Thursday, September 29, 2011
As I was driving home from dinner tonight Shae texted me and said “I’m board can we do something??” Right about that time my mom texted saying my papa was in town and wanted to see me. So thinking smart I went & picked up Shae & drug her butt right along with me. We stayed & visited for about a hour and then headed out. I told the squirt we would go do something fun afterwards.
I drove up to the Putt-Putt place near the mall and noticed when we drove in there was a bowling alley there called Alley Cats. I can’t remember if it was there before when I lived here or not but I gave her the choice Putt Putt or Bowling. She picked bowling and of course neither of us had socks because I was wearing flip flops & she was wearing slippers. Thankfully they had socks you could use when you rented shoes, the crazy thing was the price to play though. I’m use to the bowling alley on post and its like $2.50 for shoes and a couple extra bucks per game. Not here, Mon-Fri 6pm - Closed was $22.99 a hour (for one lane)....yup you pay by the hour not the game & then your shoes are on top of that which was a extra $4.49 per person. The good thing with the timed part is it doesn’t start till the first person starts bowling so that was nice.
We ended up getting to play about 3 different games which was loads of fun. The place was pretty much empty there was maybe 2 other families bowling the whole time we were there. Which made things nice I didn’t have to constantly have my eye on Shae worried I would loose her in the crowd. Above the lanes were 4 large screens on the wall the two on either end played music video’s that played over the loud speakers, the middle left one had news on and the middle right had the Texas Ranger Baseball game on. About 10 minutes before our hour was up S released she could request songs to play over the screens. I’m a little thankful she didn’t figure this out till the end because I am pretty sure we would be listening to Justin Bieber the whole night. She was dancing all around the place making a complete goon of herself but the best part was she didn’t care at all if other people were watching her. Gosh I wish I had her personality life would be just grand then. We munched on a pretzel while she sipped a soda and bowled the night away.
I think next Monday night we might go again, they have a package that includes Unlimited Bowling, Unlimited Laser Tag & a $10.00 Game Card from 8pm to closed which is 12am for only $19.99 a person. If not we for sure we are gonna go when Gabe gets into town :) I’m sure we would all have a blast with it.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
After the Memorial we made our way further downtown to the OK State fair. I haven’t been to a fair in two years last time was when I was in Texas visiting family back in ’09. I was super stoked about going, chowing down on loads of fried food & riding the rides. We got there and let me tell you it was packed, I guess since it was the last weekend it was open everyone was taking full advantage and going. We lucked out with parking and got a great spot, quickly getting our tickets and making our way through the gates.
Food stands EVERY were.......were do we start we asked each other. Lets go with the rides first then eat then more rides. We finally got down to the area were the rides were and stood in line for what seemed like forever just to get tickets. With the fair grounds being PACKED we decided if we wanted to ride more than one ride in less than a hour we were going to have to splurge and purchase the unlimited VIP pass (which allows you to skip the entire line and go right to the front). I was a little hesitant about it because it was $40, I know its not a lot but really to ride some carnival / fair like rides it was. However once we got our passes and made our way to the FRONT of the line I was sold. The lines were insanely long there is no way we would have been able to ride half the stuff we did if it wasn’t for getting the VIP pass.
We enjoyed the night going from ride to ride right to the front of the line on each one. It was a blast, I love fairs and I don’t really remember going a lot as a kid so I’m totally making up for lost time now.
We took a break from all the fun to grab some yummy fair food dinner and found a quite area to sit down and chat. Alana and I split a turkey leg one of my all time favorites and Misty had herself a corn dog.
Once we were down we made our way through a few more rides. I sat out on the spiny ones because they make me sicker than a dog. I was able to get on two that I did just fine on and loved. The more intense ones though I opted out of. We road the ferris wheel which gave you a great view of the entire fair grounds. When we were on the ski lift we got to see what looked to be a giant fight down below, it was a bit creepy at first because we looked down and people were running EVERY WERE. It was almost like someone had pulled a gun and people started panicking. I wont lie it totally freaked me out for a minute then we quickly realized that it was a fight. We saw the police break up 2 or 3 different ones that night.
Before we left we got two funnels cakes with extra sugar and plowed through both of them. I was so full that the site of food was not even appetizing, thats when all of a sudden Misty reminded us of the fabulous cupcakes we saw when we came in. They were called Kimmy’s Cupcakes made to look like every day food. We grab three different ones to take home for the next day. No way I could eat one after all the fair food we had.
I really enjoyed the fair it was a great night and I felt like a kid again running around getting excited about the rides. I can’t wait to get back to Texas & for Gabe to get there, we have a double date planned with my friend Kari & her man to go to the Texas State Fair.
Later Saturday afternoon we went to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. The museum takes you on a chronological self guided tour through the story of April 19, 1995 and the days, weeks & years that followed the bombing of Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. I was only 9 years old when it happened so I briefly remember what had happened. If you were to ask me about it I couldn’t tell you a thing, Until now that is. Walking through the museum the story of April 19, 95 was told detail by detail, showing news clips and stories from survivors. Articles of clothing, office supplies, children’s play things, building pieces and much more filled the walls & room of the museum. It’s amazing what people will do these days & not even think in the long run how its going to effect others & their families let alone themselves & their families. There were 168 lives lost that day ranging from young children to mothers, fathers and grandparents. Innocent people who were just going on about their normal routine lost their lives that morning.
1~ We Will Never Forget
2~ A message from New York to the people of Oklahoma.
3~ A billboard along a Georgia highway reminding passers of the tragedy.
4~ A message spray-painted on the south wall of the Journal Record Building.
5~ A flag @ half-mast flies over the plaza at Rockefeller Center NYC.
6~ A bucket of roses & a message for rescue workers on the scene of the Murrah Building.
7~ A stream of automobile headlights - during the daylight hours in a poignant reminder that Oklahoma City is a city in mourning.
The Gates of Time, two monumental gates frame the moment of destruction - 9:02 a.m. - and mark the formal entrance to the memorial. The East Gate represents 9:01 a.m. on April 19, and the innocence of the city before the attack. The West Gate represents 9:03 a.m., the moment things were changed forever, and the hope that came from the horror in the moments and days following.
Walking around the Reflecting Pool which now sits were NW Fifth street was. It is a shallow depth of gently flowing water that helps soothe wounds, with calming sounds providing a peaceful setting for quiet thoughts.
The Field of Empty Chairs, Each of the 168 chairs symbolize a life lost, with smaller chairs representing the 19 children killed. Arranged in nine rows, one for each of the nine floors of the building, they are placed according to the floor on which those killed were working or visiting. Each bronze and stone chair rests on a glass base etched with the name of a victim.
The field’s perimeter matches the footprint of the former Murrah Building. It is lined by a granite path that was salvaged from the Murrah Plaza.
The Survivor Tree a 90 + year old American Elm, bears witness to the violence of April 19 and now stands as a profound symbol of human resilience. “The spirit of the city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us.”
The Fence the first fence was installed to protect the site of the Murrah Building. Almost immediately people began to leave tokens of love and hope on the fence. Those items now total more than 60,000. Many of those are preserved in the museums archives & many are used for educational projects. Today, more than 200 feet of the original fence gives people the opportunity to leave tokens of remembrance and hope.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Friday night after finally making our way into Oklahoma City we went to BWW for dinner & then back to Misty’s house to catch up. This is when things got good we busted out the old year books, all the way back to our 5th grade year up to our sophomore year of high school. Thats when all the memories came back, all the friends I had made and everything I had done during those years. We spend the next few hours flipping through the YB’s looking at our old pictures & reading what we had wrote to each other. Boy were we something else back then. I still look very similar in the face but now I just look (and act) a lot more grown up then I was. (well I mean of course I am more grown up) My hair is very different also, in a lot of my pictures my hair was shorter and had a red tint to it, were as now its longer and darker. In between making fun of ourselves & laughing at how “cool” we though we were, we flipped from page to page pointing out all our old friends and wondering how they were doing now. Alana has a lot of people we went to school with on her FB page. Many of them we were able to find on FB and yes do a little investigating lol. Some were married w/ kids, some were divorced, many still living in the area, as well as joined the military. I was surprised at how many people both guys & gals I knew & went to school with that had join the service.
The next few hours were spent reminiscing over our high school years. At the end of my sophomore year I decided to homeschool my last two years of school. Misty moved cities then states so we never heard from her again. Alana was the only one of the three of us that stayed in Mansfield finishing all four years at MHS. Our Freshman year the three of us were on the HS Drill Team together, we were called the Silver Stars. Misty was the one that always had a boyfriend & I went out with this guy named Zach though the whole year. I don’t quite remember if Alana had a boyfriend or not but I know she didn’t do lunches with us. M & I always met outside & had lunch with the same group of people there was 6 of us all together. That’s how I met Z, long story short our freshman year ended and the two of us just kinda went our different ways. There was never a “we aren’t going out anymore or break up.”
Though out school the three of us wrote letters back and forth all the time. We were your typical school girls fighting and making up all the time. We though we were the coolest chicks in school (ok not really) but we had a few upper class~man friends so we “though” we were cool.
Jump ahead 9 years.....I’m married living in Hawaii, Alana is married to........Zach, yup the guy I went out with in HS living in Texas and Misty is married with 3 kids living in Oklahoma. Thanks to FB A found me about a year & half ago and then we found M, we quickly reconnected via FB and many phone conversations. We made plans for the first weekend I was in town for A & I to drive up and see M and spend the weekend with her.
The drive up was great, I enjoyed getting to chat with A and catch up with her and hear how things had been going with her and the hubbs.
Saturday morning Misty had a photo shoot scheduled for her kids to have their pictures taken. Which I found out she was going to ask the photographer to take a few pics. of the three of us. eekkks, I so wasn’t prepared for this one. The morning went well a little disorganized but it was successful. We had lunch at a local burger place that I have to say was pretty good. I wasn’t so impressed with the service they needed a little Aloha in their set if you know what I mean. More on our day to come !!!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
The first day I got to Texas was a pretty lazy day, I hung out with my momma for a good bit, she was so nice to pick me up bright & early at the airport, then we went and got Chick-fil-a for breakfast. My little cousin Shae who I’d been dying to see ended up not going to school the day I came in bc she was sick (she had NO idea I was coming in so it wasn’t bc of that, but the minute she found out I was in TX she was feeling 100% better.) Needless to say we spent the rest of the day together. I’m staying with my Mamaw who didn’t know I was coming either so that was a nice surprise. My Uncle Richard came over to see me before he left for work which was great I’ve him missed so much. I have always been closest to him out of everyone in my extended family. I would hang out with him & his family a lot on the weekends.
I’m missing my Hawaii family so much, leaving Hawaii was so much harder then when I left Texas to move out there. I grew a lot in Hawaii, becoming even more independent than I already was. I made some of the most amazing friends that I simply didn’t have in Texas. Nothing will ever compare to the last three years, & no one could ever come close to the friendships I’ve made. Gabe & I were really able to build our marriage, & grow closer together as a couple. Don’t get me wrong I did missed my family in Texas but I am so happy that we were able to have the last three years just the two of us in Hawaii. I think we really needed that time away to just grow together, seeings the first year we were married he was deployed.
I’m headed to Oklahoma City over the weekend coming up with a high school friend. We are driving up to visit another girlfriend we went to school with. Myself & M were in school from 5th grade all the way through our Sophomore year and were the best of friends. A came in, in the middle of our Middle School year & the three of us became inseparable. Till the ending of our Sophomore year that is when we all went different ways to finish school. We are all three married now & M has 3 kids, A & myself were the smart ones who haven’t jumped that fence yet. lol Any way more on that trip once I get back. I’ll leave you with a few pictures I’ve snapped since I’ve been back in the Yee Haw state. Hope you enjoy & have a fabulous weekend, I’m gonna try not to bake in this 96 degree weather.
~I <3 me some Sonic~
~Enjoying the afternoon @ the puppy park~
~Meeting baby Aiden~
Monday, September 19, 2011
I quickly came to grips with the fact that it wasn't changing & this was life as we know it. The Army life that is and the ever so changing theme of it along with the unknown. Here we are a couple months out from our PCS / REPORT date to our next duty station & we nave NO orders in hand. A simple piece or paper is all we are waiting on to get the ball rolling with this move, we can't do ANYTHING until we have that paper. I can't tell you how many times a day I would ask Gabe if he has got his orders yet or heard anything about them. The answer was always the same "No, nothing, I checked again or I talked with so & so". I seriously was to the point were I just wanted to go down to brigade & get them myself & give them a piece of my mind. I know things don't work that way & that it would be completely impossible nor wouldn't help a bit but I would be lying if I said it didn't cross my mind a time or two.
Gabe was beginning to become as frustrated & annoyed as I was with the whole ordeal. Some nights I was to the point were I was just ready to move and be settled in our next home because I hate living in such limbo. The one thing that I have a hard time dealing with in the army life is NOT ALWAYS HAVING CONTROL. I huge planner & do not do well with short notice or quick decisions I simply just don't work that way.
On my afternoon break from work one day I was checking my phone & had a text from G that said "I got my orders". Thank freaking goodness its about time. I mean don't get me wrong I am not at all a fan of leaving the life we have built here in the Land of Aloha but when the Army calls you really do not have a choice in the matter. We knew this day would come sooner or later it was only a matter of time. After work I quickly rushed home with a over loaded brain full of questions to started the "move".
As I was looking over the orders I noticed one semi important detail that was VERY different then what we had been talking about / though. Our report day was 10 days earlier than we had been originally told. The printed date on the orders from when they were cut was 6 days earlier then when we got them. To say I was a bit frustrated would be a giant understatement, words couldn't even describe what was going through my head. We had everything planned out during our PCS leave as to were we would be going, when & for how long. All of that had to change quickly with plan B put in place.
Now that we have our orders we still have to WAIT to talk with transportation about shipping our POV, packing HHG's & Flights to the ML. Unit will get that scheduled we can't really do anything as far as setting dates to clear housing yet. The only way to do that is to have a appointment or go butt early in the morning & wait in line & do a walk in. I knew in order to get anything done the next day I was going to have to take the day off work. So me being the loyal employee that I am and not wanting to call out I went up to work at 5:30 in the morning to talk to my Director about getting the day off. Luckily she was completely ok with it and there was no issue.
From there I made my way over the transportation office right across the street & was the first in line to get it when they opened at 7:30. This only mint I had to wait a measly hour & 45 minutes, no biggie at all right......hahahahaha thank goodness for my Ipad & 3G Internet. After PT Gabe met up with me & we were the first ones in the office & given a 8:30 appointment. I was starting to feel a sign of relief since we got it, just a small one though. After running home doing a few things at the house (refinancing G's car) w/n 30 minutes so we had no issues shipping it & didn't have to wait for a letter of release from a local bank, we were back at the TO (transportation office) planning our move. POV paper work done just needs to be drop it off, HHG's scheduled thankfully they were able to squeeze us in a week earlier then their "next open date". We waited on G's ticket because he was gonna give it one more try at getting the date pushed back at least to the original day that we though we had to be at our next duty station.
Once we left the TO we parted ways I went home to work on some things & he had to go back to work to finish up a few things. I wrote up my notice letter to work, gathered everything I needed to go talk to housing about clearing & was out the door again. I made a quick stop by work to turn my papers in & then to housing were I was hoping it wouldn't take to long ended up taking a hour. After going over everything with the housing lady she them proceeds to tell me once we have a 28 day out date that we want to move out we can let her know. I went from "ok we are getting some were to almost in tears", "see mama we DO NOT have 28 days." We would be off island in less than that & need to clear housing like last week but with no orders we couldn't do that. She quickly realized that the dates & times I was giving her wasn't a example like she was thinking I was for real on what I was saying. She told me that if we got a Memorandum from G's CO that we needed our move our date waved we would be fine.
This was seriously beginning to be more of a head ache then it should be & I was so over it. We also needed a Amendment saying that I was traveling with Gabe during this PCS because I am not on his orders which is a completely different story that I wont even get in to.
We finally got all the paper work issues worked out and everything had started coming together slowly but it was coming together. We shipped G's car 2 days after we got our orders to make sure it made it to the port were we needed it to be on time. We were down to one car which was hard but we made it work. ( I have to say I don't know how people do it that only have one car, I don't think we could ever do it long term.) A week after we shipped the car the movers came to pack up our house, that was a bitter sweet moment. Having to watch our entire life wrapped & boxed up was quite depressing but once again it's all apart of the Army life. I am super nervous about the shipping of our HHG's, if you remember when I moved out here one of our crates was switched by mistake & sent to Germany. It took 4 long months to get it back once we realized what happened. I also am worried to death about stuff breaking, Gabe mentions to me that if it does break the Army will pay to replace it, sure I know that BUT I would rather NOT even have to deal with that & have everything in one piece.
Nothing I can do about either issue but sit back & wait it out till we get our things on the other end. Same with the cars, when I picked up my car on Sand Island the bumpers were in pieces & the hood was bent. We both have BRAND new cars that are worth a freaking heck of alot more then the ones we came out here with so I am really worried about that. Any one that knows me know that my Chally is my baby & we are super anal about our cars.
After our HHG's were packed and taken away we moved in with my dear friend S. She was so kind to take us in and open her home to not only us but our two four legged fur babies to. I am so grateful to her during this time as well as each & every day. She has made things a million times easier on us just not having the stress of hotel living & what not during this time. I know we would make it work if we ended up going that way, this way we get to spend alittle extra time together before the big move. (so do the pouches)
My last day at work has come and gone, that as well was a bitter sweet day. I am happy to have the time off from work to be able to enjoy my time here in Hawaii. At the same time I have grown to really love & cherish some of the friendships I made at work as well as the relationships I made with some of the children & their parents. I took over the classroom with my friend C back in November of '09 & we completely turned it around & really got it up & running great so to have someone else come in & take my place is hard. Sure not like it matters what happens after I leave because I can't do anything about it, still I know it will not be the same for many of the parents due to certain staff in the room and that makes me sad.
Over the last two days Sarah, Nancy & Myself had a over night stay at Turtle Bay Resort off the famous North Shore. Our day started out with a fabulous hour long massage at Spa Luana which was simply amazing. In between each of our massage’s we took full advantage of the wonderful amenities provided by the spa its self. Such as the overly stocked bathroom with hair products, cucumber water, facial wash, mouth wash, shower products. Not to mention the sauna, that you couldn’t sit in for more than 5 - 10 minutes before we found ourselves gasping for air. We did what anyone would do and made the most of our time in the luxuries bathroom!!!!!!!!! Dressed in our super stylish teal green robes & our overly sized brown slippers, we had a great time.
After our massage we went up to check out our room were we would be staying for the next 48 hours :) A kings size bed for the three of us, with a Lani over looking the many different pools & the shore line as well as a great view of the mountains. It was great to have it all in the same, & the best part was you didn’t have to bend you neck over the edge to see either.
We quickly freshened up & headed down to the pool for some drinks. None of us had lunch before we came so we were pretty hungry & it was still a few hours away till dinner so we figure why not splurge on some french fries. Seriously that was the largest basket of fries I had see in a LONG time. We did how ever manage to polish off the whole thing as well as a drink & half for S & I. (I say half Sarah bc you ordered a 2nd & I had to finish it lol)
Still it about 3 hours before our dinner reservations & we were debating on going swimming before or waiting to see if we had time after. (the pool closed at 10pm) We decided to move our dinner time up from 7:45pm to 6:00pm so we could do a little night swim & roast marshmallows by the fire. The pool side bar sold smore’s kits with the works, pretty sweet if I do say so myself. Ever since the resent smore’s event on the beach a few weeks back I’ve been craving them.
Back up to the room to put on something a little more classy & down to dinner it was. Italian was the choice for the evening. Although I think the restaurant served more sea food then they did Italian food. It was still really good, now the dessert on the other hand not so much. I did try a couple different ones but they just weren’t for me. Not to worry though I knew I’d be getting some yumminess later that evening.
Once we were through with dinner we headed up to our room change into our suits & back down to the pool. That's were all the craziness started & the fun began. The water was a wee bit nippy & I was not a fan. To get over the shock of it we decided we would all three jump in at once. Well I’m sure you can imagine how well that went over. N went first & was pretty peeved when she realized that S & I were still standing there on the edge. OK OK, I was thinking if I don’t go now I’m not gonna go & it’s only gonna be colder. So I JUMPED!!!!!!!! While the two of us floated around we patently waited for S to get in.
After she finally gave in we spent the next hour taking underwater pictures of ourselves which was quite comical & a bit challenging at times if I do say so. I have not done a handstand underwater in ummmmm forever & having to hold my noes didn’t make it any easier. Some how we always managed to get one of us in the picture & only a part of the other person. It didn’t matter how many times we tried to get it right it just ever worked. We finally gave up & swam over to the steps were we used the self timer to take our picture. We did manage to get a few good ones here and there (when the camera didn’t fall off the step.) and a few goofy ones. (I’ll be sure to post a BLOOPERS post of photos from our pool night so stay tuned)
That night once we were in bed we were super thirsty & decided to order drinks from ROOM SERVICE!!!!!!!!! Sarah was all about the room service & she couldn’t get enough of the menu.
“yes I’d like to place a order please” “I’ll have TWO chocolate milk & a Pepsi please”
KNOCK KNOCK ~ I have to get the door bc they are in t-shirts & undies. I bring the drinks in & the bell boy is still at the door, I’m running around trying to find someones wallet so I can tip the guy, only to go back to the door with cash in hand & sign the slip with a TIP blank on it. “Sweet easy enough, why didn’t I remember they did that”, so I tipped the dude a couple bucks. Got back into bed & told S & N we’d better enjoy these $22.00 Chocolate milks & soda. “WHAT...........$22” We quickly checked the prices on the menu & sure enough the milks were like $4.50 a piece & the CAN soda was about $5-6 bucks. In fine print at the bottom of the menu was written that a 15% tip would be added into all room orders, as well as $4.00 delivery charge. So needless to say that bell boy got a little extra tip.
The next morning we order ROOM SERVICE again for breakfast. French Toast for the Spouse, Pancakes & hash brown for the Mistress & a Omelet for me. A grand total of.........with out any extra tip other than the 15% included & the $4.00 delivery fee & only S ordered a drink, N & I got water........a GRAND TOTAL of $75.79 just for breakfast. It was so delicious though, each one of us cleaned our plates completely & were pleasantly full after.
Off for some more relaxation sea side back to the resort spa we went. We had reservations at 10:30am to get pedis, not just any pedi though. We were getting a Pineapple Pedicure outside on the Lani while we listened to the waves crash up against the shore. With our feet soaking in Coconut milk we chatted away wondering why we had been going to a normal salon for the last year to get our toes done. This was the life and we had been missing out lol. After a nice long foot / leg massage the ladies rubbed a sea salt mixture all over our legs & feet, then coated them in honey & lined pineapple chunks from our toes to almost our knees. Then placing a flower in between our toes they wrapped them in warm towels & we were left to do a bit more relaxing. When it came time to remove the towels the honey had absorbed into our skin making it softer than ever. A bit more pampering by the ladies & a fresh coat of polish to top off the morning. A hour & twenty minute pedicure ended up lasting over two hours which was totally fine by us.
Back to the pool we went to finish out our stay, we had to work on our Hawaiian tan of course & we couldn't do it empty handed either. We each ordered a Pina Colada & a few different things to much on (yup, you can bet we got the fries again). We spent the next couple hours laying out by the pool, were we saw some very interesting people. I have to say some people just don’t care what they look like in a swim suit & others completely forget what one is & let their children run around with out one.
We had a fabulous STAYCATION at Turtle Bay Resort & the trip would not have been possible if it were not for our fabulous spouse. I have her to thank for putting this idea all together. I won’t give her credit for booking the spa days though because if she could have her way she would have punched someone in the face that works there by now. Poor girl got the run around every time she called in so I had to take over, which still wasn’t much better. Theirs services were fantastic but the ones answering the phones & booking appointments LACKED in customer SERVICE.