Wednesday, November 5

The travel itch.

"Not all those who wander are lost." -J.R. Tolkien

We were dutiful sea-going-station inhabitants as we put ourselves through an extended work-up cycle, a pushed-back deployment, and compressed work-up cycle again, and then his lil trip to sea. We squeezed in trips where we could and I kept the turtles alive when he did his trips to Fallon where I would hear from him every few days (Fallon has a true O-Club experience...thus the lack of communication). We got a dog, experienced a "family lifestyle," and grew to be home-bodies on the couch with our favorite Jeopardy.

But it's been awhile since we truly went away for a we-have-no-plans trip, like Raleigh (above, and the cute lil French cafe where we enjoyed each other's company and expanded our waist line with a plethora of butter in the croissants!). There's something about impromptu trips, made on a Thursday night, and executed at Noon on a Friday (which takes an early email to the boss - "Yo, you need me this PM?"). Mondays are bitches to miss at work, but sometimes you just have to stop giving a shit.

And to's been years since my Passport's had love and attention. It was 2010 (I think) when my family trekked Eastward, cross the pond, for some English and Scottish beer, landscape, a bit o' family fighting (because what's a vacation without conflict), and plenty of souvenirs (and again, a slight expanding in the waistline thanks to the delectable brew). Mr. Wookie had his own trip to NYC for a handful of days. We separate, experience life, come together, and then plan more trips. Sometimes my family overwhelms him and I just need to soak in more dysfunction to make the heart fonder from farther.

Mama Ging and Castle #427

 Dad, we're leaving you!

Of course there's been some dabbling of vacation when moving from station-to-station, but what fun is it when you stay in some lackluster locations (i.e. Oklahoma City) that wouldn't be your first or fifteenth choices for a night away? I need a triiip to rejuvenate. I need damn-good breakfasts. I need museums, and art galleries, I need skylines, and a cocktail promptly at 5:01pm. I'm on vacation. I require no reason.

And now that we're back in "East Jesus Nowhere" from my family, Beaver Nation (moment of silence for their season this year), and all things "the West Coast is the best coast," it's time to plan our escape from the Navy's Armpit. And I'm thinking quarterly.

The boys are attempting to mount a trip to good ol' West Virginia this winter for skiing, but I'm hesitant on a few concepts. First off, it's West Virginia. Secondly, I'm not exactly a "car trip" person. My limit is 3 hours; unless I'm allowed a wine bottle...then it's 4.5 hours. West Virginia is at least 5 hours; so I'd have to take Thursday, Friday, and Monday to make that a worth-while time investment. Why don't we just go to Chicago?? That's only a couple hours via plane, a Kimpton hotel reservation Downtown, and a PLETHORA of excitement. How's Spring sound? Perfect. BOOM. We're in.

And the remainder of my above thought is that West Virginia barely has hills. I need mountains.

Where else is on our plan for next year??'s a list. You ready??

January: I'll be possibly making the trek back to Oregon for a BABY SHOWER! Yes, Mine. Lolz. No.

February: I'll be whipping up a party as a BRIDESMAID in the Palm Springs area. Hello Temecula wine country, hello. And yes, I'll be staying behind in lovely California for a WEEK while I work from my division's office just 12 miles from the beach.

We're eye-balling the above Chicago trip sometime between February and May.

May: We'll be hosting an invading Mama Ging and Sheriff for a week before they venture off to Chicago themselves while we bust semi-South to Memphis for another country bumpkin-style wedding.

July: Mr. Wookie's BIRTHDAY PARTY!! We be going away! Hopefully...

September: Hello GUVNA! And top of the morning to ya, lass.

Mr. Wookie has also put his name on the list as a "farm out" option to the East Coast deploying squadrons. So should he be joining deployed forces in European and Middle Eastern port calls, I'll be cannon-balling my own vacation plans. I don't need him to be here for a trip; I'll make my own plans. Iowa? Sure! I got a friend living there; I didn't just pull it outta a hat.

I just threw this in a reminder of times a-loggin' mad miles and skinnier jeans a-fittin'. 
What would it take for Mr. Wookie to get NPS in lovely Monterey (which would boost morale tenfold as it looks most like Oregon)? Many things. The aviation pipeline is pretty limited for fun-and-games. They prefer you make the scheduled steps through sea station, then Norfolk for instructing, then a "dis-associated" tour (i.e. it's when a naval aviator is forced to work with...gulp.. the Army, Marines, or Air Force), and yada yada yada. Does he want a Command? Hell-to-the-no. Does he want to have fun with his career in a flying capacity? Yup.

I would give almost anything to be back in this great state; minus my income. I mean, I could probably find something comparable in project. But what about the EXTREME LAZINESS I have of working from home now?? This gig is legit and hard to beat. I can Google vacation destinations, respond to my family, keep up with my sales calls, orders, and customers, all while sipping on some coffee and wearing pajamas.

But a move back to the PacNW would provide much more weekend entertainment for us, beyond the sniveling at the windows as the lack of terrain brings a depressive state to our home. I've come to realize that I love where we live in Norfolk and the amenities our DINKdom requires, there's just not much entertainment here to suffice our needs. 

So we need to get out. It makes perfect sense of why people choose this duty station. It's proximity to all-things-historic-and-awesome. As mentioned above, we've made the trek to Raleigh, to his dad's in Asheville (just not the Biltmore yet), D.C. likes it's going out of style, Ocracoke, Charlottesville during our first visit to the 757. But now that we're back, it's time to cross more off the list: Baltimore, Pax River (for friends), Savannah (I'll bring 2 bottles of wine on the drive), NYC, Boston, PHILLAY (and the Mudder Museum), and across the Pond as we have English and French connections to a great time.

I like my vacation a mix of I'm-not-moving-from-this-lounge-chair and yes-please-refill-my-drink to cultural and educational enlightment! Whale's Vagina has beaches and Balboa Park, Charleston has Downtown and Ft. Sumter, D.C. has Russia House in Dupont and the Mall, Nashville has Downtown and Downtown (lolz), Pensacola has beaches and inbreds, Vegas has the Strip and the Nuclear Museum...and so on and so on.

All this West Coast camping supplies, and no hills to entertain us.

Help me, Obi Wan Wookie. You're my only hope. Put in that leave chit. And let's travel some more. Yes.

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