I think Nick at Nite lied to me, there was no Betty White and it was not hot.
Sorry, dorkiness over.
I did find a nice little bar where I got an overstuffed sandwich to tide me over. It was bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato, coleslaw and french fries on thick bread. $7. I think my beer was double that!
Anytime I fly I tend to get the wing. No matter what I do, I look and try and choose my flight and I am always in range. So on my grasshopper flight to Cleveland I was in seat 5. I was convinced I was golden. This was my view. I think I lost fillings from the darn vibrations for that two hour flight!
Ryan picked me up in LA, only after he got a little lost, and we made our way on the three hour drive to 29 Palms. In the middle of a dark desert road he stopped the car and made me get out. I was quite confused until I looked up. I had never seen a sky like that before. Stars like you would not believe... I could even see the band of the milky way, clear as day! It was gorgeous. But we finally got to the motel six near base and settled in. Ryan got up early for work the next day and I waited for him to come back. It ended up being 70 and gorgeous. I could not get over how big the sky is. In any direction it is just a giant, unobstructed dome. As warm as we were there was snow on the mountains!
We got some Sonic and made our way on the hour drive or so to the resort where the ball was held. It was at this place called La Qinta and it was stunning! Orange and grapefruit trees everywhere, fresh citrus beverage upon check in, pools and cacti and palm trees nestled in the mountain ring.... wow. We were in a little 'hacienda' with twenty foot ceilings and a fireplace! No time to marvel, we had to get ready. I think for doing my own hair and make up I did ok! But of course I stabbed myself with my eyeliner pencil and my eye turned BRIGHT red. I looked half stoned. Luckily by the time we took pictures it cleared up!
One of my favorites! We didn't know anyone at our table but it was neat to meet Ryan's classmates and chain of command. It was a student ball for MCCES and man did I feel old. Most of these guys were just out of bootcamp, which means six months ago a lot just out of highschool. The youngest Marine was born in 1993! I remember 1993 vividly!
Our favor was a coin that doubled as a bottle opener. Appropriate! The guest of honor was a retired Navy Chaplain and his speech was good, but the entire ceremony felt a little shorter than normal. The video of course had me in tears. Seeing 9/11 footage always gets me really riled and shaken, I remember it so well. And the thing that got me, most of the people in the room were only seven or eight years old when it happened. I am sure they remember it, but remembering something as a kid is very different from experiencing it as a teenager or an adult. I am not saying I was old and knowing at the time, but I know I was one of the minority in the room who not only lived nearby where the attacks were but was old enough to really understand (mostly) what was going on. Does that make sense? I hope it does. I was grateful to my husband allowing me to grip his hand in an iron grasp, he knows me so well. He was smart and watched it ahead of time and was much more prepared than I was.
And the POW MIA table always makes me sniffle a bit. Our cake was gorgeous, here is a side view...
And the front view. Actually this years cake was more impressive than 8th and I's last year. Shhh...
I did not realize until photos were taken that my dress was a teensy bit big in the arm holes. Lukily my bra was black but I am quite mad at myself for not noticing that the many times I tried it on!
Also, my posture still needs a LOT of work! Post surgery my back is 150% better but old habits die hard.
Ryan and some of his buddies from BEC.
And his entire new class. My hubby is the front row far right. Damn I am so proud of him!
This may be my favorite full length of us. It got a little chillier as the sun set so my shawl came in handy, but it also made me feel better about my fashion faux pas! After dancing and enjoying ourselves we hung out in the next hacienda with some of Ryan's friends and one other guy's date. After awhile we journeyed back to our room and lit the fire. In our sweats we curled up on the bed and... passed out. You know you are getting old when!! The next day we slept in and it was once again BEAUTIFUL outside! This was basically the view anywhere you looked.
We ate lunch at the bistro where all the food was farm to table. It was grown either at the resort or local and it was so delicious. I had fresh apple cider and we split a huge cobb salad and then a turkey club and roast beef au jus. Bliss.
Then we sat in the sun and basically digested. Man were we full.
The afternoon was spent idly wandering and taking pictures of the resort....
Our room/hacienda. Ryan ate a little too much so we went and laid down for a bit and watched NCIS before venturing back out to the outdoor restaurant. We had a margharita, a quesadilla and live music to keep us entertained. Then we splurged on a bottle of champagne and made our way to the hot tubs and spent the next few hours drinking and smoking and talking to some of his classmates. Awesome time.
Big damn cactus
Sunday morning we had to be up early to get back to LA in time for my flight but we took some more pictures before we left. Especially by our orange tree. We also got some Carls Jr to sustain us on the never ending car ride!
Ok, some iphone photos.... you may have seen these on facebook!!!
Windmills/Turbines. These things were amazing. I drove to the resort part way through them and it was so windy my car was moving! I had to fight to keep it straight!
Ryan took this from my iphone as I drove... not bad for a camera phone! The rest were on our drive to the airport... and my regular camera again.
At the airport it was POURING rain. We wanted to go to the beach so Ryan could get his first ever view of the Pacific ocean... seriously. But the weather was so awful we scrapped it for my next visit, probably his graduation in April. I told him he should go anytime, but he wants me there for it (: I won't get our airline lady in trouble, but she was AWESOME and gave Ryan a gate pass to come through security with me!!! I loved having that extra hour or two and lunch with him. The only thing that kept me mostly composed saying goodbye (yea I cried a bit anyway) was knowing he'd be home for Thanksgiving. I am a lucky lucky lady.
I love to look out the window when I fly... I always take a window seat. It calms me and I just love the ever changing view. And I loved our weekend together. (: