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Four Weeks Ago

Four weeks ago, today, the Mr., Rooster’s girl, and I were preparing for a BIG trip.

You see, eight weeks prior, we had bid farewell to our favorite young man.

He had left to begin his career in the Air Force.

Step 1:  Attend Basic Training.

The goodbye had been one of the hardest things I’d ever done as a mama.  I’d taken the day off of work because I had known I wouldn’t be in any shape to return to school that day after hugging him for the last time.

Fortunately, I’d joined a support group on Facebook.  This group (website is here), which I’m still a part of, has become a second family to me and has been invaluable during this journey.

One of the things that helped was crossing each day off of a calendar.

As you can see, I marked the days we received letters and phone calls.

Oh word, but the letters.  I have saved every single one of them.  In this day and age of text messages and Snapchats, receiving old-fashioned, hand-written letters was priceless.

My favorite letter was the one Rooster wrote me for Mother’s Day.  Y’all.  The tears.  They were plentiful.

Packing was easy.  I’d been setting aside my clothes that entire week.  I made sure to include some new bling that a gal on Etsy had made especially for me.

And so it was that on May 25, we loaded up the car and headed to the airport.

I’m really fortunate in that I work for a wonderful principal who didn’t even bat an eye when I asked for several days off…right at the end of the school year when things get crazy.  Seriously, though.  Shout-out to my school’s administration and my fellow teachers.

Back to my story.

The airport.  Butt crack of dawn. We were on our way to see our boy, so it was worth it.

Rooster’s girl is getting used to selfies.  She was so sweet and took quite a few with me during the weekend.  This is us at the airport in Podunk, USA.

We flew Southwest.  They’re very accommodating if you need to change your flight date (which we had to consider when making our reservations because issues can arise during Basic Training and set trainees back sometimes).  One of the neat benefits of flying Southwest was access to live TV!  I had taken my iPad, so we were able to watch Chopped.

It was a beautiful day for flying!  We had to catch a connecting flight in Houston, which you can see below.

We were so excited when we landed in San Antonio!

Knowing that we were in the same city as Rooster was emotional (weird, but what can I say).

We stayed at a Residence Inn.  The room was spacious and gorgeous!

The staff was very kind; the cleaning staff needed better training.  Our rooms were not cleaned consistently…they had some major issues in this department.  Still, the hotel was close to the base.

By the time we got settled, we were ready to get dinner, so after a search on Google, I found a restaurant with a menu I could eat from (being vegan presents its challenges), and we headed out.

After an interesting drive through some not so great areas, we arrived at The Cove.

We were, at first, behind it.  Not good because it’s located adjacent to a laundromat.  Once we figured out the problem, we parked where we were supposed to and entered the restaurant.

It’s an inside/outside establishment with a cool courtyard that has a playground and an area for outside entertainment.

Y’all, this place was neat in so many ways!!!  This chalkboard was located below the menu.  Isn’t it cool?

Here’s the menu…

I spy more than one vegan option!!!

I wish we had this restaurant in my city.  I’d totally eat there every week.  For the time being, I selected the Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger.

On our way inside to order, I saw this sign…

How cool is that?

Inside, I saw these t-shirts.  No, I didn’t buy any, but I did consider it.

We placed our orders and sat down to wait.

The place had a long bar, long tables, and a stage for entertaining.

I snacked on hummus while I waited for the food to arrive.  When it did, oh boy.  Yum!

What a delicious “burger!!”  I was so full when I finished!

We headed back to the hotel to take it easy before the next day of events; however, after reading some things on my support group page, I decided that I needed one more thing before graduation ceremonies started the next day.

I knew that viewing my boy would be an issue.  They say that the Airmen all look the same in their uniforms, and because we’d be sitting in bleachers, I didn’t think I’d be able to get good pictures with my camera…

A new lens was needed.  I googled the location of the nearest Best Buy, which was about a quarter mile away, and begged the Mr. to take me.  He finally agreed, and I purchased this…

I can’t say that I know a lot about cameras, but the sales associate assured me that given the task I wanted to perform, this would do the trick.

Just wait until you see pictures in my next few posts.  They made the hefty price tag worth every single penny.

We turned off the lights fairly early because our alarms would be going off even earlier than the butt crack of dawn.

My heart was at peace as I drifted into Dream Land.  I was, for the first time in weeks, a few scant miles from my boy.  I was on a final countdown.

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