Well, I'm definitely not in Kansas anymore. As in Kansas = Columbus type of way. It's hard to describe the sights and sounds of the new neighborhood and surrounding areas. Our neighborhood is nice, big yards, good sized house, can't hear the neighbors etc. For some reason it's the cool thing around here to crank your car stereo up ridiculously loudly when you're driving down the road though. Gunnar said yesterday "I though bass went out of style, like, ten years ago". I thought so too. That sort of thing is just a bit annoying. Combine the bumping bass music with the rumble of artillery being fired all day and night, this place can take some getting used to. Oh, and then there's the massive jets flying low overhead, but I don't mind those much at all.
We venture off base and into the outskirts of Fayetteville pretty regularly. We explored the mall today (mediocre but decent) and have been to nearly all of my favorite chain stores. Of course we are all supposed to prefer and adore mom and pop shops but my goodness! There really is something supremely comforting about walking into every darned Target and knowing which way to turn to find exactly what you're looking for!
Another thing I immediately noticed when the family went out for lunch last week - people still smoke here. Everywhere! As a former smoker I can appreciate having a smoke and a drink together but since the smoking bans in Columbus, that sort of combination has been a thing of the past for several years. I did a double take when the hostess asked "Do y'all want smoking or non?". Oh! And actually getting to any destination is an exercise in patience greater than child rearing. I know the south has a reputation for having very slow drivers, and it's 100% true, but there's also the longets traffic lights in the history of the world here. I went to a few stores yesterday and really, I think I spent more time in left turn lanes with a red light staring back at me than actually perusing the aisles of the stores.
I have a lot of stuff to get used to around here. I am trying to stay optimistic but sometimes it's easier said than done.