While today is Labor Day (and the beginning of September), I've been celebrating and having my own little vacation since Thursday!
Disclaimer: This contains ALOT of pictures and is long. Stay with me!!
This is the first road trip/vacation Blake and I have had and it did not disappoint. So great that I can't wait for our next one coming up in 3 weeks :)
Our long and lack of sleep days began on Thursday morning with Blake getting promoted 2 months early! It was very exciting to see all of the other airmen getting promoted that day and Blake getting recognized for his achievements. He makes me so proud!
Excuse the poor picture quality. iPhone and fast movement don't exactly mix well.
After his little ceremony I hung out at the Starbucks in the BX while Blake finished up work and by noon we were on our adventure to Fort Benning. One of Blake's friends from high school was graduating from basic training so we decided to make a little hop, skip, and a jump over to Georgia for his ceremony. I have to say, Fort Benning has got to be the most confusing post directional wise that I've seen. Even though I've only been on a handful of them, I thought Eglin was confusing and huge, but not enough to where Fort Benning has it's own highway system. BUT, the entire post itself was extremely pretty.
Once getting on post (and getting lost for an hour) we met up with Blake's friend Kyle and his family to grab something to eat before he had to report back to his barracks. But of course the two goons weren't together for 30 seconds before all of the smack talking took place. These two haven't been together since our wedding in March so they like to think about it as catching up on old times. Haha. Men.
After Kyle had to report back, we stayed with his family that night in a cabin they rent right outside of post. Not only was this place super adorable, but the scene was right out of a horror movie. While we were driving there, in the dark mind you, I told Blake "so this is where they murder us, right?" And I honestly thought that throughout the night. Not his family, because they were super sweet people, but just that someone was going to come out of the woods and murder us. Hey, it could happen! I watch Criminal Minds!
On Friday, I forgot that for military graduations that the families like to be there super early so that they don't miss anything and can get a good seat. We had to be at the ceremony grounds at 7:30, which ended up being 6:30 central time, which meant Lauren getting rare amounts of sleep that night. Joy. Sweet, sweet joy.
The graduation itself was pretty interesting. It was held at a museum just outside of the post that I wish I got to actually go in and wander around (nerd life). It was kinda similar to the Air Force graduation in that they say their creed, they march in, they march out, and then they get dismissed to their families. What was cool about it was their super awesome band and they actually described each member of their team would do for the Infantry.
Once we met up with Kyle, we headed out to lunch before we hit the road to Atlanta for the Alabama game we were going to the next day. I was super happy that we got to see Kyle graduate from basic training, and Kyle made it well known how much he appreciated us being there for him. He's such a sweet guy.
After lunch and packing up all of our stuff from the cabin, we headed out to Loganville to stay with my Aunt and Uncle who live out there. You know my cousin Jordan that I talked about here? (Check him out on YouTube too!) Well this is his family that we got to stay with since they are closer to Atlanta and we got to save money by not staying at a hotel. I absolutely love seeing my family whenever I get the chance. Especially this family since I don't get to see them so often. And they're just super fun too :)
All we did was hang out with them Friday night and talked until we were too tired to make any coherent words. Even though we only got to see them for a few hours, I still loved and were super appreciative to be able to stay there with them.
Saturday morning was another early morning for us. We were only an hour away from Atlanta and we wanted to get down there without hitting too much traffic and being able to find somewhere to park without paying a ridiculous price tag for it. It served us well! We found great parking not far from The Georgia Dome where the game was at, only paid $30 (which when we went back a few hours after paying, we saw it go up $10. SCORE!), hit barely any traffic on the way down, and with all of the free time we had before the 3:30pm kick off we actually got to roam around and do fun stuff!
Fun fact: downtown Atlanta has an Olympic park and has alot of very pretty fountains. Perfect for taking pictures!
With all of the free time we had, we were able to go to the College Football Hall of Fame that just opened last week! If you are ever in Atlanta, I highly recommend going. It was the coolest thing I've ever seen. Granted I've never been to a Hall of Fame Museums but, I do love going to museums and such.
So how it works is you get a pass when you pay and when you register your pass, you can choose any school you like that has a football team. Could be Division I, II, III or NAIA, just as long as that school has a football team. I obviously chose Illinois because I knew Blake would choose Alabama. So once you register your pass, your helmet lights up on this big HUGE wall of helmets to represent all of the college football teams.
There's my helmet!
After you register your pass, you can check out the different levels of the exhibit. What's really cool is whenever you go up to a big screen or anything at all, it recognizes your pass and gives you all of the facts about your school. The different awards players have one, titles the team has won and how many hall of fame members are from that school.
It even knows my name!!!
My Hall of Fame All-Access Pass
The second floor had all of the trophies, the evolution of tailgating, equipment, jerseys, and just how college football has evolved as a whole. There was also a video call the Fan Experience that played that had a lot of the hall of fame members speaking about playing in the game and with different images and clips of games being played. Everything was super cool there. I wish we had more time to look at everything on that floor just because there was so much going on and so many different areas with such cool stuff! History! Sports! Yess!
The Heisman Trophy
The brand new National Championship Trophy!
I thought this was super cool showing both the football uniform and the academy uniform for each military academy.
The third floor had this huge room that had all of the Hall of Fame members. Again, this stand recognizes your pass and then shows all of the members that went to your school and appeared kinda like a timeline. Which again, cool! Neat!
I also forgot, when you first walk in there is this huge mural with all of the schools and the different faces of those schools too.
When we were done at the Hall of Fame, we started walking over to the Georgia Dome since they was a huge tailgating event going on that both Alabama and West Virgina were putting on. AND both teams were making a grand entrance.
Finally, the time came where the gates to the dome opened up and we were allowed to go claim our seats. Let me tell you, we were in the upper level deck and we could still see everything perfectly clearly without looking at the jumbo tron!
The football game was super fun. It was a completely different experience than any Illini game. Obviously SEC is going to be different than BIG 10, just because of all of the fans around you, the teams, and how everyone dresses too. I was particularly excited whenever I saw people dressed up, it was like all of my dreams came true!
The West Virgina band did their halftime performance of songs of the military. This is what they did for the Air Force.
Alabama ended up winning! Which honestly I don't know if they should've just because of how they played and all of the missed opportunities they had to make plays and throw the ball. But, a win is still a win and hopefully they will win when I go to Tuscaloosa in 3 weeks. I'm too excited about that just for all of the tailgating too.
Hope you had a fantastic Labor Day weekend! I know I did :) Now I will be spending my week doing temp work at a car dealership near by. Only for a week, but yay money!