Buses start running for graduation at 7:15am, and after the crowded bleachers yesterday, we knew we wanted to be on the first bus. But an accident and the traffic made us a little late - we didn't arrive on base until 7:15. (It is amazing to me that there are not a LOT more accidents, the roads here are insane!) We drove past the parade field and there was a ton of parking available, so we decided to skip the bus and just park at the field. It filled in quick, we just happened to get there before it did.
It was windy and cold, not at all what we expected of Texas in April. The gift shops and stands were selling out of hoodies as fast as they could put them out.
There was a large variety of dress, but most of the women, especially the wives and girlfriends, had dressed up in pretty dresses and heels. There were a lot of people in jeans too.
After the ceremony it was a mob. It took us awhile to get through the crowd to our son. We snapped a few pics, then went to the dorm to see where he had lived for the past 9 weeks, and to see his nicely made bed! :-)
Luke was the laundry chief. I was surprised to see that he did the laundry for 50 guys with just these regular sized washer and dryers!
The area with the picnic tables is the "patio" where the guys made their phone call home most Sunday evenings.
At this point Luke was able to give us the photos he had ordered. He spent $70 on photos. Around $26 of that was for 2 5x7's of himself, and one large flight photo. The biggest expense was the cd. He hasn't seen what is on the cd yet, we will look at them on the hotel computer tomorrow. Note - the flight photo included a roster, but it did not have the boys listed in the order they are standing in the photo. We had Luke list off who was who while he was with us, so I could label the photo when we got home.
At 11:10 the boys were told to get out. Their off base leave began at 11:15.
The ceiling at Mi Tierra
A small part of the bakery counter at Mi Tierra
another part of the ceiling at Mi Tierra
We headed to Mi Tierra, parking in a lot on Pecan street for just $5 for the day. Mi Tierras came highly recommended, and it is a fun place. http://mitierracafe.com/
We walked through a bit of fiesta, but the people spilling beer and waving bbq , turkey legs around made us nervous - the airmen need to keep their dress blues immaculate.
From there we went to the riverwalk. We just walked and talked, stopping to sit a few places along the way. We toured the Alamo, and sat on the benches there to talk some more. He was obviously more tired today than yesterday.
We returned to the riverwalk intending to take the boat tour, but the line was sooooooo long, we decided we had seen enough, and headed towards our hotel, planning to go to a whataburger for supper. We found one near our hotel, which was on prue st, and it was almost empty. After constant crowds, this was a great choice for us. It was quiet and relaxed.
At our hotel we skyped and called home - we had arranged in advance for our kids to be at their grandparents house, so we could skype with all of them at once.
Going back to base today was easier - we went to the valley hi gate and it was a faster entrance for us. Luke had to show his id to return to the base, along with our id & passes. The drop off was the same as yesterday.
Make sure your airman has his id ready at the gate
Make sure you know where you will meet your airman the next morning
Pack a small lint brush & tide to go stick in your car, so your airman can keep his blues clean