Sunday, August 31, 2008

On Friday, Beth took me to the airport (thanks Beth) and got there in plenty of time for my flight to Miami. I took one of those small planes down to Miami and they had weather when we were getting ready to land, so we circled once and then came down-no big deal, but I was worried about later when I had to take off for Curacao, if there were going to be a bunch of delays because of weather. I tried to sit patiently in the airport reading magazines for 3 hours. I sat exactly where we sat when we were leaving on our sailboat cruise and got the same pizza hut cheese pizza that I got that day (well, hopefully it wasn't the SAME exact pizza!). I tried to watch the news with no sound about the hurricanes and about John McCain picking his running mate. I have email set up on my phone right now, so I was able to get emails from Dustin (they come through like text messages that I can type and respond to his email address). He told me they were there and safe and he was hoping to get off the ship around 2 PM. I was so wishing I was already there! He said he was going to check into our room (which he had to switch because of construction nearby and wet carpet smell). I finally boarded the 737 that took me to Curacao. I had a whole row to myself, so I layed down and took a nap the WHOLE flight....no magazines, nothing to drink, just slept! When I awoke, I found the customs info I had to fill out lying on my stomach!



So, I filled that out and we landed at about 7:30. It was dark and I couldn't tell much about Curacao yet. I realized when I went to turn my phone on, that Dustin didn't have his phone and I was just hoping he would be there when I came out, or I didn't know what I would do. I went through customs (first time to do that by myself), got my luggage, and went through another checkpoint and it filtered us straight outside! What the heck? All the taxi drivers were there and a bunch of people waiting, but I didn't see Dustin! Then, I turned the corner and there he was, cuter than ever! He was smiling really big and I ran up and gave him a huge hug and kiss. It was funny that being married over 4 years, and not seeing each other for 30 days, we reverted right back to that moment in October of 2001 when he visited me for the first time (after meeting in Dec of 1999). We were kind of awkwardly hugging and kissing, but so excited to be by each others sides. Being the sweet guy he is, he told me how beautiful I looked and that I looked skinnier than when he left (it's true because I've been eating less and drinking less wine without him around).



The cabbie that took Dustin to the airport, for some reason, wanted to stay around with him for over an hour before I arrived, so we took the same cab back to the hotel, got to call my Dad from his cell phone (that was nice) just to tell him I was safe. For some reason, in the 2 weeks with Tropical Storm Fay and me traveling alone, my Dad has turned into a worry wart! I love ya DAD!



We got to the Marriot and Dustin showed me our room that is RIGHT beside the pool. (I am sitting on our patio about 20 feet from the pool right now typing this, even though they said the wireless internet does not work in the rooms.) The pool looks right out over the ocean. We have a sliver of an ocean view from our room. The beach is nice and it curves around a bit around the resort. It's funny, because like Dustin said, we were so concentrated on being excited about seeing each other, we didn't really think about the fact that people plan for years to come to this resort on vacation, and we planned ours less than a month ago. We only had to pay for airfare for one also!



Oh my gosh, there are HUGE lizards here and one just came scurrying up the mulch by our patio and almost hopped right onto my feet! Yuck! I'm used the small ones in Jacksonville, but these are huge, some of them over a foot long!



We ate dinner when got back to the hotel at one of the hotel bars and had some yummy calamari and ahi tuna. We had our first glass of wine together in 30 days, so that was nice! We then hung out around the pool for awhile. We had so much to tell each other; we were cutting each other off left and right, and we were so happy there wasn't a delay in the communication like the phone calls have. We showed each other pictures from our cameras and he gave me a shot glass he bought in Panama and a really pretty real emerald necklace he bought me in Colombia. I felt pretty lame, but I gave him some new workout shorts that I bought him because he said he didn't have enough. I also brought him our old showerhead that he asked for at the last minute because he wants to replace the one on the ship! We went to bed around midnight that night.

Yesterday was really fun. We had an expensive breakfast buffet at Portofino, a restaurant at our resort. It was pretty good though. It felt weird eating a breakfast buffet with only two people at our table (it seemed as though we were waiting for Walt, Judy, Shelley, Alan, Travis, and Robin to join us like it was on our sailboat cruise!)

We then went to get towels and head for the beach for awhile, when we ran into a few of Dustin's shipmates. That was funny to see them. We picked an awesome spot on the beach where the breeze was strong (otherwise it is HOT!!!) We had ocean on three sides of us and it was beautiful. We hung out there for awhile and took pictures (we'll send them when we get back). Dustin signed up for his diving and then we got a drink at this cute hut bar called the Boardroom where we sat on a double swing. Then, we came back and headed for the pool. We were tring to get in some shade in the water when somebody tried swimming through Dustin's legs......the same shipmates we saw before. So, we hung out with them in the pool while they told me drunken stories (of the past, but they could have been drunk telling them also). We swam up to the bar where the barstools were under the water and got another drink. I LOVE those kind of bars! Then, we went to the hotel casino and played blackjack for awhile (like Vegas, you get free drinks while you play). Those ended up being expensive drinks, because our luck was not with us YET!

As we were exiting the casino, we ran into Dustin's captain and XO (the two most important people on his ship). They came over to us and welcomed me; they are both really nice. They invited us to a wetting down which means somebody on the ship made rank (got a promotion), so that person has to buy the other shipmates drinks for three hours. We will probably go there tomorrow evening. I'm planning on asking them if Dustin can stay the last night with me in the hotel instead of having to report back on the ship at midnight the last night we can spend together! We'll see how it goes; I'll have to practice batting my eyelashes.....maybe I'll get fake eyelashes! Just kidding!

Anyway, this is getting long, hopefully none of you have anything to do but read this blog.....last night Dustin made a reservation at a Brazilian place where they come serve you ungodly amounts of meat and there's a buffet of other side foods. We had been to one in Jville and it was awesome, but this wasn't so much. It pretty much sucked! I'm not a huge meat person anyway, but wanted to go because Dustin wanted to go. He agreed it sucked! The meat was not tender at all and there wasn't even any filet mignon! Basically, I paid $28 for very good potato salad! We also ordered a bottle of B and G Merlot, so that was cool! Speaking of cool, that's exactly what the surroundings were NOT! We were sweating profusely the whole time we were eating because it was outside and there was no breeze where we were sitting!

After dinner, we walked to his ship and took some pictures and then took a free shuttle for the sailors back to the Marriot. We wanted to go out dancing, but our stomachs were so full of nasty meat that we just fell asleep watching TV. Pretty lame, I know, but the rest of the day was packed full of fun, so we were tired.

Ok, so I waited to finish this blog until Dustin was back from diving and he is safely back and had fun. He went on one with a bunch of cars that fell off of a ferry along time ago. He said it was cool and he saw a lot of stuff. After his return, we had lunch at the Boardroom and drank some margaritas with some of his shipmates. We got in the water a little bit and now we are back at the room deciding what to do next. We think we are gonna head to a happy hour at Mambo beach with some of his shipmates. They are all a lot of fun.

Happy Anniversary today to Travis and Robin, Jeff and Kendra, and Tony and Asta! We are having a toast for you guys tonight! I think all you guys were married on the same exact day in 2002, so that's awesome! Also, I waited to publish this blog and send the email until Dustin was safely back from diving because I knew some of you would worry. (Becky and my Dad) We love you guys and our thoughts are with those of you worrying about Gustav and Hanna storms. We have no worries out there though; no rain in days according to the locals despite all the Carribean storms. They say here in the southern Carribean, we are safe from the hurricane belt! We miss you all and thanks for reading my blog.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm off tomorrow to see Dustin and I canNOT wait! I'm getting ready to go to bed soon if I can sleep! We've been following Gustav, the tropical storm and we are clear of it. We'll see what tropical storm Hanna has in store for Florida. Hopefully I will time my travel perfectly and not hit any of it. I've become a weather channel addict though; even tracking longitude and latitude on our map!!! I talked to my parents tonight and they sounded worried, but it's all going to be fine. They don't like that I am traveling alone to a small island like that.

Half of my suitcase is Dustin's stuff that I am bringing for him, like more workout clothes, sunscreen, more phone cards, dress clothes, and TOILET PAPER! He's a girl like that and needs nice soft toilet paper :)

I got done with Team in Training practice, came home, ran some leftovers over to Amber and Stuart, came back and ate dinner, showered, did my paperwork and put it in the mail to four different offices, caught up on emails, and now I'm gonna do some dumbell work before I go to bed to tire myself out!

I will try to update this if we have internet access in Curacao!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

So, Tropical Storm Fay has finally left us! It was pretty bad on Thursday with high winds and LOTS of rain! A bunch of places in Jacksonville flooded, but we were lucky where we are. A lot of people were without electricity, but thankfully, ours just flickered a few times. I don't know what I would have done if I wouldn't have been able to use the computer or watch the Olympics! I saw a few patients each day (wed-fri it was raining constantly), but I still was going stir crazy, because I couldn't get outside to run, bike, or even walk! Yesterday on Saturday was the first time I saw sunshine since Tuesday! My body was definitely Vit D depleted! It felt good to get out and run yesterday and then I went to our friends poker party to raise more money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. On Friday night, Amber and Stuart and I went bowling at Beach Bowl, where Richard and Beth were bartending, so that was fun!

So, while Tropical Storm Fay was coming our way, Dustin was still out on his Colombian ship with no email or phone. I just had to forget all about him, or I would worry about him. Apparently he was worrying about me though, because the Colombians let him use their emergency phone on Wed night to call me to make sure I was okay, but we were only able to talk for 2 minutes! The storm wasn't that bad yet at that time. Then, he called me on Thursday evening to tell me he was back on the US ship-thank goodness! It was good to hear his voice and know that he was safe. I still don't really understand why he went, but it's over now. He told me he rode in a helicopter down pretty close the water (glad I didn't know that ahead of time) and that he got to see how a different navy operated and brushed up on his Spanish. I guess he will be sending an email soon with pictures from that excursion.

He sent me this one about his schedule:
My schedule is like this. We are 4 section and there are 5 watches. 7am-12pm, 12pm—5pm, 5pm-10pm, 10pm-2am, 2am-7amSunday the 2-7 is actually 3-8 because breakfast is later. So tonight I have the 3-8 then tomorrow evening I have the 10pm-2am. Then the next day is 5pm-10pm and so forth. That will be hard to get used to. I was the conning officer today and we practiced man overboard drills so that was cool. They throw a human size dummy overboard and we have to bring the ship around as fast as possible and pull up real close and stop. It’s harder than it sounds, but pretty fun. Ok, gotta go to sleep. We’re back on your time zone now. It’s 9:14 so I’ll only get about 4 and a ½ hours of sleep. I will try to call you tomorrow. The phones were still not working today when I tried, but that was before dinner, so I’m hoping tomorrow it will be fine or else there will be a lot of people complaining.

He did get to call me earlier today and told me that they were doing a swim call, where they get to jump in the ocean for 10 minutes and swim around, so he was excited about that. Then, they are having a poker tournament to raise money for something tonight. So, it sounds like he is being entertained!

Also, I'm going to meet up with him next Friday and I can't wait. He did get leave approved for the whole time I am there, but the bad thing is that he has to be back on the ship at midnight the night before I leave, so that sucks! Maybe when I get there, I can sweet talk the captain into letting Dustin spend the night with me instead of on the ship! We'll see! We don't really have any plans for the trip yet, but there is a casino in the hotel, so I'm sure we will be hitting that! We will also be sharing a lot of pictures with each other that we have been taking over the last month. I'm hoping they have wireless internet in the hotel, so I can put a little update on this blog and check my email and all that.

Ok, gotta go watch the last day of Olympics now! I can't believe they are already over. I don't know what I'm gonna do with myself now! Hopefully I'll get to write in the blog more.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

So, most of you have been getting Dustin's emails with his pictures of his Carribean cruise and his excursions! He is heading off on another "excursion" that I'm not that excited about. He tells me that it is an awesome experience and that others have done it and suggested it to him. So, basically, he is boarding a Columbian war ship for over a week! He gets to see how other countries operate and I guess it's more laid back than the US! The bad thing is that he will probably not have any access to phone or email. I am used to him emailing me short emails everyday and calling me every couple of days. I guess I am spoiled because that's usually not what happens on deployments. But, I have been happy to know that he is safe everyday and now I will not know that, so that sucks!

I will be keeping super busy with work, trainings, going out, kayaking, BBQs, Jaguar Games, and fundraisers (and that only takes me through Sunday), so hopefully I won't have too much time to worry about him. I'm not usually a worrier, so I think I'll be okay. I just hope he has fun and learns something (like how he needs to be on a ship with email).

Okay, well, gotta go watch the Olympics now! I am recording them during the day and staying up late watching the prime time coverage and it's tiring me out! I sure wish I would have been able to qualify for the olympics in something! That would be so awesome!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I had another great day today! I've been keeping so busy, but I love it! However, yesterday was not so great of a day.....it was "all technology fails Angie" day and it started early in the morning. I got up for a run around the neighborhood and I turned the computer on first thing because I wanted to see if Dustin emailed me (I'm constantly checking it like a little girl with her very first boyfriend). My gmail account was not working; it wouldn't pull up the emails. What was really frustrating was that I could see that I had emails from him, but when I would click on my Inbox, it just kept saying "redirecting." I thought it was a server problem because all the other websites I clicked on were fine, so I decided it would take a little time and be fine. So, I went on my run around the neighborhood (a pretty hard workout with sprint intervals-but only 3 miles). When I got back, still no luck with the gmail, so I called Amber and asked if she could try logging into my email on her computer to see if it was just my computer. So, she did and she got in no problem, so I ran over to her house like a little girl again and checked my email. Then, I came back and lifted some weights and got ready for work and figured I would try to access it again. Still no luck. Now, I was mad! I was mad at myself for not being able to figure it out. I was mad at myself for possibly doing something that screwed it up. I was mad at myself that I was this freakin addicted to email (I do use it a lot for communication with Team in Training and planning social events too). I seriously couldn't function without it; it was weird. So, I pushed my patients back and I called my computer nerd friend, Tony. He talked me through a bunch of stuff and none of it worked. He finally told me to try to go to Tools and Internet Options, and to delete my temporary internet files and that worked! I was so happy; I had my life back....how awful is that? :)



Then, I got in my car to go see patients and my navigation system wouldn't work; it didn't like me either. Apparently my computer told it to conspire against me. I figured out my way to this new patients house and did just fine......it ended up working later in the day.



I saw a few patients and then had to rush home for a conference call about Nations Triathlon so I could inform my participants about changes. That lasted for about an hour and suprisingly, my phone worked the whole time! Then, I decided at the last minute to go to a spin class (run by this older woman with a raspy voice and she kicked my butt-it was hard!) After lifting some weights afterwards, soaking in the hot tub, lying in the sauna, and showering in the spa like shower (this is a new YMCA in our area that is the bomb!), I drove to Melting Pot.



It was supposed to be girls night with a few girls, but no one was able to make it except for Kathy, which I'm so glad she didn't ditch me! It was a lot of fun though; we talked mainly about triathlons (she's doing Ironman Florida in Nov-her first IM) and about Dustin and her boyfriend Andre who works for Ironman. She also told me that she grew up with Sarah Haskins who is competing in the olympics in triathlon on August17th at 10 PM, so mark your calendars. Did I mention that Kathy and Sarah are both from St. Louis! How cool is that? She said that Sarah used to tell people as a little girl that she was going to the Olympics and now she really is. I was already excited about the Olympics starting on the 8th, but now I am super excited!



We had an awesome fondue dinner and I was stuffed when I returned home, so all I wanted to do was lie on the couch and watch TV (something I've been limiting myself from doing too much of). I turn on the TV, and apparently, the computer and my navigation system invited the TV to conspire against me as well! The volume would not work and I didn't do anything differently, the mute button was not on. The volume wouldn't work for the speaker or the TV. It tried changing the channel, turning everything off and on. Finally, I guess I turned everything off and on in the correct order because it blasted me out! I was glad I somehow fixed it, but I was ready for the technology difficulties to be over. Man!



So, as far as Dustin news.....most of you who would be reading this blog got an email from him with pictures attached of the ship and the rainbow, so that was cool. He also talked about how he survived the pepper spray, but his wakeboarding tshirt was ruined, so that sucked. He tried calling me on Saturday night and I must have been in the bathroom of the restaurant and didn't hear it, so that was sad. He said he tried calling later but couldn't get a line out from the ship. He did call yesterday though and there was a delay again, so that was frustrating, but he sounded good.

Here's an excerpt from one of his emails:
Last night I had Italian Sausage with grilled onions and peppers and a crabcake….yeah I know, a weird combo. I pretty much get to pick from 2 entrees and a few sides, and usually soup. So it’s usually random shit that ends up on my plate. I try to have a salad most of the time, but I found out right away that there was more fat in Balsamic Vinaigrette than in Ranch! What the fuck, I knew it tasted too good, so I’ve switched to Fat Free Italian when it’s available. The other day we had a steel beach picnic. That’s where we pull the grill out on the flight deck and grill up. I will send pics in the mass email. I also went fishing off the fantail (the back), but no one caught anything. There were about 15 poles in the water for a few hours and no bites or anything.

He also told me about how they sent some stuff out in the ocean and blew it up with a bunch of guns. He was way more technical than that and he was way more impressed with it than I am. I kind of think it's a waste sometimes, but again, that's why I'm not in the Navy. I will support him in everything he does though (at least I will try).

So, I guess I haven't written in here about my for sure plans to fly to Curacao to meet him at the end of the month! I'm so excited! Then, in October, right before they pull in to Jax, they are stopping in Port Everglades and Becky, Ken, and I are going to board the ship, spend the night and ride it into Jacksonville the next day! How exciting! So, this Navy stuff really isn't that bad. It was funny on Friday when my friends had a "pity party" for me because they were saying things like, wow! you GET to go to Curacao, you GET to ride on the Navy ship, you GET to see him in less than a month; needless to say, there wasn't much pitying going on and that's fine, because I didn't need it anyway, but I did need a fun night out and that's what they gave me! Thanks guys!

Well, this was a long one, but hopefully it caught me up for a few days anyway.