And had a great trip.
Debbie didn’t go to South Carolina with me, and so missed Mark’s graduation from Army boot camp. Instead, she went straight to Texas.
I got to Columbia, S.C. Wednesday night, the 7th, and was able to spend all day Thursday on post for family day. Mark and I toured the post, went bowling, and Mark introduced me to most of his company. Without exception, every one of his friends asked him to do impersonations of the drill instructors for their families. Mark always liked doing impersonations, and THAT much did not change about him, though much did. For one thing, he gained 16 pounds and went from 6.4% body fat to 4.8%.
Friday was graduation and Mark was at the front of his company with the flag. We had a few more hours together and then I had to leave him and head for Texas.
Debbie and I stayed with Debbie’s folks while we were in Georgetown, and Cecilia’s college graduation went well on Saturday. We met Cecilia’s roommate and many of her friends Saturday and more on Sunday while we were packing her things for the drive back to New Hampshire.
On the trip home we stayed Monday night in Houma, La. with Debbie’s Uncle Larry and Aunt Helen. Helen made crawfish etoufee and cornbread for dinner. This was my first time eating crawfish and I was surprised at how good it was. I had made a few crawfish recipes in the past, but always substituted shrimp.
Tuesday night we stayed outside of Oakman, Al. with my cousin Julie and her husband Nick. It was REALLY nice seeing Julie again. It took a while, but we figured out that the last time we saw each other was 1972!
Wednesday’s drive took us through Atlanta, and we could not believe how much it has grown! We skipped Dahlonega, Ga. and The Smith House and got as far as Greensboro, N.C. where we stayed in a hotel for the night. Dahlonega was a bit hard to pass up, as it has been several years since we’ve been back there, but we wanted to get as close to Norfolk, Va. as we could.
We got to Norfolk about 2:00 Thursday afternoon and spent a few hours on Virginia Beach before meeting up with Mark at the Little Creek Amphibious Base at 6:00. He was still struggling a bit with the transition from boot camp to regular Army, but was starting to settle in. He said the hardest thing for him was trying to figure out the ranks of all the people he encountered every day, as there are Navy, Marine, and Army personnel there.
The rest of the drive was uneventful. We were back home Friday night, the 16th, and, for the most part, everything is now unpacked, cleaned up, and back where it belongs. We even got a bit of good news yesterday; Mark is coming home for Memorial Day weekend! He'll fly in to Manchester Thursday night and go back Monday morning.