Sunday, August 31, 2014

Conveniences of Korea

This will probably be an ongoing post as I discover the things Koreans do right.  Or at least right in my perception, others may disagree.

For now I have discovered the following:

- Handrails are at a perfect height for a 5'4" frame.  They are easy to grab and perfectly situated in case a fall may occur.  Luckily I have had no fall but if I do I will be happy to know the Koreans have thought of this little but important feature of staircases.

- Again, sinks in restrooms are at a great height for small folks.

- At my former residence in Alabama we had a toilet that stood so tall off the ground that my feet would dangle as I sat upon the throne.  This is not the case in Korea.  My feet sit comfortably, flat and firmly upon the ground as I do my business.

But even better are the toilets that you don't even have to sit upon!  This may not go over so well in a household residence but it is a marvelous idea for a public restroom.  Yes, yes, yes Korea!

- If the 5'4" frame is not doing you any good, then you can purchase shoes with two-inch souls to make you even taller... for $10!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Road Trippin', Fam'ly Visitin', Fun Lovin'

We took, yet another, cross country trip.  This time en route to our new duty location - Korea!

START Enterprise, AL (Aug 8-9):  We left our apartment at 8:45am as soon as we got cleared to leave.  And we drove, drove, drove - 16 hrs the first day & 14 hours the second day with car camping at a gas station in between.

Uintah, UT (Aug 9-15):  Lots of visits with friends and family - always with food!  I left my little car, the Dappled Grey, in Utah to be sold.  So sad!

Dayton, NV (Aug 15-18):  Aaron's parents drove from California to take us around to visit the rest of the Wolcott siblings.  It was very kind and good of them!  Oldest sister, Deby, lives in Nevada with her family.  It was the first time I got to meet Aaron's nephews.  We spent the days at Lake Tahoe - hiking and kayaking (but no swimming for this girl; the water was freezing).

Sisters, OR (Aug 18-19):  Sister Kathy goes on a camping trip with her in-laws every year, same time, same place.  A gorgeous place at that!  They were kind enough to let us join them for an afternoon/evening/morning.  We got to meet the newest of the Wolcott bunch - Baby William.  He is only 4 weeks old and camping like a champ.

END Portland, OR (Aug 19-21):  We were thrilled to be with Robin for a couple days too - at the campout and in her hometown of Portland.  We visited the city, went to a gorgeous mansion with lovely gardens, went underground at the Shanghai Tunnels, and ate at the most expensive and fanciest restaurant I've ever been too.

The gateway to the west.  Arch in St. Louis, MO

A&A with Emma Kennedy.  One of our favorite friends from Alabama.  Now in Utah.

What a good little car!  I will miss the Dappled Grey.
This car has taken me from UT > NH, all over New England, NH > UT, UT > AL for flight school, AL >NH > AL over Christmas, and back from AL > UT. 
A&A with Grandma Taylor.  Isn't she cute?

Amy and baby William (Kathy's baby)
Aaron and Waylon (Kathy's).  He will be a good dad some day!

Preparing breakfast with Shirley

A and A, happy and feeling dirty from camping

The crew.  Top> Amy, Aaron, Travis (Kathy's husband), Pat, Shirley, Baby William
Bottom> Serenity (Travis' oldest), Robin, Kathy, Waylon

The Wolcotts.
Kathy, Robin, Aaron, Pat, and Shirley
Portland, OR

Robin took us to a very unique ice cream joint, Salt & Straw.  Bone marrow, coffee and bourbon, honey balsamic strawberry with cracked black pepper.... just to name a few of their flavors.
I am eating two flavors - olive oil and pear with blue cheese.

Beautiful gardens at the Pittock Mansion in Portland, OR

The gate keepers house at Pittock Mansion

Can you see that receipt?  It was the most expensive place I have ever eaten and this was 50% off.
But it was yummy!

And we are off!!  See ya America.
One way ticket to South Korea please.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Flight School Graduation

I am very proud and pleased to announce that Lt. Aaron Wolcott has graduated from flight school at Ft. Rucker, Alabama.  He will be flying the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter.  

His first assignment will be flying the medivac mission at Camp Humphreys, South Korea.

I am one proud and happy wife.

Many thanks to the instructors, study companions, ward members, Ft. Rucker friends, and family that helped make all this possible.  

Congrats Aaron!

Amy pinning on Aaron's pilot wings

There is a pilot in the family now

Friends from flight school
Remington and Todd

Aaron and Cierra, best pals through all of flight school

Senior leaders/ward members/role models for Aaron
CW4 Smith and LTC Gangler
These are some of our best mates during flight school - the Jeromes.
Trevor, Karin, and baby Aria.
Family day at Lowe Heliport, checking out the blackhawks

Amy trying it on for size.  It doesn't look that complicated.  ;-)

Ballin' the night before graduation.  Don't we look sharp?

Happy to have mum and dad at the event with us.
Thanks for the love and support from family Stuarts and Wolcotts!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Visitors at Ft. Rucker

We were happy to have my parents come and visit for a week.  We had a lot of fun.  But we also did a lot of work preparing to move out.  Thanks for visiting!

Stone Mountain, GA
The mountain is carved with depictions of Confederate leaders - Jefferson Davis, Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.  Though it doesn't look very large, it is actually longer than two football fields, roughly 10ft deep.  It is large enough that a adult could stand in the mouth of the horse.
Andersonville, GA
This is the cemetery outside the POW camp from the civil war.

Several years ago Aaron went to Jump School at Ft. Benning.
Here he is showing me how you step out of a plane before parachuting to the ground.

Outside the infantry museum at Ft. Benning

Lunch break on moving day

Our new dining room set dad and Aaron made.
I think it is funny how we started with a box dining table and now we are ending with one.

Aaron took us to the simulator to fly a blackhawk.
The simulator would move when you turned and shake as if the rotors were moving.  Computer screens lined the windows and you could watch the landscape and buildings pass by as we flew over them.  It felt very real.

Mom is a natural at flying - not so much landing.  When she went in for her landing, the helicopter (virtual of course) came down so fast that it frightened mom and she started screaming.  It was so funny!

USS Alabama in Mobile, AL

We got to tour the entire battleship - the steering room, sleeping quarters, mess hall, laundry, tailors, ammo rooms... the whole lot.  This ship was a full functioning, self-reliant community on the water.  Pretty impressive.

The Emerald Coast of Florida.
We have been spoiled by the soft, white sands of Florida.

Family day at Lowe Heliport.
We were able to climb in and around the blackhawk helicopter.  Fun fact: the blackhawk is as long as a semi-truck. How would you like to fly a semi-truck through the sky?

Of course it can't be all fun and games while my folks come to visit.  We had a big list of things to clean before leaving our apartment.  Lucky for us dad is good at lists and helped to keep us all on track!

The main event - Graduation day.