Sunday, July 5, 2009

Part One Of "The Beautiful Birthday Present"

Stephen, like many other people, had a long weekend due to our nation's birthday. While thinking about how to spend the weekend he thought it would be neat to make a trip up north to visit a man who had been a mentor to Stephen in his early Marine Corps days. But it didn't stop there. Stephen then decided to make a little family vacation out of it and make it extra special as an early birthday present to me!!! And oh, did he make it special!!!!!!! I think it was one of the most perfect birthday presents. Read on to discover some of the wonderful things Stephen did to make it such a memorable birthday gift.

Our adventure began Friday morning, with the three of us starting out on the drive north. Our first stop was to visit Stephen's mentor and his dear wife. We had such a nice time. Stephen and his friend had a good amount of time to chat, catch up and run thoughts and ideas by each other. Mrs. B. was so kind to Clara and I. In some ways Mrs. B. my picture of southern hospitality with her candles burning and serving her sweet tea up in stem ware and putting out such an enjoyable spread of food for lunch. Clara made herself right at home, exploring around, practicing her musical talent on the piano, trying to climb the stairs, picking up breakable nick-nacks, etc. Thankfully, I think we made it out without breaking anything! We were very blessed by the kind hospitality and had a nice time.

Next Stephen took me to a nearby Marine Corps base where he had gone through The Basic School (TBS). TBS is a six month course for all Marine officers. We weren't sure we would be able to get in because I had accidentally left my purse at home and didn't have any ID. However, thankfully, they didn't ask for mine. Stephen drove me around and pointed out various buildings and what they were, where he had lived while there, etc. And got out and briefly checked out the pool where he had gone though some VERY strenuous training!

One of the really neat things Stephen took me to see was the spot where they have the obstacle course (on the right) and the confidence course (on the left). There was no one out there and it's kind of out in the woods and it's beautiful out there. We had fun meandering around. Stephen showed me how some of the obstacles were done and explained various things and we looked at the records board.

The scenery was beautiful and this particular guy was REALLY handsome!!! :-)

The Marine

Missed my calling! Haha!

The Marine and his lady.

And what was Clara doing while all this fun was being had?

Yep. She slept through pretty much the whole TBS tour. We were able to park the car nearby and enjoy a little time without chasing a little girl.

And that folks is the end of the very first post in the series "The Beautiful Birthday Present". Return very soon as there is MUCH more to come!

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