Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles...

...and buses and ferries.

That is exactly how our trip went.  Here is a quick overview of all the transportation modes that were required to make our trip possible.

  1. Drive to Ferry Landing
  2. Take the ferry across Guantanamo Bay to the Leeward side of the island (we live on Windward)
  3. Take a bus from ferry landing to the air terminal
  4. Plane from gtmo to Jacksonville NAS
  5. Another bus from Jacksonville NAS to a hotel near Jacksonville International Airport
  6. Spend the night at the hotel
  7. Hotel shuttle to the airport
  8. Plane from Jacksonville to Baltimore
  9. Plane from Baltimore to Denver
  10. Train from the terminal to the baggage claim
  11. Shuttle from baggage claim to car rental
  12. Rent a vehicle, drive 4 hours to our destination

Total travel time: approximately 36 hours

Stayed in Colorado for 11 days, drove about 1,000 miles and stayed in 6 different locations.

Then we repeated 1-12 in reverse order to make the trip home. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Last week when we arrived home, we were welcomed by clear skies, blue water and  temperatures hovering right around 90 degrees.  It felt wonderful!  Looking out the plane window, I spotted our little island and felt so peaceful.  We were home!  Even though we’ve only been here for 6 months, and even though we will only be here temporarily (perhaps 2-4 years) we’ve already adapted to calling this place home.

I felt even more at home...
...when we visited a restaurant and knew half of the diners! 
...when I was greeted by name at the store.
...when I saw a pedestrian crossing the street and the vehicles stopped.
...when I drove 25 mph and it felt fast enough.
...when I didn’t have to lock my car door.
...when I didn’t have to plug in my cell phone before bed.
...when my round-trip to the grocery store took 30 minutes.
...when I heard colors in the evening.
...when I proudly watched the flag flying high on the hill.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Our trip

We've been in the states for nearly two weeks and we will return to Guantanamo Bay within the next week.  We have had a grand time and are so thankful that we've been able to make this trip.  Here are a few quick observations about our trip:

  • I don't know anyone when I go places.  In gtmo, while I don't know everyone everywhere I go, I do know at least someone everywhere I go.  
  • I felt very annoyed with cell phones and texting at first.  Now I've gotten used to it again, but honestly, I don't think it will be something that I will miss upon returning to the island.
  • It has been cold!  Now, granted, we did go to one of the coldest spots in the nation and experienced negative 30 degree weather but I have to admit that I even felt cold when we arrived in Jacksonville with 55 degree temps.
  • DVR is something that I have missed!  Fast-forwarding through commercials and being able to record a show while not home is such a nice luxury.
  • I forgot how fast the internet can be!  Going back to the slower gtmo internet will be something that I will have to get used to again.
  • Being with friends and family felt really good.  I wish I could gather everyone that I love into one place and keep them there with me.
  • Driving over 25 mph felt downright scary for the first day or two.  In fact, I had a very difficult time driving 55 in a 65 zone.  When cars started piling up behind me, I quickly decided that using the cruise control was a good idea.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Trip to the States

Please pardon my absence lately.  We have been dealing with some sad news that started with finding out my dad was terminally ill and then his passing only five days later.  So, I just haven't been much up for blogging lately.

Because of my dad's death, we are headed to the states for his funeral.  As sad as the reason for the trip is, we are eager to go and visit with family and friends and are really looking forward to a change of scenery!  What I'm not looking forward to though is the cold.  We are headed to Colorado and to one of the coldest spots in the entire nation.  In fact, for three days in a row last week, Alamosa, CO has been the coldest spot in the nation with low temperatures hovering around -35 degrees F!  That is about a 100 degree difference compared to our 70 degree F lows!  Last night when we arrived in Jacksonville, I believe the temp was around 55 degrees and the kids were instantly cold.  Poor little things have no idea what subzero temperatures feel like!

So far, being back in the states is a tad bit overwhelming for me.  Choosing where to go and eat was challenging when given 20 + choices.  Driving more than 25 mph is a little scary too!  And forget texting and cell phone use.  I have my cell phone activated while we are here but I don't much feel like using it.  Not yet at least.

But while it is a bit overwhelming, it is also very enjoyable!  Lightening speed internet is a welcome change as is actually having choices.  We are very thankful to be able to make this trip and will no doubt have a great time!