Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to drive to the beach to spend the day with one of my best friends and it was one of the most relaxing days I've had since I've been here. I was about to take her dog to the dog beach while she was in Physical Therapy, got some reading done, and we even baked cookies! They don't look like much, and it'll probably take a couple of more attempts to make them look perfect and presentable but it was a lot of fun making them.
Our trip out to California served two purposes, to reunite with friends and family that we have been missing, and to say final goodbyes before we head off to Germany. The hardest part about saying goodbye this time is that we wont know how true the statement, "I'll see you soon" will be. We have no idea when the next time we'll be able to come home. We think it'll be about a year but depending on if and when Matthew deploys, that can all change.
Today I said goodbye to Nicole for the last time until we return again and it's making me realize how much everything is going to change once we leave. Even when we were in Georgia, two $500 tickets could bring us home to visit and the it is only a 5 hour flight. While in Germany, to get home the ticket prices will triple and it will take literally 12 hours in the air to get to California. We lose our cell phones once we get to Germany so say goodbye to texting friends from home or receiving pictures via text message from my brother of the kids. There will be a period of time before we make friends in Germany where it will seem so solitary without a connection to the world back home. I am very much looking forward to the experience and such in Germany but not looking forward to leaving everything and everyone that I am familiar with and comfortable with, behind.