Justin's Graduation from Basic Training; Columbia, South Carolina (Day 3, 4 & 5)...

Everyone got up on time and was showered and ready to go. The B&B got out of making us breakfast that morning since they do it between 8-10am. They left us donuts and coffee. We hopped in the car and were back at Hilton Field by a little after 8am.

While I made sure I purchased the DVDs for Basic Training and the Graduation, D and Cookie bought themselves breakfast from the food stand. I will make copies of the DVD for Danny and Justin.

For a moment, we were sitting on the wrong side of the bleachers. It wasn’t until I spoke to Danny on the phone that we realized this and moved to the left side. We saved them a seat and he met up with us later. It was D, me, Danny, Trevor, Charlie & Cookie.

It was pretty hard to find him – he was in the back – he said that they ordered them by height.

The graduation was relatively short. They were all lined up and marching in formation. There was an awards ceremony for the outstanding soldiers and drill sergeants. As the graduation was ending, they had the soldiers do a walk by. Later we looked at the video I was recording and it seems that as I panned the crowd, as soon as Justin’s face was in the frame, I started panning the other way. I guess I had trouble seeing him.

Then a mad dash to the barracks having to deal with the traffic jam in the parking lot. We missed the demonstration at the barracks. I guess they did a bit of PT for the parents. Then it was time to sign him out for his overnight pass. Danny took him to the PX for “civilian clothes” and then met us at the B&B. We decided to go for lunch at the Lizard’s Thicket; a southern cooking restaurant. Danny paid the bill without our knowing. Then on to get some ice cream at 31 Flavors. Then to see a movie “Monster Vs. Aliens 3D”. That was pretty good.

We split up at that time – I got to take Justin. We went back to the B&B to relax before dinner. Met back up with Danny at around 7pm at the Motor Supply Company Bistro. That was a nice restaurant with patio seating. We were told by the waitress that the menu changes daily. I had some pasta which was very nice. The temperature was perfect and we had a pleasant dinner all together. Once again, Danny footed the bill. Justin went with his dad and brothers for the rest of the evening. Justin needed to be back at post by 4am.

Saturday was the day that I had planned on leaving. D and Cookie’s bus wasn’t leaving until 7pm. I got a text pretty early in the morning from Justin saying that he was getting another weekend pass. So, I decided that I would stay one more day.

The B&B made us some nice breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and fruit. Then we were off to go pick him up.

He seemed extremely tired and would have liked it if we had a room already for that night, but as it was, we didn’t. We stopped at ZoĆ«’s Kitchen for lunch and then headed to the Riverside Park in West Columbia. Justin took a nap in the car while me, D and Cookie sat by the river. It was a nice day and people were out kayaking and fishing.

When Justin woke up, he told me that Hillary, an old girlfriend, was going to meet us at the park. We had her meet us at the restaurant in the park; The New Orleans Riverfront Restaurant. We had Margaritas and some cheese sticks. D and Cookie joined us after their walk.

Hillary seems like a nice girl, a little abrupt and says what she’s thinking, but I liked her. She came with us to the bus station to drop off D and Cookie. There were concerns about this girl that she delights in Justin’s misbehaviors, but I think it’s really what you would expect from a 19 year old girl.

Justin and I then invited ourselves over to Hillary’s house to meet her parents. On the way we stopped at a couple of hotels and decided on a Holiday Inn Express. Justin took a shower while Hillary and I watched Mr. Deeds.

Then on to Hillary’s parents house. They live in Lexington, SC. They moved here from Washington DC about a month ago and are still unpacking. It was a nice house in an impeccable neighborhood. Elke and Wolfgang were very hospitable and accepted the little invasion with grace.

It was a nice evening of chatting. They are both originally from Germany and have lived all over. He works for the government. They were an extremely nice couple.

Hillary has two pets; a mouse and a rat. They are so cute. She let me hold the rat.

Said our good-byes and headed for the hotel. Later Justin reminded me that he had spent a week living at their house in DC during this whole process of trying to get into the Army.

As soon as Justin's head hit the pillow, he was out. Reminded me of when we went to Florida when he was little. The days were filled from morning til night and as soon as he got to bed, he was sleeping.
However, it didn't work the same for me. Around 11pm or so, there was a bunch of commotion in the hotel, with girls hooting and loud laughs. Around 2am or so, I heard someone trying to use their credit card key in my door. I had to get up and let him know he was at the wrong room. All I kept thinking was they had better not wake this boy up. He was so happy to hear that we were going to set the alarm for 7:30am - he'll be able to sleep in, he told me.

Got up, showered and had our breakfast downstairs. Heard on the news that day that Bea Arthur had passed away and that Swine flu had killed some people in Mexico.

Dropped Justin off at church on the base. He's been going to the Jewish services. Apparently he likes this girl that he goes with.

Then I headed home. Took me a little over 12 hours to get home - with all the stops.


tami said…
You are eloquent writer. I love reading your blog. It's like a phone conversation with you (which I know you hate and I love). I am so glad you were able to go to the graduation and see Justin's transformation. He looks so darn handsome! I was looking through a huge box of old pictures a couple of weeks ago and came across one of Justin when he was about 3 or 4 when you guys were in SC. He is in one of the those little red and yellow cars looking all sweet and innocent. I was visiting Nadeen there for a couple of weeks that summer before I went to college so it was 1990.
Talk to you soon,
baby sister said…
Thank you Tami for your compliment. And just for the record ;)...I hate talking on the phone (at home) because it takes me away from getting things done at home.

I wish you could post that picture. As my mother said - if anything, I brought a very good looking person into the world :)

He would have been 3 in 1990...just before all the $h!t hit the fan.
baby sister said…
I don't mean $h!t with Justin...I mean $h!t with my marriage.
Tami said…
You are welcome. You know me never one to hold back my opinion....
I will look for the picture and scan it in. It's really cute!
tami said…
It's posted on your fb. Enjoy!

Popular Posts