Beware, this post is going to be picture heavy. Also, please remember all but two of these are SOOC (straight out of camera), shot with my P&S or iPhone and some not by me…LOL!
I suppose since my body (and Bryan’s snoring) won’t let me sleep, I *should* be productive and actually get this blog post out. Being that is it 0445 and I have been up since 0316, I can’t promise that it will be understandable, just done…LOL!
As of my last PCS related update, you know that we moved into TLF on July 19th. That final week in Florida went really smoothly. The movers did a great job, we got the house cleaned/keys handed over and Bryan’s final base outprocessing went off without a hitch. At that point though, I was a little leery…nothing in the AF ever goes that smoothly for that long :).
On July 25th, we said goodbye to Florida and began our 6 day, seemingly never-ending journey. Many have asked why we drug it out so long, but there was really no choice. With Bryan and I each driving a vehicle, there was no chance for me to rest/sleep and the CLL fatigue starts setting in and we’d rather be safe than sorry. So, 6 days it was. That night we stopped in Jackson, MS. I don’t have any pictures from that day though, I think I was too excited to finally be on the road and better yet, on our way to being on the flip-side of this PCS. Knowing about a PCS for 9 months is rather annoying, there is truly something to be said for short notice orders.
July 26th, our journey took us from Jackson, MS to Dallas, TX with a potty break at the Louisiana state line and a side trip to the Libbey Glass Factory in Shreveport, LA (I used to go there as a child and wanted to take Jacey). This day was by far the worst. No offense to any Louisiana lovers out there, but driving through that state is torture, only 2nd to driving I-10 from Beaumont to El Paso in Texas. Boring with a capital B.
(Jacey the the Louisiana state line)
(us three at the hotel in Jackson)
July 27th, our journey took us from Dallas, TX to Lubbock, TX with a stop in Abilene, TX on the way. Not only did we want to show Jacey where she was born, but we also couldn’t pass up lunch at my all time favorite restaurant, Abuelos. We ate there so much when I was pregnant with Jacey, she should have came out wrapped in a tortilla. It was fun to take a walk down memory lane and see Bryan’s old planes and where our old house on base used to be.
(Jacey at Dyess, where she was born)
(where our old house on Dyess used to be)
(Bryan’s old plane, the B-1)
(lunch at Abuelos, pure heaven…one spinach and one avocado enchilada)
(wind farms between Abilene and Lubbock)
July 28th, our journey took us from Lubbock, TX to Albuquerque, NM. We made a stop for lunch along the historic Route 66 and then went and rode the tramway up to Sandia Peak once we got settled into our hotel. Oh, and let’s not forget our fabulous dinner at Tucanos…yum. I had never been to a Brazilian grill before but was thrilled when we found one here in Vegas the other day, since driving to Albuquerque for dinner is not an option :).
(Jacey on Route 66, getting her kicks:)
(the ride up to the top of Sandia Peak)
(Albuquerque at night from the top of Sandia Peak)
(us three at the top of Sandia Peak)
(the highest I have ever been, minus airplanes)
July 29th, our trek took us from Albuquerque, NM to Flagstaff, AZ. This stretch of road was beautiful although the July 30th stretch barely beat it out as the best. We stopped at Meteor Crater to explore a bit and were going to stop at the Petrified Forest until we looked at how much time that would take. By day 5, we were all just ready to be done. Flagstaff by the way, is absolutely gorgeous and will definitely be some place we’ll take a long weekend away to in the future.
(Jacey in front of Meteor Crater)
(Meteor Crater…I thought the clouds where awesome)
(somewhere between Albuquerque and Flagstaff)
July 30th, the final day of our trek from Flagstaff, AZ to fabulous Las Vegas, NV. We were all so ready to be done, we didn’t really do/see a lot. We did make a landmark first visit to an In-N-Out Burger where they knocked McDonald’s out of the line up as favorite fast food restaurant for Jacey (which if anyone knows Jacey immense love for McDonald’s (yuck), you’ll know how big that truly is). We also stopped at Hoover Dam, so Jacey could see it but decided to do the tours and such on another day since we are only 45 minutes away (plus is was hot…109 degrees and nothing but concrete). It is a good thing, since we sat in traffic for an hour just to get over the dam. If they ever get the dam bypass finished, it will be so much better.
(somewhere right outside of Flagstaff)
(somewhere between Flagstaff and Vegas)
July 31st, our 11th anniversary. While technically, we arrived in Vegas on the 30th, due to some issues we didn’t actually get to see any of Vegas, so I am adding the 31st to this post. We started the morning off house hunting, no easing into Vegas life here…LOL! We followed that up with an anniversary lunch at The Cheesecake Factory and then that night, we headed down to the strip for a true Vegas experience. Bryan has wanted to see The Blue Man Group for years, so that was his anniversary present. The show was fabulous and it was neat getting to see the awe in both Jacey and Bryan’s eyes at the grandeur of the strip. Before heading back to the room though, we did the true Vegas touristy thing, got a picture by the historic welcome sign. That was nuts, but fun. I guess we are officially Las Vegans now (yes, as weird as that name is, I looked it up).
(us on our 11th anniversary)
(Jacey at the Venetian after the show)
(official Las Vegans)
Other than the rain (and we are talking tropical storm bands through Mississippi and then monsoons through New Mexico…just regular rain the rest of the way), we had a very uneventful trip which is good. I wish I could say the same about our attempt to settle into TLF. We had made reservations months ago, so there was no issue there. First, we drive in circles trying to find the TLF buildings (their versions of maps are, let just say, not the least bit accurate). Once we finally find the building and go in, we are hit with not only the most intense fish/wet dog/dead body/something smell but also the tiniest TLF I have ever seen. The TLF’s here are smaller than the hotel rooms we stayed in along the way. While it wasn’t going to be fun, we could have dealt with that because, let’s face it…long-term TLF is WAY cheaper than a hotel offbase but the smell…OMG. There was no way on earth we could deal with that, so we head back up to the front desk, get a non-availability slip and ended up in the Cannery. We go back to TLF on August 9th and are assured it will not be the same room…we shall see.