After my roommate's wedding I kept on moving and flew out to Washington to see my fiance for an actual week! We've gotten accustomed to long weekend visits so it was such a nice treat to have 8 whole days together. It's crazy to think that in 103 days I will get to see him everyday (for the most part, except for when the hospital owns him overnight).
So anyway, T.J. picked me up from the airport and relief just washed over me, like it always does when I see him after being away. I'm just so relieved to see him standing in front of me, my real-life-in-person fiance, instead of just a voice on the other end of the phone. This was our longest period of separation and I always feel this tension building the longer we're apart. Usually one of our visits can sustain me for like a week or so. But then around week two I start to get moodier and I lose my patience more, until finally it's like I just want to shout "why am I doing anything instead of getting on a plane to see T.J.?!"
I got a pretty good idea during that week of what the day-to-day out there will look like. I also got an idea of how much time to myself I might have and thus confirmed the need to find something to do out there. (I'm working on it.)
When we planned my visit we were happy to find that it overlapped with a little weekend getaway for the ortho residents. T.J. along with all the other residents and their families got off work early on Friday. We drove 4 hours across the mountains to Leavenworth and we listened to country music all the way there as we drove through more of our new and unexplored state. Sometimes I forget that we are 3,500 miles away from "home" and it just blows my mind when I think about where we are on the map.
The older resident's wives organize the retreat and we had three lodges all next to each other tucked away in the mountains. It felt just like fall, crisp and fresh, and it was so pretty with hammocks to relax in, outdoor fire pits, and the sound of the river near by.
We spent most of the weekend hanging out with everyone and getting to know the other families. I took advantage of their experience and asked a bunch of questions about relocating, getting my military id, changing my name, and all that fun stuff. T.J. got also caught up on the sleep he doesn't get during the week and we headed down the mountain to explore the little touristy area. Leavenworth is a Bavarian town and apparently quite the fun spot for Octoberfest activities. It has tons of wineries and breweries and lots of places to enjoy brats with sauerkraut and big German pretzels.
We stopped for a pint at Icicle Brewing Company before heading back to the cabins for dinner and s'mores. There I snapped the only picture with T.J. from my entire visit, and even more sad is there are zero of the two of us. Bad Shannon.
It was a fun little getaway and we enjoyed seeing more of our new home outside of the army base and our neighborhood. We headed back to our house Sunday afternoon, grabbed burgers on the way home, and then spent the rest of the day reading on the couch (futon).
Even a whole week visit seemed to fly by much too quickly and I was more than a little bummed to be packing up and heading back East Monday morning. These longer visits are so much better than short weekends but they are so much harder to break away from. I got another glimpse of Mt. Rainier as I left behind Washington and I thanked my lucky stars that soon I will be flying back for good (well, for five years at least) and putting down roots here with my guy.