Sunday, September 09, 2012

Where Have I Been?

Lot's of places.  And all have been fun.  When I haven't been having fun, I've been sleeping.

The Thursday before Labor Day, I flew down to San Antonio for the #MilReunion.  Team M (Mary Ripley and I) were in the Omni de la Mansion on the Riverwalk thanks to William Shatner.  Our first night Mary wanted to go to Mi Tierra, a restaurant she knew she liked from a previous visit.  When we explained where we wanted to go, the 3 guys working valet got all excited.  Apparently they were fans too.  One in particular waxed rhapsodic about the sweet potato empanadas.  They offered to have one of them drive us in the hotel vehicle....a nice new Lincoln Navigator!  Well, it was worth the hype. We entered through the bakery and I expected a choir of angels to start singing!  The bakery case was huge!  After dinner, which was good and the waitress gave us a history of the place, it was bakery time!  I got sweet potato empanadas for the valet guys and apple danish for the morning.

Friday I headed down to the pool (with my apple danish) while Mary tried to get Verizon to fix her phone.  I sent out some messages to see what other people were doing. This is the great part about being part of an Internet based group, they are almost always connected!  I got a hit almost right away.  The Armorer and the Mistress of the Castle were headed to the Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg.  I begged to come along.  There's Navy stuff wherever I go, even if I don't know it ahead of time.

The Nimitz Museum was awesome and we got a special tour thanks to the Armorer.  But my favorite part was listening to the Armorer go from display to display saying "I've got that.  I've got one of those." and the like.  Hilarious.  If you have the chance, I highly recommend it.....even if you don't have the special tour guide.  He also recommended a great lunch place.  He was full service!

It was a long day and a late lunch, so we ended up going straight to the Soldiers' Angels warehouse or the Friday night festivities.  it was great seeing everyone who was able to make it.  Tom Goering and wife Bonnie; Sherri the Domestik Diva; the Loopy Libertarian; Wendy of MyMilitarylife, the crew from YouServed; Jihad Gene; Jean, Christina from Words for Warriors and lots of Soldiers' Angels.  And I finally got to meet Old Blue, after reading his blogs AfghanQuest and AfghanBlueIII. Just as interesting in person as in his blogs.

Then I got in trouble.......raffle tickets.  They sold raffle tickets to benefit Soldiers' Angels Valour-IT Project.  Jihad Gene bought a bunch and all I had to do was keep track of them. I brought them safely back to the hotel.

The next day was the main event.  Panels on the future of MilBlogging and how it will help/effect our military.  During the lunch break Tom Goering brought me his old laptop that he had cleared out and reloaded for me!  How awesome is that!  But the day's highlight was the awarding of several special laptops to wounded soldiers who would benefit from the technology. It was such an honor to be there and have the chance to applaud these fine young men. 

Then it was time for the raffle drawing.  Guess who had no tickets?  That's right,  I left them on the table in the hotel room.  They had to draw three times to give away the prize because the first two numbers were clearly in the long strip that Jihad Gene had purchased. But Jihad Gene still loves me looong time and I love him too!  Later that evening at dinner I gave the strip of tickets to Bouhammer.

At dinner I was seated across from Old Blue and it was a good spot.  He was quick on the draw.  Someone asked if we were "together" and he quickly answered "No, I'm not in the Navy!"  There were about 24 of us that night at the "Texas Land and Cattle Company".  It's a chain, but my steak was fabulous.  And with Old Blue holding forth on the subject of Afghanistan (I was riveted), I got to eat it while it was hot! 

A lot of my friends were shipping out the next day, but Mary and I were hanging until Tuesday. So Sunday was all about the Alamo.  It was great to explore it with no deadline.   On the way back to the Riverwalk we stopped in the Texas Ranger Museum and Buckthorn Saloon.  All the while confusing Bouhammer because my "check-ins" and tweets were delayed.  But he and his family did catch up with us at Iron Cactus - Mexican Donuts!!!!! .  We discussed the weekend and the upcoming Ripley Race.  That's when I found out where I will be this Veterans Day.  Buffalo for AUSA Western New York Chapter "1st Annual WNY Veterans Day 5K".

That's right - The Ripley Race on November 4th then The WNY Veteran's Day 5K on November 11th.  mind you, I am not running them.  At the The Ripley Race I stand behind the table and stuff bags.  In Buffalo, I'll be handing out poppies to participants as they cross the finish line.

So, I have to wrap this up now because I did a lot of stuff today and I am wiped.  More later.

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