16 September, 2010

Graduation weekend as told by Lauren

Stephen's family at graduation
Hehe...I thought this was funny at Sea World :)

At the Riverwalk in Downtown, San Antonio

After 8 and 1/2 weeks..finally with my airman at graduation! :D

After a long day in planes and airports, Stephen's dad and I made it to San Antonio! I was so excited I could barely contain it, nothing could upset me. We had some minor issues with car rental and what not, but I did not care! One long taxi ride later, we were checked into our hotel. I wanted to go to sleep right then so that the next day would get there faster and I could finally see him! But we went down to the riverwalk in downtown San Antonio instead to get dinner and check it out so we would have a good idea of what to do when the whole family got there. We walked around a little bit and then found this cool Irish Pub right on the river and had dinner. (The food was delicious!) We walked and talked as we tried to make it back to the car. Apparently we're both directionally challenged, and we ended up unbelievably lost! We simply could NOT find the parking garage the was was in! We probably walked in circles for over an hour. Then we tried to drive back to the hotel..no surprise we got lost again.. It was midnight when I made it to my room! (We had to leave the hotel by 6:15am the next day) I made Stephen's sign for the airman's run the next day, laid out my clothes and all, and repacked my suitcase before finally being tired enough to pass out.

The alarm went off and I was wide awake! I got ready in a hurry, all packed up and was in the lobby waiting 5 minutes early. His dad had over slept so we got a late start. But we made it on time to the briefing. By this time the butterflies in my stomach were going crazy! I thought I would throw up right there in the auditorium... after what seemed like an endless briefing they released to wait for the airman's run.. I thought I was going to jump out of my skin waiting for 20 minutes!! Finally, they came running by! Neither of us could pick our airman out of the crowd the first go round.. but the second run by I spotted him! It was all I could do not to run out and hug him then! But nope.. they ran back to their dorm and we had 2 hours to kill! So we went to get breakfast. I, of course, could not eat. We went to the base hotel and luckily got to check into my room since it was ready. His family's room still wasn't available. So we checked in and then headed over to the coin ceremony.. Again with the waiting!( I quickly learned the "hurry up and wait" mentality of the military!) His dad kept laughing at me because I was so anxious! The ceremony finally began and it was awesome! I got chills, and of course cried. I was also stressed because again, I couldn't pick him out of his flight! I kept asking his dad how we were going to find him! Finally the ceremony ended and we were allowed to go find our airman. Finally a hug and kiss!!! We took off down the bleachers and through the crowd and after a little searching, found him! My butterflies were finally gone as I got to hug my fiance for the first time in 8 & a half weeks but the excitement was still there!! We went to find food since that seemed to be the main thing Stephen wanted all weekend! haha So Burger King it was! I was just excited to be with my airman!!!!! The rest of the family made it from Pensacola, and we all got to hang out for a little while, but then it was back to the dorms. Boy did I hate giving him back! I just wanted him to stay with us!!

The next day we were up early again(and again I had no trouble getting out of bed!!) and headed to the parade grounds for the graduation parade. I can't even begin to tell you how incredible this is! If you have a loved one that joins the AF by all means go to graduation it is an awesome experience! I had chills the whole time, and again could not wait to get off those bleachers and get to my love! After hugs, kisses, and tons of pictures, it was on to see the dorm where he had lived all this time. I quickly saw why he was so homesick! This was no ritz-carlton! After a quick tour, open ranks, and loading up in the car again we headed off downtown to venture to the riverwalk. We ate at Dick's the infamous San Antonio restaurant where they're known for their service, more lack there of. It was a trip! Then we walked all over the riverwalk and saw the alamo(less than impressive), the guys went to all the Ripley museums while us girls did a little shopping in the mall. By the time we met back up we were all exhausted and ready to head back to the base. So after a quick stop at Olive Garden(I told you Stephen was all about eating!!) it was back to the base and back to the dorm for Stephen :(

On Saturday, we got him early! We picked him up after open ranks, and after a few quick errands, we all headed to Sea World! We had all been waiting for this! Inspite of the heat, we had a great day! Just all being together again was amazing. After a long day at Sea World, we headed back to the hotel to relax a few minutes and get changed then it was off to a minor league baseball game. Again, a lot of fun. It was honestly one of my favorite parts of the trip. We all just got to relax and hang out. The whole crazy gang was together for a little while. After the game, it was back to the base, which meant back to the dorms. I wasn't ready for this weekend to end!

Sunday was indescribable. The whole time Stephen had written about going to church and how awesome the services were and how much he enjoyed them. I was excited about this the whole time, and even more excited when he told me in his letters that he hoped I would stay through Sunday to go to church with him because he wanted me to experience it too. Boy was I glad that I did! I can't describe to you the excitement in that church. Again, I had chills the whole time. There were points when I thought about crying, but couldn't because I couldn't stop smiling! It was amazing. THE best part of the weekend. After church, his mom, sister, and brother had to head to the airport to get back home. As much fun as it had been to be all together, I will admit, I was excited to have him all to myself for a few hours. How did we spend it? Doing absolutely nothing!! We were so worn out from the crazy weekend, that we just watched tv in my hotel room, ordered pizza, and just caught up. This is why he is my best friend, because we can do this! :) Time went by slowly, but not slow enough. I just wanted time to stop so I could live in that moment forever! That walk back to his dorm was the longest, hardest walk ever knowing I wouldn't be seeing him again for a while....Our incredible weekend had to end

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