Full Circle – Part One

Our latest space a trip started long ago, on March 11, and just concluded  last week Sunday, May 7. Whew! Talk about a trip!

The idea was to visit eastern CONUS family (Part One), and position ourselves on the east coast for a flight to Italy (Part Two), where LC6 had made arrangements for 3 weeks of Italian language school in April.  It’s not often we have to be a certain place at a certain time when “planning” on space a travel, but, when we do, we always allow ourselves a week or more to get where we need to be.  Departing early in March allowed us a few weeks with family (especially grandchildren!) before the week we planned to spend getting to Italy.

NAS Whidbey was cold and rainy and beginning to thunder as we took off March 11 for Oceana! Three C40s were going to Oceana that day, all around the same time: one direct, one with a stop in Kansas, and one roundabout route to Nellis, Point Magu, BACK to Nellis, and, at last, on to Oceana. Guess which one the PAX ended up on? Mechanical problems delayed option #1, cargo filled #2, and so…about 9 hours later, we arrived in Oceana, via option #3. Success!

Our car, however, was parked in the long term lot at NAS NORFOLK, 26 miles and a $60 taxi ride away.

There are no taxis permitted on base, so we called Uber – also not permitted on base – and resigned ourselves to walking out to the gate. In the dark. In the drizzle. Fortunately, an active duty sailor picked us up and gave us a ride. After clearing a slight mixup about who had ordered which Uber driver, we were on our way…only to discover, at the gate at NAS Norfolk, that Uber drivers are not allowed on base there, either, even with ID card-holding passengers as sponsors! The terminal is miles from the gate, and after much begging and cajoling and swearing on all that is holy (my sponsor even offered to leave me at the gate as a sort of “ransom”) that we would escort the driver directly back to THAT gate once we got our car, the guard relented. We were permitted to proceed. True to our word, after arriving at our car, we had the Uber driver follow us back to the gate, and made sure the guard verified he had left the premesis. 

On to check in at Ely Hall. Of course, our room was not there; it was at Murray Hall, which we had never been to before. We ended up bumbling around in the darkness with a poor map, and even more poorly-signed streets for awhile, but eventually stumbled upon the correct location. The room, as nearly always with NGIS, was clean, comfy and well-appointed.  We had snagged a bunch of half and half from the main lobby at Ely for our coffee in the morning (Lady Cat 6 detests powdered creamers – especially in those cheap packets where there is only one!), so with everything in order for a happy morning caffeine shot, we settled in for a long night’s sleep.

The next morning we were on the road north, making a circuit that included Pittsburgh and Cleveland before completing the eastern circuit in North Carolina. There, we’d take a breather and work out the next leg of our journey – to Italy!

NEXT TIME: OCONUS adventures!