Friday, September 28, 2007

A Visit By The Folks

Mom and Dad and their (and our) good friends the Bastians came out to Louisiana for a few days. It was a great visit. They arrived Monday afternoon. They had been driving all over the country on their way here. As Dad said, they came to Louisiana by way of Vermont. Really, they and the Bastians had been sightseeing across the country on their way to a fighter squadron reunion in Rome, New York. Then, the dropped by Louisiana.

As I said, we had a great time. We spent Monday evening just visiting and catching up. Then on Tuesday we rented an SUV so all 6 of us could fit in the same vehicle, and drove to Mansfield to visit the Civil War battlefield and museum they have down there. It was very interesting for us all, particularly the three military guys. Dad, Delmar, Cindy and I also had a good time looking for doodlebugs (or ant lions as they are apparently known in Utah) around the battlefield.

After Mansfield, we loaded up and drove in to Natchitoches. There we did a little window shopping. As we were walking around the downpour started. We ended up seeking sanctuary from the storm inside this very old catholic church. It was actually pretty cool. It was quite old, being built in the late 1800s. The stained glass was cool. It was interesting. We then went to The Landing, which is a awsome restaurant there in Natchitoches. Oh, what a lunch we had. We all started off with an appetizer of fried green tomatoes. Delicious. Then on to the main courses. Delmar and I both enjoyed bowls of chicken and alligator sausage gumbo. I have to say that I am going to miss the wonderful Cajun food down here when we leave.

Wednesday started a little later and much more relaxed. We went to the 8th Air Force museum here on the base. We all enjoyed the exhibits inside the building. Then, when we went out to tour the static display aircraft, the gals sat on benches in the shade while the guys walk around the airplanes. What an interesting walk it was. There were so many different aircraft dating from the second world war to the present and one of us (Dad, Delmar or I) had a story to tell about each aircraft there. What a fun walk. We then drove to the Libby glass factory outlet store so the gals could do some shopping. We ended the day with dinner at Ralph and Kacoo's. Again more wonderful Cajun food! Delicious.

All in all it was a wonderful visit. We all had a great time and it's really been a long time since I'd spent that amount of time with Wanda and Delmar. We were both very happy to have them visit us down here.

I'll put the word out here again for all our family. Wel have plenty of room down here and love to show off Louisiana, so feel free to drop us a line and let us know you're coming down for a visit.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Real Work Begins Again

So, my real important work is soon to begin again. I registered today for two classes in my masters program. Classes start on October first. Not really looking forward to taking two classes at the same time, it makes my horribly busy, but I want to get finished. I only have 8 more classes left. Well, actually seven classes and then the "comprehensive final", which is most likely going to be my thesis as opposed to an actual test. In fact, it would most likely be the submittal of a business plan, since this is a business degree.

The classes I'm taking this semester are Management Information Systems and Cross-Cultural Managment. Sounds exciting doesn't it? Actually the Information Systems class I think is going to be quite interesting. I just hope they don't keep me too busy. It does make for some long nights, as Molly can attest as I was in the middle of finals one semester when she traveled with us on our way to Louisiana. She might remember me being up til all hours working on my laptop while she and Cindy both slept. Not fun. But I survived. I am looking forward to being done, getting my degree, and being able to put it on my resume before I begin seriously looking for post-Air Force employment.

Well, back to work!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Finally at Rest!

Well, we made the big trip and now we're back home. Hopefully for good this time. I need a rest!
It was an interesting and very fun trip. It was quite long, though, and sometimes it felt as if I was spending the bulk of my time behind the wheel. Our first stop was in Wichita Falls, Texas. We were hoping to see some old friends of ours from Minot. It wasn't to be. After checking in to the motel, we decided to get a bite to eat before heading out for the evening. Had a wonderful dinner (really, it was). However, almost as soon as we got to the truck, I started to feel a bit funny. Before we were even back to the room, I was sick! Very sick! It was ugly. The only thing we could think of was food poisoning. So, no visit to any friends that night, and a long night of laying in bed watching TV. No fun.
Our next day was much more uneventful as we drove to Albuquerque, New Mexico. A much nicer day, but I was still feeling just a bit under the whole day. The next day was our first big stop. We met Melissa and her boyfriend Pete in Las Vegas. It was great to see Melissa of course, and nice to meet Pete. He's a great guy. We ended up staying at the Excalibur and going out to see the town.
Here are a couple of pictures of us in front of the hotel.
Vegas was an interesting town, and not really what I remembered from the last time I was there. It has become much less "family oriented" than before. Not that it was ever really family oriented, but it's now much less hospitable.
It didn't take us long to decide that we'd seen enough of Vegas, so the next day we were off for California! We stayed with my sister Nikki and her family in Simi Valley. It was great! We got to do a lot of catching up and we went to Magic Mountain to ride all the roller coasters, hit Hollywood and the beach. We also squeezed in a little 4-wheeling just for fun.
After a few full days of activity, we wound down with a great meal at an Italian restaurant across the street from Universal Studios. Great food and atmosphere!
John and Nikki
Melissa and Pete
Cindy and David.
So, after some time in California, it was time to head for Utah and the Fail Family Reunion. We were lucky enough that Jen and Dylan were able to go with us. We rented a trailer from Hill AFB and we all scrunched in. It was fun!
We played a little golf. And we hung out at the campground, enjoying each other's company and having fun. Here are some pics.

So, the fun was over and it was time to go home, almost. The night before we left, we were up at 1:00 am taking Cindy to the Emergency room at Lakeview Hospital with a bit of bronchitis and an Asthma attack. We were there for about 2 and 1/2 hours, so you can imagine we didn't get much sleep that night. Driving the next day was very exhausting. But, we drove to Salina, Kansas that night and then home to Louisiana the next day. It was a very long and tiring trip, but it was so much fun. We loved seeing the all the family and getting some time to spend with our kids and grandson. Wish we could see them all more often!