Ben and I had a GREAT 3 1/2 days together in Seattle. Though we didn't really plan it this way (you can't really plan anything when you're dealing with the military), everything worked out as if we had. Ben's plane from Afghanistan arrived in Seattle (after unexpected long lay-overs in Kuwait, Germany, and Chicago (it took over an entire WEEK of travel)) just a couple of hours before my flight arrived from Las Vegas. Ben was able to meet me at my gate wearing his uniform. Well, more like sneak up on me, grab my butt, and scare me half to death at my gate :) I was expecting to meet him at baggage claim. But the way he choose to do things was much better, and much more surprising.
I didn't bring the Z with me. She stayed in St. George with Honey and Papa and did way better than I expected. She never whined or cried for me. My mom and Ruben said she was really good. In fact you wouldn't have thought she missed me at all though occasionally she would run off announcing, "I go find mama!". And twice on our daily phone talks she said, "Mama, you in Wash-ing-ton?! . . . I miss you." It about broke my heart.
Ben and I stayed just south of Seattle to be a little closer to Ft. Lewis in case he received short notice that he was needed on base. He was only really needed once while I was there, so we had the rest of our time free to ourselves. We ate a lot (Ben REALLY missed America and American food), shopped, saw a movie, shopped some more, slept . . . . On my last morning there we went to Pike's Place Market and had another out of the blue chance encounter with an old friend. This time the friend was Ben's; Bob Caswell - one of Ben's companions from his mission. If we ever make it back there again, who knows who else we might run in to!
Anyway, Ben just has to spend a couple of weeks at Ft. Lewis training the new group of soldiers headed to Afghanistan before he comes home for good! We are so excited.