I hope you all had a great Father's Day/weekend. We sure did. In fact, when I say "we", I mean me, the kids and FRED!
About a week before Father's Day I was thinking about what I could do for Fred and a crazy idea came to mind. I jumped on Google Maps and checked out how far the drive is from our base here in Ohio to Maxwell AFB in Alabama... 530 miles. After turning some math over in my head I got this crazy idea: we could surprise him for Father's Day with a visit!
2 cadets who commissioned with him in Tucson happen to be doing the same training with him at Maxwell right now. I got in touch with them and we threw together a plan. One made sure Fred was cornered in his room while the other met me at the front gate and led me to Fred's dorm. It just so happened that Fred had bought a camera that day and was showing it to the friend who was holding him at bay. It was perfect because it meant they were able to snap pictures when the kids and I walked into Fred's room. (pictures to follow)
Fred was FLOORED. The kids were jumping up and down and Leora leaped from my arms into his. The other 2 wrapped themselves around his legs as we embraced, as the camera clicked away and the other guy ran the video camera. It was a Kodak moment!
He showed us off to a bunch of his fellow Airmen. Everyone was so excited for him and dazzled by our kids, especially Leora. She got passed around by cooing girls and beefy Airmen alike.
We were extremely lucky to get a 3 bedroom place on base for the 3 nights we stayed there and Fred was even able to stay with us, since it wasn't off-base. It was nice, aside from ants running the kitchen and the stove knobs that were so worn you couldn't use them.
Saturday we went to the Montgomery zoo. As luck would have it, we unloaded the kids, grabbed the umbrella "just in case", closed the hatch and there was a deafening crack of thunder. Then the rain came down in torrents. We looked at each other for a minute, and finally decided to go ahead into the zoo and wait it out. The kids had a blast running through the puddles. After about 15 minutes it let up and we got to enjoy the zoo. The monkeys and white tigers were my favorite.
One of Fred's commissioning friends offered to watch the kids so Fred and I could go on a date, so we took her up on it and went out to Olive Garden. It was not nearly as "formal" as ones I've been to in the past, but it was still nice.
Sunday we had a great time at church. I met a gentleman who was eager to talk to us since he had been stationed at Wright-Patt not long ago. Turns out he was a pilot who had flown with General Carlson (whose wife has been helping me with the move). He used to fly a spy plane, but now is a AWACS pilot. (For a description of the plane and why it's important see this link(pictures on the bottom): http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/e-3.htm. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed!!
We enjoyed strolling the base most of the afternoon, letting the kids run around planes on display. There was a neat re-creation of the Wright brothers' first successful plane. The pictures are on Fred's camera, so we'll send them out in a few weeks, unless he sends them sooner.
We left for home early this morning and had a relatively uneventful ride home. Both there and back I was able to stay awake by popping sunflower seeds and sipping NOS energy drink (first time I've ever drunk any), while listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on CD. We picked up Inga and Anja from our cousins in Cincinnati. Our cousins Sara and Bette will be coming over tomorrow to spend a couple days here. It's so great that everything works out this way! Inga and Anja go home this Saturday.
Anyways, we had a GREAT father's day! The kids had a blast and it was so good to fall into Fred's arms again, even if it could only be for a couple days. Seeing the shocked look on his face was worth every mile!