Back in Benning

Hello everyone…I know it’s been a long, long time since I posted anything. There wasn’t a lot of free time in CBOLC, and to be honest, it wasn’t that interesting, either. Well, at least not for blog material. I did manage to have a lot of fun at Fort Lost-in-the-Woods, Missouri (did you know that Missouri is pronounced ‘Misery’?), despite the fact that we were smack dab in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do. The secret to TDY is doing something fun every weekend so you at least have something to look forward to when death by powerpoint has you down. Once the weather warmed up, we spent time golfing (my new favorite hobby), floating the Big Piney River (slow moving, but still fun), and grilling outdoors. We basically made it one big party on the weekends. So, what could have been a long, slow torturous death turned out to be actually fun, and I was a little sad when I left. I made a lot of really good friends and had a lot of good experiences. I’ll post some pictures here soon so you can see what we spent our time doing. Oh yeah, and I turned our class on to karaoke! Haha, it started out as a one time thing–I asked the class to come along with me one Wednesday night, and it ended up being an every Wednesday tradition. We were famous! Seriously. I had a lady come up to me one night and tell me they talked about me on the radio…she said it was good…

So, as I said, graduation day was a little wistful. Don’t get me wrong, I was glad to be done and ready to get home, but I’m definitely going to miss my good friends and the good times we had together. However, once Ryan and I got on the road headed home, I started to rethink the whole leaving Ft. Leonard Wood thing… Turns out driving to Branson before heading back east towards Ft. Benning is quite a trip. Sigh… Ryan flew into Branson Thursday night before graduation to drive back with me, but because of all the outprocessing tasks and graduation rehearsal, he had to rent a car in Branson and drive himself to FLW. We had hoped we could just drop the car off in FLW, but it was going to be $250 vs $45 to return it! Needless to say, we went with the $45. One good thing out of that 4 hour detour–we had the best barbeque ever at this little restaurant in the smallest town ever. Not sure what the town was, but the restaurant was Danna’s BBQ. I’ll google it. We made it to Memphis by 8pm, so we decided to spend the night there and make a mini-vacation out of it. We stayed at the Comfort Inn on Front Street on the 15th floor with a great view of the pyramid and the bridge. We wanted to eat at my favorite sushi bar, Blue Fin, and the weather was fairly nice, so we decided to hoof it on foot. Maybe a bad idea, but hindsight is 20-20, right? We made several trips around Main Street and Union (if you’re not familiar with that section of Memphis, it’s hard to explain, but while it’s a nice historic section with good shopping and restaurants, it’s also full of homeless and beggars–we got yelled at a lot) before we finally found the restaurant one block up from where we started our circling. However, the sushi was amazing as usual–I got Ryan to try raw octopus (it’s a little chewy if you’re wondering, and yeah, there are suckers on it). Even though we were tired, we weren’t going to miss out on Beale Street since it will be who knows when before we get back in that area. So, off we went again on foot. Luckily, Beale St is NOT hard to find. Ah, the smell…drunken people, barbeque, vomit, rotting food, exhaust, and a hint of something else…indescribibly disgusting, but unique to Memphis. Anyway, we were in search of good blues–we didn’t think it would be hard to find in the home of the blues, but we heard more club music and current hits than blues. Until we hit the end of Beale. And there it was. Right in front of the New Daisy Theater was a man playing the most amazing music with a crowd of people standing around him. He was singing, playing guitar, and playing the drums all at the same time… I took some pictures with my iPhone–I’ll post them soon. He ended his set with a song he played on his homemade guitar. He made it out of two broomsticks, a cigar box, and various odds and ends. It was quite a sight, and Ryan and I weren’t expecting much when he pulled it out and started explaining how he made it. However, we were pleasantly surprised! That was the most amazing sound ever! I bought both his CDs and had him autograph them. After he closed shop for the night, Ryan and I started walking back towards our hotel. Since we had spent so much time walking around earlier, and I had always wanted to take one, we hired a carriage to take us back to the hotel. Of course we picked the patriotic-decorated horse and carriage! The poor horse may have been the ugliest one in Memphis, but she was wearing a feather in her headstall and an American flag was hanging on the carriage. Turns out carriage rides are the greatest way on earth to travel. I could have ridden in that all night! Our driver was so nice, too. She took us on a detour through the oldest park in Memphis and told us a little bit of the history. Then, she pulled us right up to the door of our hotel to let us out and let us take pictures with her horse. Sweet little old lady… Anyway, Ryan and I slept in until about 830 the next morning (very very late for us) and took off on the road around 1000 after a great breakfast. I highly recommend the Comfort Inn on Front Street! We arrived in Fort Benning around 5pm that evening, and stopped for one last dine-out at the very elegant Taco Bell on Victory Drive. (hahaha, you have to know about Victory Drive to understand that one…)

I nearly ran to the door I was so excited to see the dogs. I’m not sure which of us was more excited to see the other, however. They nearly knocked me down! That’s saying a lot, considering they’re a combined height of 48 inches and a combined weight of 30 pounds! It’s good to be home…

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