Thursday, November 21, 2013

Double J – Jamestown and Justin

  We’ve been on “vacation”….. well, kind of on vacation.  I guess if we’re staying in a hotel, we should call it vacation.  However, I can certainly say that the last week has not been relaxing.  nov2110We’ve been, running like crazy.

First, there was the fast trip to Portland and back.  Then, there was the trip to Virginia which was back to back with the first one.
Our Virginia bound trip required we take Duchess to my cousin’s place.  She lives on the opposite end of Las Vegas than where our RV is parked.  We had very poor timing for that.  l can vouch for the fact that Las Vegas has horrendous 5:00 traffic!  A few hours later that chore was finally behind us and we were trying to get some sleep before the alarm clock starting ringing at 3:00 AM.  

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Saturday morning rolled around and we were on the plane from Las Vegas to Dallas and then another one from Dallas to Norfolk.  Everything worked like clock work and exactly like we hoped.  Getting our car rental was a breeze but since we had forgotten the GPS, getting to our hotel was a little
nov2113 confusing.  Thank goodness, I remembered the WAZE App on our iPhone because it certainly made travel easier than it would have been.  Eventually, the Navy Lodge came into view. Terry’s brother, Tom,  had driven down from Roanoke and was waiting for us in the lobby. He was far more familiar with the area than we were.  He had been stationed at the local air force base as a JAG but even that was sometime ago.

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Sunday we decided to take a short jaunt to Jamestown.  We had been there before but a long, long time ago.  Besides, we needed something to do  to pass the time.  The only thing we actually had on the schedule for Sunday was the meeting on base later that evening.  We had plenty of time to kill.

One Jamestown Settlement area is funded by the National Park Service and the other is by the State of Virginia.  The original site is still there and they are in the process of rebuilding it.  Right down the road is a replica of Jamestown with individuals playing the part of people who lived during that time period.  It’s definitely an interesting place to visit.  Lots of time can be spent in this area.  We loved it the first time we visited and loved it the second time too. We didn’t have enough time to spend because too soon it was time to head back.

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The Norfolk Naval Station is the largest in the world.  We decided to get back early so we could figure out where to go just so we wouldn’t get lost or be late.  i wanted to be real early but with two men to pull along with me, I wasn’t quite as early as i wanted to be.



The meeting at the base was packed.  Rules were gone over and instructions for the next day’s nov213arrival  were given.  There were a few do’s, don’ts and can’ts .  The USS Gravely would be spending the night a few miles off shore.  Arrival at the pier was expected to be around 10:00 AM.  It was suggested we start showing up at the designated pier at least by 9:00 AM the following morning.  With the news that traffic could take close to an hour or more, I figured we better be on the road pretty early.  You’ve got to remember that our Pacific Standard Time (PST)  bodies were functioning 3 hours earlier than the local time zone.  Thus, 9:00 AM really meant 6:00 AM which meant we probably should leave much earlier.  We needed to think about that.

It was back to the hotel.  The next day would definitely be another busy one and one we had looked forward to for over nine months.  The morning came early and we pulled out of the hotel parking lot at 7:30AM. ….. 4:30 AM PST.
There were definitely characters on the pier!
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The pier was packed.  In addition to security, family and friends, there were news crews, radio stations and even a Navy band to greet the ship. A large tent had been erected overnight. drinks and snacks were provided as well as other hand outs. .

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Right on schedule the ship came into view. It was being guided into place  by two tugboats.  The crew, dressed in Navy Blues, lined the decks.  It was an awesome sight.  First to get off the ship were the new fathers.  Then, the mass exodus happened. Eventually, we found Justin.  He was ready to get out of there.  However, he did offer to give us a guided tour of his ship before we left.  Now that was interesting but I could only taken pictures of the chow hall and the entertainment lounge.  The restricted areas even required that we left our bags outside of the rooms.  I’ve been on ships before but this tour was much more detailed and very, very interesting. 


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Back at the hotel, off came the uniform and on went street clothes.  Justin had originally indicated he nov218wanted to do Chic-Fil-A but when we suggested other places, he was just happy to eat off the ship …. anyplace.  Where’d we end up?  We ended up at Joe’s Crab Shack.   Actually, that was the first of our big meals.  It seemed we were always eating.  Justin certainly knows how to put the food away and especially food not served on ship.  We could have sworn he had hollow legs.

We had a lot to catch up on and lots to talk about.  That we did. Over the last nine months he had been many places and seen things he had never seen before.  It was also interesting to get his personal take on his recent experiences. Of course, with his own job duties there were things he would not share.  He said we might learn more in about 30 years.  Doubt we’ll ever know the rest of the story in our lifetime but that’s okay too.


‘Tis life on the road.

If everything comes your way, you are in the wrong lane.


  1. Sounds like really awesome time so nice to great the ship coming in and get a chance to have some catch up time with Justin.
    Sounds like a vacation, because everyone we know goes non stop when on a short vacation, then back to normal life and relax.
    Enjoy your time there.

  2. That was a great homecoming welcome for Justin! I know you lost sleep being on PT, but I'm sure it was worth it. He sure looks great, maybe that Navy chow isn't all that bad?

    I hope you have a great visit. It must have meant a lot for Justin that you were there to meet his return. I have to give you a "Well Done"! Special times, special memories.

    Just one question, which picture of a character on the pier were you referring to? :cD

  3. exciting! I had goosebumps just reading about Justin's arrival.

    Sounds like they are very organized in dealing with the crowds.

    Hope y'all have the most fabulous time catching up. I love the sign you are true, so true.

  4. I wanted to cry because I was so happy for you guys. I can only imagine how much it meant to Justin to have you waiting on the dock for him. I personally think the character on the right looks a little more sane - maybe.

  5. So worth the wait. Pretty exciting stuff.

  6. what a great thing that you were able to be there to welcome him :)

  7. Oh my, what a great Blog Post. I got a tear in my eye reading it Jeri. So wonderful.

  8. I love places like Jamestown but I had trouble waiting for the end of that and the beginning of Justin. I can hardly image how that must have been for you. I am NOT crying; I'm NOT. My eyes are just leaking a little.

  9. What a terrific homecoming for Justin and well deserved too. I can only imagine how great all that non-ship food must taste to Justin.

  10. What a wonderful homecoming! Sure brings back lots of nice memories from meeting our son when he returned home from a tour.


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