Before I get into my new exploits in North Dakota, I wanted to fullfill a promise. I told my friends in Chicago that since I spent a week with them that I would blog it so all my Air Force friends could read about them. Kind of the reverse of what we’ve had so far. So here goes. I spent 5 nights in Chicago and somehow managed to wrangle up enough people to go to Cubs games 2 of those nights. Actually, my awesome friends worked out all the details so all I had to do was sit back and enjoy the games. The first night we did so from a rooftop.
The down side of the rooftop is that it was a little chilly and windy but we struggled through…because there was an inside section with a buffet. But just to prove that we did go outside at least once:
Did I mention it was windy? Also, quick shout out to Christine (pictured above with wind tussled locks) who just got engaged earlier this week. Congrats guys!
The next night we actually headed into the park to watch the game. Unfortunately, unlike the first night, the Cubs were not able to pull out a victory. We still had fun though.
Besides a quick trip to John Marshall and a few dinners with friends, the last thing on the Chicago agenda was a Costco sponsored party for Tom and me. Per usual at 4022 N. Sheridan, there was tons of food (stellar beans as always, Liz, cheesey potatoes to die for, Elizabeth, and enormous quantities of meat courtesy of the newly engaged) Unfortunately I took no reasonable pictures that night so your imaginations will have to paint the picture of the last night I sat, wind swept and merry, on the balcony of 4022. A picture is not necessary to cause one solitary tear to role down my cheek. Too dramatic?
The next morning Tom and I packed the car, the poor little red Kia that has seen so much, to its fullest. Despite my desperate pleas to save my dying plants from their brown thumbed captors, Tom would not let me pack them all. Only one plant made it to North Dakota…only time will tell the fate of the rest. So with only one plant in tow, we headed to Minneapolis were we spent one night. One great evening catching up with friends and a 7 mile (nice and easy) run with Tom’s sisters later, I was on my way to North Dakota alone. Well, not fully alone. Jack and Jonesie (for those of you just tuning in, these are my cats) were nestled safely in their carrier somewhere in my car admist suitcases, dufflebags, boxes, and one plant (can you tell I’m upset about the plants?).
We made it to North Dakota. Although it rained as I drove through Fargo (yes, it’s still mostly under water), the skies cleared and the rain stopped by the time I got to Grand Forks. The base is about 15 miles outside of the actual town. At the gate you are greated with the large painted words, “Warriors of the North.” I checked in, got the cats settled in and then met my sponsor. For those of you new to all this (as am I), a sponsor is someone assigned to you prior to your arrival at any new base who is responsible for getting you settled in and acclimated. So I met my sponsor, Capt Ian Holzhauer (Naperville native – go figure!), and he took me to dinner at his neighbor’s house in the on-base housing. Not only did I get a home cooked meal out of the deal, I also got a plate to take home which lasted for 2 more meals. As we were eating, something strange started to happen…by the time I returned to billeting that night, this is what I found:
That’s right. This was my welcome to Grand Forks AFB. The cats were confused. I dropped my phone in the snow. I think I saw a squirrel run backwards up a tree. Just one short week ago I was safely in the warmth of the Bible Belt, and now look at me. But on the upside, my room at billeting is huge.
So now I’m here. I’m looking for a place to live (which is actually proving to be pretty difficult – Grand Forks does not equal pet friendly), getting in-processed on base (only 4 shots so far…), and starting to figure out what kind of job I’m actually going to be doing (apparently something legal). Everyone here is great (so far so good anyway) and I have my own office with chairs and everything! Once I get it spruced up a bit I’ll throw a picture up here. I know how you all love pictures of really mundane things.
I think that’s all I have for now from Grand Forks. I miss everyone but don’t worry, I’m doing fine up here in the north country. Though my o’s seem to be getting a little longer…