Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 5, 2013

Okay, first - sorry that I didn't get a post out yesterday, but it was a busy day (and night) and I was just plain tired by the time I would have had to get the post in. That seems to have worked out okay, though, as today was pretty laid back and not much happened, other than taking the girls to see the Cloudy With A Chance Of Meat Balls 2. It was, as far as we know, Jackie's first theater movie, and it was a little rough. She isn't one to just sit and enjoy and likes to continue to move around, looking for other things to do. Linda basically held her on her lap through about half the movie. Stacy, on the other hand, enjoyed the movie from Grandpa's lap for about the same amount of time. The difference is that Stacy wanted to and Jackie wanted to run around the theater. The movie it self was enjoyable and silly, and that is about what I expected.

The day yesterday was challenging as we arrived at the San Diego air port with more than enough time to get to the gate, and again Jackie was the biggest challenge. She was absolutely amazed by all the new things she saw once we arrived and I was carrying a couple extra bags (we do that when traveling with small children) so that made keeping up with her a bit more of a challenge. Jason was keeping tabs on Stacy and also keeping Gracie in line. It was a relatively new place so Gracie was a bit cautious with everything she did and not really paying attention to what Jason was doing. Anyway, we got to the gate with plenty of time to spare and had wonderful help from our escort (a volunteer at the airport). United (that's who we flew with again) did a very nice job of making the travel easier as well. Originally I was seated in row 11, with the girls, and the person at the gate moved us up to the bulkhead and we were now on row 07. That was particularly good since Jason was up in first class. The agent at the gate did this without me requesting it, and basically only asked for permission - obviously I said, "Yes." Once we were on the plane, another passenger in first class offered to give me her seat, but I had to refuse, as I needed to stay with the girls. I thanked her for the nice offer, though.

When we first got on the plane I had to get the girls seated first and one of the flight attendants stayed with them (even gave them "wings"). One of the other attendants held Gracie and then I carried Jason in. That part went very well, and the flight was comfortable and smooth. When we arrived at the airport we again got some extra help from the people on the plane, but the ground and baggage people were apparently stumped by Jason's chair. It took them nearly 30 minutes to get it up to us, and obviously we can't leave the plane until the chair is there. The flight crew were wondering what was going on as well. Anyway, we finally got off the plane and I was scurrying around trying to keep all of us together while picking up the luggage, and then we got more help from the people at the luggage area. We got all the bags out to the curb and waited a few minutes for our rental van to arrive. The driver was circling and apparently we had just missed him. We got all the stuff on the van, including the car seats and we were off. Now that sounds all well and good except I forgot one of the bags. Fortunately it wasn't something we needed immediately so I was able to go EARLY this morning, and picked it up. The drive back out to SFO was fast, and so was the return. I even had time to stop off at Target and got back home in just under 2 hours.

The rooms are the same as we had the last time we came up to Livermore, and so we were already familiar with the Hawthorn, and are very comfortable being here. The rooms share an adjoining door, so all we have to do is keep the doors from closing and we can go back and forth between them. We've had some visitors already and were even greeted by Marilyn Carter upon our arrival. All this made it just a little easier to get here. I was a bit wound up from the travel and it took me awhile to unwind and finally get to sleep, when we did go to bed. Fortunately, the same did not hold for the girls.

Like I said, today was much more relaxed, and we went to our church this morning, and it was really nice to see everybody again. Linda spent the time with the girls in Sunday School. Tomorrow we have a few things to do, but I am going to do my best to just relax - I am supposed to be on vacation. Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

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