Tuesday thru Friday - Final Goodbyes and a Long Stay

TUESDAY - Tuesday morning we awoke relatively early so that we could get over to Dover and return the rental car before it was too late.  We had to have it in by 5pm, but we also wanted to stop in Pittsburgh to see Uncle Ben and Nate at Cannon Coffee.  I thankfully remembered to wrangle the kids up for a picture with Grandma and Grandpa right before we left.  I wish I had done it sooner, with better light, and when the kids weren't cranky... but I love it, and that's what counts :)

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We left for Pittsburgh and all Josh and I could think about was how awesome it was going to be to finally try Ben's coffee... see their shop, talk to them in person, give them a hug.  Ben made us pumpkin spice lattes and they were literally the best coffee we've ever had.  We've had cappuccino in Italy and it was damn good, but this pumpkin spice latte was just insane!  Maybe it was mixed with the joy of seeing my little brother, maybe I'm biased, but it's still delicious ;)  There was a chance for us to see an old friend of ours (hi Amy!!!) but we couldn't get to the shop by the weekend so we just missed each other.  Sweetheart that she is, she went to Cannon with her friends anyway and left us a card.  Love you, Amy!  Maybe next time!!  I chatted with Ben while Josh and Nate were talking military, politics, & business (or so I think... like I said, I was talking to Ben haha).  We hung out until much later than we should have, but you can't rush a visit.  

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We finally left at around 12, giving us barely enough time to get to Dover by 5pm with no stops whatsoever.  Josh and I were hyped up on caffeine, but the boys weren't.  They slept for a good 3 hours in the backseat while Noah played his DS quietly.  We were afraid to upset the balance of the universe so we didn't even stop to pee until those children woke up.  Man that was a long 3 hours, especially after 3 coffees.  We got gas and a few snacks and hit the road again.  

Believe it or not we made it to Dover by 5:30pm.  Everyone was starving since we hadn't truly eaten since breakfast.  We promised the kids we'd go to the same exact restaurant we visited when we first arrived in the States... Bob Evans.  Shocker, I know.  We had to make a quick stop at the car rental place beforehand to extend for another day, which happened to be across the street from BE.

Dinner was great, as Bob Evans dinners tend to be.  We immediately headed for the terminal to check on available flights.  None until Saturday.  OK!  This is why we left ourselves with so much extra time.  Unpredictability of Space-A travel, you don't scare me!  Luckily, base lodging had an available room, but only through Thursday night.  The rooms are used so often as temporary lodging that they're fully stocked with all the amenities of an apartment.  We had a full kitchen and 2 bedrooms for a rock-bottom price.  Oh thank you, base.  You rock.  We were exhausted from the day.  The kids crashed immediately, but Josh and I stayed awake until 2am talking about options and plans.  We were focusing on the bright side, and it was good.  We stayed up so late that we got hungry again.  Found a place called Angelo's that delivered until 1am and it was deeeeeeelicious.  With full tummies, we finally drifted off.

WEDNESDAY - The first thing we did Wednesday was run to the commissary to get groceries for the next few days.  We were SO going to cook!  And we did.

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We made lofty goals about taking a trip out to DC the following day, even asked friends in the area if they wanted to hang out.  Yeah!!!  We are totally stoked about DC!  WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!  Josh has never been! We have to go!  The weather was good so we took the kids to a playground.  As they played the temperature started falling rapidly and a thin mist began to fall.  It stunk.  They didn't care, of course, but I was stinkin' cold.  We made a trip back over to the terminal (just to be sure Saturday was still our soonest flight option).  Surprisingly it had been moved up to midnight, and we'd have to be there on Friday night by 10pm for "roll call".  The rest of the night we spent watching the Food Network.  They were showing a "Chopped" marathon and it was scrumtrulescent.

THURSDAY - Since our flight had been bumped up a bit and the weather was still crappy, we decided against DC.  Instead we stayed at home and did our final packing and laundry.  For real this time.  This is it.  No more.  I had to get some pictures printed off for Noah so he could finish his homework up properly.  Journals aren't real journals without pictures, you know ;)  We took the kids to a few local playgrounds when the weather cleared up, which lasted for all of maybe 1 hour.  We did a bit more grocery shopping.  We stuffed ourselves with healthy foods so that we wouldn't get sick with all the traveling we'd endured over the last few weeks (which worked, by the way).  We watched TV, movies, and we slept.  Pretty blah day, but it was quite nice to have after all the packed days of yore.

FRIDAY - Our hotel room was reserved for Friday night so we had to be out of there by 10am.  After a quick clean-up of breakfast we loaded all our crap back up and headed out to the great beyond.  We didn't have to be at the terminal until 8pm so we had some time to kill.  We went downtown to check out the "scene".  Not too much to speak of in Dover, but it's a nice town with some interesting history.  The visitor's center had pamphlets galore of all the fun little places to visit.  We settled on the Victrola museum and the US Civil War exhibit. 

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The kids learned all about the historical meaning of "put a sock in it" at the Victrola museum, and they still tell me on a weekly basis what it means :)  I didn't get any pics of the Civil War exhibit because I was too busy ushering boys to the bathroom or trying to stop them from touching things.  They had just gotten out of the car yet again so they were a little nuts.  They did manage to settle down when I started explaining the tools in the combat medic bag... the saw, the drill, the lack of pain meds.  Of course it fascinated them.

On a whim we thought we'd check one last time at the terminal before we handed in our rental car and were stranded.  Good thing we did because the midnight flight had been delayed until 11am Saturday morning.  Oh good!  We won't have to stay the night in the terminal!!  Off to Olive Garden we went for dinner (again, and still not sick of it).  The kids were a little annoyed that we weren't leaving, and a family dinner out was a nice treat for them.  A room was available at base lodging for us again (yay!) so we had an inexpensive, but wonderful place to stay.  Everything seemed to be working out how it needed to... maybe not how we wanted or how we planned, but it was working and we couldn't complain.
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