Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #4

Thirteen Things about South Carolina Mom

13 places I have been or would like to go. . .

1. Santiago, Chile, South America
This was my first trip when I was in the military. It was awesome!

2. Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.
Traveled here with the military. I had a great time, although I only stayed for a few nights. It was too cold to swim in the ocean but it was nice to see the beach.

3. Palermo, Sicily, Europe
This is my family's roots. My great-grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Palermo, and it was so awesome to be able to share in my heritage. I traveled here while in the military, and I loved every bit of this country. Mt. Etna is also located in Sicily, and on several occasions (I've been to Sicily several times), Mt. Etna was erupting. It was majestic to see, especially at night. Too many highlights to say what my favorite part of this country was, but the memories I hold will definitely last a lifetime.

4. Rota, Spain, Europe
Again, traveled here with the military. Rota is on the Mediterranean Ocean, and it was beautiful. I've also been here several times, and one trip we stayed in a villa overlooking the ocean. The hotel was a square shape, with a pool in the center. The climate is similar to that in the Southeastern U.S.

5. Al Dhafra, United Arab Emirates, Asia
This is located about an hour outside of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The 763rd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron conducts in-flight refueling missions throughout Southwest Asia in support of Operation Southern Watch, a coalition force tasked to monitor United Nations Security Council resolutions restricting air and ground operations in Southern Iraq. The Air Force operates KC-10 refueling planes which are involved in sustaining US warplanes covering the southern no-flight zone over Iraq. Arab nation, Arab customs. I did learn a few Indian (from the country of India, not Native Americans) words as many Indian nationals lived and worked on the base. Sand everywhere, and I'm not kidding! High heat even in December and low humidity. I enjoyed learning new customs but truly was scared. This was during the time that Saddam Hussein was still leading Iraq. I was glad to leave and return home.

6. Suffolk, England, Europe
Again, I traveled here while in the Air Force. I met a friend of mine who was stationed at the base (I had not seen him in over a year) and he showed me around a bit. It was cool to eat at an English pub, and a bit scary to drive on the other side of the road. It was December when I went there, so it was very cold and rainy, much like England is portrayed in movies and such.

7. Oahu, Hawaii, U.S.
Beautiful! Once again, I traveled here with the military. A friend that I traveled with had friends here, and it was neat to tour the island with a local resident. I went hiking and of course swimming, along with shopping. The airplane "broke" while we were here, and it was the first time I replaced an APU (Auxiliary Power Unit- what provides power while the plane is just sitting on the ground before the engines start up). This was the best learning experience for me and I couldn't have wanted it to happen in a better place. We had to wait 2 days for another APU to arrive from the mainland, so we spent our time sightseeing. It was the first time I saw a rainbow while it was raining, and we were driving around in a convertible. It was so much fun! Obviously I have great memories of this place, and TJ and I had talked of returning together (he's been here, too). We'll see if that ever happens.

8. Yokota, Japan, Asia
Cold when I visited. I did not travel into Tokyo, which is the nearest big city, because of the weather. It was also rainy and foggy. I only visited once and would like to go back just to sight see.

9. Paris, France, Europe
I traveled here as an exchange student in high school. I visited many other cities besides Paris, and I have wonderful memories from the summer I spent here. I learned so much about French culture and language, and I am so glad I went. Traveling to France is what prompted my desire to travel the world, and had I not gone here, I probably would still be living in Ohio and never joined the Air Force. Most of my fears when joining the military were subsided because I had already spent time in a foreign country away from my friends and family.

10. Niagara Falls, Canada, North America
I traveled here on vacation with my family. I loved it, and TJ and I plan to bring our children here when they are a few years older. So much history and geography to learn here! The falls are breathtaking and I encourage you to visit if you have not.

11. Alaska
I have never been here, but I would love to visit one day. TJ's grandmother did an Alaskan cruise and had plenty of good things to say. Maybe for our 10 year anniversary coming up in '09?. . .

12. The Caribbean
I have never been here, either, but would love to, especially the Virgin Islands. That, too, would be an awesome anniversary gift (hint hint!)

13. Scotland, Ireland, Wales
I have never been but I was very close. I just couldn't raise enough money to get there. It was another exchange program, similar to the one I participated in when I traveled to France. I would still love to go, perhaps as a 25th wedding anniversary or something. I don't think I could go while my kids are young (and I couldn't afford to bring them with me!)

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