Steve went out to sea in April on the Alabama, which turned out to be a blessing because he missed a lot of really stressful (read: overtime) work on the Nevada. I whiled away the hours reading several books and getting our house ready to be packed up for the big move to California. Plus, I got to spend tons of time with the amazing wardroom wives of the Nevada; thank goodness for them, or I'd have never gotten through that last patrol!
The movers came in early May, and suddenly I was furniture-less. So I slept on the air mattress for a few days (lots of friends invited me to stay with them, but I was only staying in WA for a few days before heading south to see the family), then drove to Oregon to see lots of old friends and visit my parents. I think I spent a little over a week in Oregon; it's a trip I'll never forget.
I then returned to our empty house to clean and await Steve's return; he came back mid-May. I went to the airline counter the morning his flight was scheduled to arrive and asked if I could meet him at the gate, since he's returning military. They said yes (they do this often, so spouses, be sure to ask if you ever have the opportunity to pick up your hubby at the airport!) and I breezed through security on my way to the gate. When I arrived, I nearly cried. It was the same gate I'd been at in October 2007, when I said good bye to Steve for his first full patrol on the Pennsylvania. True story. My last memory of that gate is seeing the back of my husband's head as he walked away for three months. It has now been replaced with the memory of him walking towards me at the end of his final patrol as a JO. It was like a movie, coming full circle like that.
Steve has been home a couple of weeks now, and we spent some time in the Kitsap area, saying goodbye to best friends (sorry, saying "see you later" to best friends, because there's no way I'll be able to go the rest of my life without seeing them again) and tying up some loose ends, Navy-wise. Port Angeles is gorgeous; so is Port Townsend. If you have the chance to visit Hurricane Ridge, do it. I fell in love, and it wasn't even a nice day. After spending a little time with Steve's family, we have finally moved out of Washington and are preparing for a fun week in Lincoln City. We have a few more weeks before we have to be in Monterey, and I'm loving every moment of this fabulous vacation!