Let me just tell you that I'm blogging on Gunnar's tiny netbook and it's late so I can't be too responsible for how this typing works out tonight. Gunnar finally got to town last Wednesday night around 6:30pm. He had mentioned more than a dozen times he just wanted to have a Sierra Nevada when he got off the plane and finally got a chance to have a beer after a 6 month hiatus (haha - try 9 months of pregnancy and no drinks!!). Anyway, I got super va-va-voom dressed up to pick him up from the airport. I stopped and grabbed a six-pack on the way and stashed it in a cooler in the car. I got to the airport a few minutes early, of course and waited for him at the gate. Oh my goodness, seeing him walk around the corner was no doubt one of the best moments of my life. Ever. I now know what they meant by "a sight for sore eyes". It was incredible when he scooped me up and kissed me! There were people shouting thank yous and god bless yous at him as we walked through Port Columbus. Seeing a soldier in uniform is definitely more of a novelty around here than in North Carolina. It was like I was on the arm of a celebrity or something!
I've got to admit there was lots of hugging and kissing in the elevators getting to the car. When we got to the car I realized that Gunnar didn't even know which one it was. I'd bought a new car a few months ago and though I had told him all about it, he was still getting to ride in it for the first time. We drove downtown with tons of chatter. He just kept saying how loud and bright everything in the US is. It was cute. We parked the car and a woman stopped us and very sincerely thanked Gunnar for his service. She was really sweet. We checked in at the hotel and front desk staff also wanted to thank him - this time by upgrading our room to a deluxe suite! And then she threw in a card for free breakfast the next day. This was getting more and more fun every time we had to talk to someone. Eventually we made it back out and got to our dinner reservations just on time. We got a special secluded table away from the rest of the dining area and had a wonderful dinner. Gunnar ate with fervor but was completely full well before our entrees arrived. He was fixated on having fresh vegetables and ice in his water. Two things that have been sorely lacking from his Afghanistan meals. At the end of the meal the server brought us a bag of desserts to-go "as a token of their appreciation". Holy crap, a girl could get used to living like this!
Back at the hotel, we stopped at the hotel bar for a nightcap. I honestly don't remember for a second what we were talking about at the bar, but at the end of the night, the bartender told us there was no bill. The man that had been sitting beside me at the bar paid for our drinks for the night. We must have been talking about Army stuff but I really have no idea. The next morning (after walking to the drugstore for hangover remedies for yours truly) we ate ridiculously expensive eggs at the hotel restaurant, for free, of course.
It was such a really awesome way to celebrate Gunnar's homecoming! We had a blast and I was loving every minute of it. I'm really glad he decided to fly directly to Columbus instead of to Fort Bragg. No one there would give a crap if a soldier was returning from Afghanistan, it happens there all the time. It was really special in Columbus though. We had a really great time. When we came home the next day (to my parents house), the kids were thrilled to see Gunnar. There was no awkward moment, no shyness, no uncertainty, like I thought there might be. And we've been having a blast every day since he's been here.
It's hard to not be constantly counting the days - knowing that I only get him for 15. But I'm really trying to just enjoy what I have right this very minute and not think about saying goodbye to him again.