Well, I was wrong! Seeing him walk through that door after 8 months was a very surreal experience for both of us. I casually walked toward him, but when we hugged it all came out - eight months’ worth of emotions all in one moment. We couldn’t stop saying to one another how surreal it was to be together again.
Bryan’s main goal was to just spend time together and relax over the 2 weeks so that’s what we mostly did. We did want to celebrate the 4th in some way though. Bryan had never been to the lake near Baumholder so we decided to invite our friends and go there. Our friends from home, Josh and Erin, came down from K-town and brought a friend of theirs. Laura and Tally and Vanessa and Victoria also joined us. We had a nice afternoon and I’m really glad Bryan got to spend some time with one of his guy friends since there’s obviously nothing in Baumholder but our female friends!
That first week we ate at a few of the restaurants that Bryan had been missing.
On the 10th, we packed our bags and headed to the Bavaria region of Germany. There is a “military resort” in Garmisch called Edelweiss. They offer special packages for soldiers who are on their R&R leave or have just returned from a deployment. We paid $60 a day for our room, breakfast, and dinner. It was such a great deal and I’m so thankful that they do something so nice for the servicemembers.
On Tuesday we drove to the Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace. I have been wanting to see these since we first came to Germany. They were beautiful and we had a lot of fun traveling on our own that day. After we got back to Garmisch, Bryan wanted to check out the golf course. He ended up being able to play for free as one of the R&R package perks. That may be the prettiest setting he'll ever play golf in.
On Wednesday we took a trip with Edelweiss to Berchtesgaden and the Eagle’s Nest. The Eagle’s Nest was really interesting and the scenery from up there was amazing.
Thursday on our way home, we visited the Dachau Concentration Camp outside of Munich.
Friday afternoon we went to K-town and pre-ordered our first new car! We ordered a 2007 BMW 3-Series through a military car sales program. We won’t actually get the car until around November but we are so excited!!
Saturday we went to the little photo shop on post and had our pictures taken. They were fine, but you can’t expect much more since our resources are so limited here. Tomorrow I’m going to pick up the prints that we ordered and the disc with all the pictures on it. I’ll put them online next week.
Monday we took Misha to the vet to have a biopsy on a spot on her back. The vet thinks there is a chance that she may have skin cancer. She didn’t like one bit of the procedure but she was such a trooper. I’m taking her next week to have her stitches removed and the vet hopes they’ll have her results back then.
On Tuesday Bryan and I celebrated our anniversary since we really wouldn’t be able to on Wednesday. We watched our wedding video and I think Bryan enjoyed it more than me! He kept rewinding it and re-watching some of the funny parts. He gave me some clothes and jewelry that I had wanted and I gave him an engraved compass. We also went to dinner at a restaurant in town and to the eis café for dessert.
We left Baumholder around 7 on Wednesday morning to go back to the airport. We hung out for a little while at the airport and said goodbye around 10am so Bryan could go to his gate. He actually just called to let me know that he has made it back to his camp in Baghdad okay.
Overall, we had a great time together. Both of us said it was just what we needed to motivate us to make it through these last four months. Hopefully they are nothing compared to the 8 that we’ve already been through. I definitely feel like we are on the downhill side of the deployment though. Even though the halfway mark was 2 months ago, it really feels like it now.
I put our pictures from the 2 weeks online. They are under the July section at:


MamaTena said...

Glad you both a great time. 122 days and counting!

Pixie said...

Cristin, I am so glad your time went to smoothly... it sounds like you did everything the two of you wanted to do! I was looking at a tentative Aug/Sep visit, but ya know how quickly things change. I hope Misha's test comes back negative!!!!
Happiness you, you've been missed.