Being a military family, we tend to move and travel a lot. As I stated in my military.com profile, I'm the weirdo that likes to PCS.
That's not a lie, I really do enjoy moving. Well, not the packing/unpacking/cleaning part. But definitely the "getting there" part and the "living in a new place" part. Since we go home to see family on vacations, it seems to me like the different stationings are more like paid working vacations where we are exposed to new things that we would not otherwise be able to do if we were stuck in one place our entire lives. [Note to the Air Force - I would TOTALLY love to hit that assignment in Bulgaria, mkay? Just so you know.] And we make it a point to stop and see the sights on the way to wherever our new station happens to be.
But, inevitably, even on the shortest trips I take a Comedy of Errors will spring up to meet me. Like the PCS where we had to drive through Wyoming and ran out of diapers between truck stops on the I-80. Ever seen how far apart Wyoming truck stops are? Right. Hubby lost a good sweater on that go-round. Some things are just not worth cleaning.
Then there was the time our brand new minivan decided to blow some plug or another on the I-10 in New Mexico between El Paso and Los Cruces. I firmly believe that this would not have happened if we hadn't been trying to drive to California in July. Here's a quick tip - just because you have a cell phone doesn't mean it will work.
Speaking of desert areas, did you know that if you stay in a hotel in Salt Lake City in May, the bugs can actually make it into your room through the air conditioning system? That was definitely interesting. For some reason hubby had left mosquito netting from one of his Field Training Exercises in the car and we used that.
And PCS season isn't the only time the Evil Travel Fairies (the cousins of the Filth Fairies) strike. You don't even want to know about the trip coming back from Los Angeles where Midwest Airlines bumped us, took nearly seven hours of no food and sitting in an airport terminal with four children and a dog to find us another flight, and then managed to "tag" my ticket because my name is apparently close to someone on the terrorist watch list. The extreme look of horror on my face as I came through the metal detector to see a woman snapping on a rubber glove and smirking at me was apparently priceless.
Then there was my recent trip with the Spousebuzz crew to Ft. Hood Texas. First of all, a confluence of events prior to my departure had me unable to sleep the night before. Due to the East Coast/West Coast time difference, I had to try and time an emergency call to my Mother-in-Law's doctor as I was boarding the plane. The doctor couldn't hear me on the cell phone, so I had to yell - and the entire plane was treated to an update of my MIL's issues with Alzheimer's-like dementia and the fact that we had to plan a strategy for conservatorship.
Then the plane was late taking off. My exhaustion got the better of me and I fell asleep while reading a Daniel Silva novel. To my horror, when I woke up I realized that I had been snoring and drooling like a one year old getting in molars. The man sitting next to me had squeezed himself into the furthest corner of his seat in an attempt to escape. That poor man. I would like to think that my arms stayed on their side of the seat, but I have a sneaking suspicion (held up by the evidence) that I spread myself around.
Of course, my bags did not make it to Killeen when I did. And I couldn't even be mad about that, as the agents told me that the reason bags were arriving late was because of the deployments out of Ft. Hood - civilian bags being bumped so army equipment could make it in. Besides, there was an excuse to go shopping (the first thing I did upon arrival) for clothes to wear to the SpouseBuzz Expo.
I would have to add, at this point, that probably our most humiliating travel experience was moving from San Angelo to San Antonio and having my 18 month old #2 daughter scream "SHUT UP!" every time my mother tried to talk in the car. Luckily, my daughter didn't enunciate very well, and my mother kept asking, "Is she telling me to shut up?" I kept replying, "I don't think so..."
And our best PCS travel experience was visiting the Oklahoma City Memorial. It's powerful stuff, so powerful that my then 4 year old daughter #3 was even awestruck.
So far, though, we haven't run into the same travel issues twice. I don't know whether to be relieved or scared.