Here are some photos of our recent trip – only 3 of us could go due to time constraints and summer school.  It was a four day WHIRL WIND of driving “16” hours on Thursday, enjoying our son Sean for 2 days and then 16 hours  of driving from midnight Sunday until we arrived back in Chicago.

First of all there was a major snafu.  A certain someone, who shall remain nameless, (yes the crazy mother) lightly (sort of?) sprayed the front of the car with cooking spray BECAUSE I had heard it helped the bugs not stick.  Well, a little spray does a good job, so a LOT of spray does a GREAT job, right?!  Not so right. You know oil and water don’t mix, so why didn’t that light rain just leave the oil where it was???  No, the light rain and the high speed of driving on the expressway combined to move that oil up ALL OVER THE WINDSHIELD.  Kinda difficult to see that way.  It was definitely the rain’s fault – there is no question about that.  As far as I’m willing to admit anyway.

So, after picking up Brett and Bonnie, we stopped at a car parts place and bought the super deluxe Bosch Icon wipers. I sprayed windshield fluid all over the windshield and Brett did the highly technical clipping on of the new wipers.  They really are worth every cent – they are by far the best wipers I’ve ever had!

However. That wasn’t enough. We also went through a car wash.  Also not enough. Windex and paper towels a few times turned out to be the trick.

That was only the FIRST snafu.  Bonnie realized she had forgotten her license at Brett’s.  Good thing because that caused me to realize I did not have my debit card!  Since I hadn’t brought any credit cards with me, the debit thing was significant.  Back to Brett’s, pick up Bonnie’s license, thorough search of the car because I had the debit card at 5 am when I stopped at the post office to mail some stuff and bought stamps.

Called the post office – unbelievably they not only checked the lobby, but they searched the mail box where I had posted the letters in case I dropped it in there!!  How’s that for service?!  Nope – not there.  Searched the car again in great detail. No luck.

Called the ever faithful hubby and he made calls but still – soonest I could get a replacement was 5 – 7 days (I’ve been home 5 days and that call happened 9 days ago and still NO DEBIT CARD.)  Then we searched out a nearby Harris bank so I could cash a check.

That sounds so simple doesn’t it?  But too many navigators spoil the trip, haha!  I thought Brett was navigating and he thought I was, so we had to make a couple sightseeing tours through a neighborhood we didn’t care about to get to the bank.  Then, finally, ON THE ROAD.   Everything was fine after that as far as I can remember.  Of course that might be because we stopped at a liquor store in that neighborhood and I nursed a bottle of tequila the rest of the way.  jk.

Which reminds me, there actually is a family out there that named a child Tequila.  whatever.

Back to the topic.  So I had left the house at 5 a.m. and we left Chicago at 9 a.m. (if my alcohol-infused memory serves me.) so that added a bit of time to the trip.  It also made me nervous that this was going to be the trip from an alternate universe that I was never meant to go on…. but fortunately the REST OF THE TRIP WAS GREAT!

Brett and Bonnie were fantastic travel companions and there wasn’t a blip in it.  Of course I had some critiquing of my driving which NEVER happens otherwise. A guy passed us and then wanted to do something other than drive and almost killed us all when he aimed toward the underside of a semi next to him.  The fact that there was a big concrete wall next to us at the time made us very grateful the guy started paying attention BEFORE he hit the semi trailer.  We were all wide awake after that!

Here are some photos of our trip, with explanations afterwards.

Since we arrived at 3 a.m.(!) we decided to wait until  7:30 (lots of sleep in there) to see Sean for the first time.  He gave us our on-base parking pass and we headed over there while he spiffed up.

This is the dais  – part of it – where the graduation festivities took place.

Here he is being congratulated by the base commander.

My next post will have a bunch of fun photos from the time we had with him.

Just one comment – the nuclear engineering program is acknowledged as the toughest educational program any branch of the military offers.  It is condensed into a much shorter period of time than if one were studying the same material in a university setting.  The experience, for most, brings to mind the expression “drinking from a firehose”.  Sean has worked so incredibly hard and we are all SO PROUD of him!  He has completed Phases I and II of the program.  Phase III is next but he hasn’t received his orders yet as to when he’ll start and where (2 locations).

Meanwhile he is of course being put to work on the base, but he is happy not to be spending 60 – 80 hours per week in class/studying.  Time for a brain rest!


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