If I had to create a ranked list of my favorite things in the entire world, spending time with my husband and traveling would easily take the top two spots. So the only thing that could be better than spending time with my husband or traveling would be traveling to spend time with him! Anyone in a long distance relationship/marriage will know that there isn’t a feeling on Earth that compares to traveling to your loved one once again (except, of course, actually having them back in your arms after ages apart) – and that’s exactly what I did! Over-the-moon would be an understatement in describing how I felt this past weekend.
It began not very glamorously with a 3:30 am alarm going off. I was exhausted to say the least, but the excitement quickly replaced my crankiness as it finally was becoming real. Even though Tim and I had seen each other just a few weeks prior, the last couple have been a little more difficult than I’d anticipated. So being reunited once again was the sweetest of rewards after enduring quite the crap fest recently. I quickly got out of bed, finished up my packing and last minute to-do’s, and lugged my suitcase out to the car. By the time we arrived at the airport, it was closer to 4:30, and I foolishly anticipated for it to somewhat resemble a ghost town. Boy, was I so totally wrong. CVG was a madhouse even before 5 am, but I fortunately made it to my gate with time to spare.
The nerves and excitement grew more and more as the hours slowly – painfully so – passed but before long (and before 10 am), I had arrived safely at my destination. Rather promptly, I was checked in to my room (endless shout outs to the incredible hotel staff who let me check in early), where I was able to go back to bed for a few hours and awake resembling an actual human being. At around 4:45 that evening, I got a call from my love asking my room number, and shortly thereafter, there was a knock at my door. Nothing in this world will ever rival how whole I feel when his arms are wrapped around me after what seems like forever apart. That little moment alone makes every moment I spent away from him worth it all. The first evening was nice; quiet and intimate and relaxing. He showed me around the area a little bit – specifically the mall that he and his friends hate but I thought had all the essentials – and we embarked on an unanticipated walk back to the hotel vs. another cab ride (I surprised myself and ended up loving that, too; now I’m thoroughly convinced I’d be content doing anything as long as I was with Tim). It was nice since I’d never actually gotten to see the town itself – the last time I’d been was for Tim’s last graduation ceremony, and he wasn’t allowed off base at the time. We concluded the first night with Harry Potter and last minute pizza in bed, which actually ended up being totally and completely perfect by my standards.
The next morning, we woke up early to go get our rental car – I’ve never had to use them much before, but taxis are absolutely terrible, so I was beyond thankful that we went that route. I was also able to meet the friends Tim has made so far, too, and that was a blessing in itself. Believe me when I say that I’ve heard some horror stories about roommates, but I can wholeheartedly say I’m elated with who my husband has surrounded himself with along the way. Saturday was spent exploring the Independence Mall in Wilmington – that place was massive, with stores I’d never even heard of – and we found an indoor trampoline park called DefyGravity. Have you ever heard of or been to a place like that?! It was freaking awesome, activities and games and challenges in every room; the boys were far more adventurous than myself, but any room’s floor that is made up entirely of trampolines is a good time to me.
Sunday we went to the beach! Emerald Isle to be exact. I am so not usually a beach kind of girl – I
really hate sand – but it seemed appropriate for the area and it has been a long time since I’ve been to one (our honeymoon was probably the last I’d visited a beach and that already seems like an entire lifetime ago). The weather was very beach appropriate, too, and I was introduced to more new people from this part of Tim’s world. He’s a very good judge of character evidently, because I was more than happy with the people I met in my time there. Plus, salt water curls are the best possible curls, so I somehow left with better hair than I’d gone there with. It was a nice crowd, good drinks, beautiful area/water, awesome pier, and an overall wonderful experience.
Monday came quicker than I was prepared for, but I wasn’t going to let myself get down about leaving just yet. It was rather laid back; we went out to eat and went to see Neighbors 2 – AWESOME movie, by the way. We went adventuring through town, as well; just got in the rental car and went. We didn’t get terribly far, of course (Jacksonville is a small town with not a whole lot going on), but it was a good time regardless. Even doing absolutely nothing with him is a million times more fun than anything I could get into on my own. We went back to our hotel, drew a bath, and we both had our first experience with a bath bomb, which I rate 5+ stars, hands down. I’d picked up this little beauty – appropriately called Sexbomb by Lush Cosmetics – on my latest visit to Kenwood, and waited to use it until we were together again (yeah, we’re lame like that). I’d never used anything like this before, and a combination of the fizziness and the scents and the soothing botanicals made it something I intend on bringing into my regular routine. Despite the water being turned completely pink, I even had a hard time getting Tim out of the tub. We came out smelling absolutely beautiful and my skin was probably the softest I’d ever felt it! Definitely adding this one to my arsenal.
Not only was Monday one of the days I got to spend with my love, but it was also Memorial Day
and the anniversary of the day my dad earned his angel wings. Not the most cheerful of days for those reasons, but one that deserves its rightful recognition for them all the same. I can say it’s a new experience actually being in a military town on a holiday such as this one, but it definitely opens my eyes to its significance more than I may have realized previously. Not so much a holiday I’d spend “celebrating”, but one we all need to spend remembering that the freedom does not come free, and that some paid the ultimate price for it. I have a new, greater understanding of this holiday now that I have someone (incredibly) close to me in the service, and it strikes a new cord that it didn’t in prior years. I will never take a moment of this life I live for granted because there are many who gave up the last of theirs for me to do so. It’s also mind-blowing to me that my father’s been gone for 12 years now – that’s over half of my life. Especially in how crazy and momentous the past year of my life alone has been, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish he was here to be a part in person, though I know he’s always watching over me in spirit. I work hard every day not only for me, but to make him proud in all that I do, too. Getting to be with Tim on this day helped lessen that blow, too.
Tuesday was a rough one. The day we’d both been dreading, the gray cloud constantly looming over my otherwise perfect weekend that came and went in a flash; the day I was going back home. We made the best of what we could, ran some last minute errands, ate at a restaurant that was new to us both. The storm that had been threatening my weekend with Tim finally gave way and torrential down poured on us almost right at the end. We said our “see you laters”. He cried (not sure he’s willing to admit that). I cried. It totally sucked all over again. We’ve done the “until next time” thing for what feels like a million times over now, yet even after we’d spent a month together, or shorter periods like this most wonderful weekend, it still hurts just as much if not more than the day I sent him off to boot camp. Once I calm down and the tears stop (for the moment), I always remind myself that the distance between us is temporary – he is my forever – and that every parting brings us closer to the next time we will be together again. So I start my next countdown to whenever it is I will be back in his arms and somehow resume life as normal until then.
Until next time, my love. Home truly is wherever I’m with you.