Tuesday - 16 July 2013 - the day that refused to end. ::snort:: The day that was 48 hours long.
Michael and I managed 3 hours of sleep on Monday. We got up at 0430 and walked around the base.
I posted on Facebook that I felt numb this morning. That feeling persisted...the day was surreal.
We woke up kids, had breakfast, finished downloading iTunes things, zipped up the bags and checked out of Misawa Inn.
We ran the receipt by housing so they will pay for our 5 days in lodging. We ran by the bank and closed our local accounts and exchanged yen. We filled up the van with gas and took it through the car wash. We wanted to take it off base for a really good detailed cleaning...but ran out of time. Zander (Alex) loved using the power wash hose.
We enjoyed a last lunch at the club with Akiko-san. I had a great salad - my last meal for over 24 hours. Discussion turned to the "right" time to visit CA....March is in the lead as it will be a good time to visit AK as well....but Michael threw out Christmas and Stacia in total seriousness looked at Akikosan said, "August 16th is a good day." Stacia's birthday. We didn't say goodbye - we said, "Matane!" Akikosan reminded us we ARE coming back.
We usually drive off base, check the gate in the rear view mirror and keep moving....but this PCS was different. We FLEW and we had an impromptu party at the airport. We'd seen so many people off at the airport in the past couple of months that we were surprised how many dear friends we DO still have in Misawa. ::snort:: Stacia was happy to see Mags and Asia.
Alex and Colton got in some last minute wrestling....and Colton was chosen to take home the yen coins we simply didn't spend. Alex gave it a great effort...treating all to ice water from the vending machines.
Friend of my heart - Christina and Lawson
Molly, Gracie and Arielle
Ah - sweet memories
Me and Jen (fellow Chaplain wife)
Me and a couple of my gals
Nolan and Jaycob helped me every single week this year in the pre-school PCOC room. A friendship grew as their ministry grew. What a great year it was. See that little box....friends who didn't make it to the airport sent homemade pretzel bites - YUMMMO! It's a good thing I'd not sampled them before this point.
Michael and some guys
Friends sent a GIANT box of cookies - and they were deemed amazing by all who sampled. Me and the Cookie Lady (Andrea).
Still don't get this game
There were others who showed up after the main crowd...and each one was appreciated. Thanks.
Flying out of Misawa defines bittersweet. All was boring - which was fine. Arielle wins the award for plane sleeping. She stretched out in the aisle, had her head in my lap and her body across Stacia. Michael and Nolan had little boys behind them who kicked their seats continually while their Dad slept. Five hours into the flight Michael asked me to switch seats with him. I now had Michael's seat in my lap and a kid kicking me from behind....and THEN he spilled his OJ and it splashed all over me. LOL
A word about the "special meal" option on the patriot...don't bother. My vegan options were Chicken, pasta with cheese OR...the little salads people left on their plates. ::snort:: I ate carrots I'd bought the day before wondering if this may happen.
Getting through customs was QUICK for those of us LEAVING the airport....We were chased down as we'd left the Nikon DSLR in an overhead bin.
For those of us flying on (the gals) it took 2.5 hours to get through customs and on through security. We were all tagged for "random" checks...and I didn't realize after swabbing my palms they wanted to check them out so I walked away...not a good move....which resulted in more personal encounters and more swabbing of palms. At one point I commented VERY LOUDLY...my 7 year old is alone trying to get all the bags off the belt....and some lovely fellow passengers helped out by standing near her and talking to her until Arielle was cleared.
We laughed on the airport shuttle as we were listening and responding to the Japanese announcements and ignoring the English. At one point I asked Arielle to read the flashing sign "Gato C desu" - Ah. "Dozo, dozo." And we laughed - I think it may be the last Japanese we hear for some time.
We noted the planes are NOT on time as often as they are in Japan. The waiting areas are LOUD. People do not use headphones with their movies and music....and they talk LOUDLY on cell phones without even TRYING to find a secluded spot.
Arielle suffered overload as we waited in SEA and chose to sleep. LOL
We had 20 minutes between our flight which landed in Portland and the one which would take us to Eugene. As we raced to check in, I realized my ipad was left on the previous plane. The clerk ran to get it, we hopped on the plane and made it to Eugene before Michael, the boys and Yuuki.
We were met at the gate by my parents, a dancing Bre and my brother, Nate. Krista showed up shortly and we waited for Michael. We went out to dinner with my family.....Heather, Nadia and Mikhail joined us...where I enjoyed a satisfying vegan meal. LOL
Back at the room all fell asleep fairly early. I hit a second wind and was up until midnight.
I woke up this a.m. at 10:30 a.m. and have been trying to rouse everyone else...it's now LUNCH time on WED and I'm ready to get out and see America. Stacia is complaining her eye itches and waters....need to go check this out.
I was evidently too tired after SEA to take any more photos.
Living all of life before the face of God...