People have asked me how long it will take me to get back to Baghdad and I answer the only way I know how: I'll get there when I get there. I'll leave Dallas when there's a plane (or actually a seat on a plane) available. I'll leave Kuwait when there is a seat on a plane going to Baghdad. Could take 48 hours, could take 4 days. Rumor control from the unit that we replaced hinted that some of the Soldiers waited in Kuwait for up to 7 days waiting for a plane. Oh my, I hope it doesn't take me that long. Don't have that many pair of clean socks!
I've been busy since I arrived in San Diego on 8 April. First thing I had to do was buy some clothes. I had a pair of jeans and 2 shirts when I arrived so I bought some sandals, two pair of shorts, and some casual shirts. Nothing much, but it also means laundry ever 3 days. After that I did some shopping to pick up a few things that I can't get in the PX in Baghdad: Tom's of Maine toothpaste and fluoride rinse, The Body Shop wild cherry body butter (for some reason they don't ship to APO addresses), and a bottle of Chanel No. 5. Plenty of people have asked me what I miss the most being in Iraq. That's easy...being a girl. A real, live, girrrrrrrrl. I miss putting in my earrings and choosing outfits and spraying on girly-girl perfume and just being a girl. And wearing pink. Well, I can wear pink, but it's unseen. :)
I spent 3 1/2 days in Vegas...that was fun, relaxing. I went to the Hoover Dam, the Shark Reef Aquarium, Body Worlds (but I had to leave because...that's just gross). I also wandered from casino to casino, taking in the catchy things they had to offer, like the lions at MGM Grand and the flamingoes at, well, The Flamingo.
I spent 2 days with my friend B, who has the best friends in the world who are getting me (and my unit) LOTS of DVDs, including the first 2 seasons of CHiPS. They'll get thanked by me later, but in the meantime...thanks! Lots! Went to my favorite store while in LA: It's a Wrap. It's a second-hand store but their clothing, shoes, etc. all come from studios and TV/Movie productions. Most of the clothes in my closet come from It's A Wrap (and I still have great clothes). It's hit-or-miss with them and, of course, most of the women's clothes are a XS or a size 4. But I scored a fabulous Lucky Brand denim jacket for $7...what a deal! One time I got a pair of Ralph Lauren khakis for...free. They were $3 but they gave them to me for free because there was a small, almost unnoticeable ink stain on the back pocket. Such a deal.
Friday I was at Balboa Park museum hopping...the Ruben H. Fleet Science Center, the Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of Modern Art. Saturday we went to the Women's Expo at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Talk about lots of girl stuff! Whew! Women, and women's stuff everywhere! Today we went back to Balboa Park for the Earth Day Fair. Lots of fun and I took pictures of Ed Begley, Jr., who led the parade through the organ pavilion. Lots of organic cotton, hemp, and natural products. Lots of chants of "eat green, don't eat meat", which I thought was funny since the only food booths that we could find were...cheeseburgers and hot dogs. There was probably a better food court somewhere, offering the usual fresh, organic fair, but we didn't venture that far. Too funny!
After lunch and a nap I'm ready for whatever my friend has to throw at me. After she wakes up from her nap.
Monday and Tuesday left. Then Wednesday with another friend in Dallas.
Shhhhhh, don't tell anyone, but I miss my unit. I feel separated from them. There is a sister unit, the 314th PAOC, in the IZ that also keeps a blog, blogsoverbaghdad, com. Their Command Sergeant Major, CSM Falardeau, is on leave and said he felt like he was part of the Borg Collective, like on Star Trek, and now has been separated from that Collective. I understand how he feels...does that make me the Borg Queen? ;) Anyway, I miss talking with my Soldiers, listening to the things that effect their lives, reading/watching their stories. I miss lunchtime movies with 1SG and XO or just plain goofing around. I'm looking forward to seeing them again and catching up on what's been happening in my absence (which, according to my XO, hasn't been much!).
What I don't miss...walking 150 yards to the latrine at 3 a.m., multiple meetings, wearing combat boots all the time.