Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Amy & I were fortunate enough to trek down to sunny Shreveport, Louisiana last weekend for our wonderful friend Dan's wedding. It was a quick trip, but a much-needed break for the two of us to be able to put the Mom & Dad hats on the hat stand as we walked out the door and really enjoy ourselves.

GJ & Pappy came down to NC to watch the kids. The parents truly missed the kids more than the kids missed the parents. When we called the first night the kids had eaten pizza, taken showers on their own, put on their new Spiderman pajamas, and were eating popcorn while watching a movie. (Note to self: Must try being a grandparent at some point in future -- spoil the snot out of kids and then leave.)

Dan had told us just complete horror stories about his 2 years in Shreveport. He was a recruiter there trying to convince 18 year-old boys that they should sign up with the Army at the same time the US was fighting two wars half a world away. But he got a wife out of the deal, and in reality Shreveport wasn't so bad. There was a boardwalk on the Red River, an El Chico Mexican restaurant, and a Rockin' Rodeo right outside our hotel room. I mean, really, what more could you ask for?

Shreveport is a military town for sure. Barksdale Air Force Base is right up the road, and everyone at the wedding had a connection to the military in some form or fashion. It was a different experience for Amy & me, but we really got a true appreciation for the men & women that serve and the lifestyles they lead. We met a great lady named Evelyn, who is 1 year away from retirement and is about to be deployed to Iraq. Her husband is also in the Air Force and is currently in Guam. And they have five daughters that they juggle when they are here in the States. This was just one family's story out of the many connections we made. Very cool to experience it.

The wedding was moved from outdoors to a church due to 10 inches of rain the week prior to the wedding. So plans were in flux and people were shuffling, but it all went off well.

Another great bonus was the fact that we got to take a time machine back to 1967 as shown by this picture of Dan and me. Oh wait, no, this is just the grainy photo from the Kodak disposable that we picked up since we didn't take our digital camera. Man, are we spoiled with technology. How did we take pictures before digital?

Picasa photo editor helps.

Dan met Deborah playing shuffleboard at the VFW where Dan would often go for a beer after recruiting at the end of a 16-hour day. In honor of their first "date" one of the cakes reflected their passion for a game most often played by senior citizens in retirement homes all across South Florida.

Who knew Shreveport was a gambling hotbead? We didn't that's for sure. But there were casinos everywhere -- Diamond Jacks, the Horseshoe, Lucky Jack's -- all built on the Red River that splits the town with neighboring Bossier City.

Outside our hotel was the Rockin' Rodeo, which was rocking well into the wee hours. Amy asked the first day we were there, "Oh, we should so go to the Rockin' Rodeo! C'mon!" After I explained that this was the type of place with more electric bulls than front teeth, she agreed that we'd just hang out at the Hampton Inn.

Finally, we were supposed to be on a 575-passenger Airbus A380 that tops out at 1,200 mph into Alexandria International Airport (a gem of an airport that actually has no international flights). Instead they switched us at the last minute to this little puddle jumper prop plane that left our ears ringing for 3 hours after landing. But we made it there safe & sound so life was good.

All in all it was a relaxing weekend, a great celebration for Dan, and a super getaway for these two weary parents.

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