Last night I had the best going away party ever! My friends made sure to do it up big by cooking 20lbs of meat, making various side dishes, and bringing tons of alcohol to the party. Every person there made me feel very loved with all their kind words and creative gifts. We celebrated from afternoon till night with outdoor games and karaoke. Highlights included watching the boys climb a super tall tree, finishing a keg of local brew, and my friends signing a magnum size bottle from the best local winery.
Of course, there was a little rain to deal with but we couldn't let it bring us down. People were still outside playing the games Richard made and huddling around a makeshift heater. Oh, and how can I forget how awesome the outdoor movie theater was! To top it off, I got to wake up to an amazing brunch that my dear friends slaved over! Overall, it was a great party and I cannot thank my friends enough for putting it on for me!
The hardest part was saying goodbye, and I'll have to admit that I've been tearing up all day after leaving the party.
I'll keep in touch with all of you guys the best that I can. I don't think I'll have internet access at my training site (I'll be there for 9 weeks), but I'll try to keep you posted through letters and/or Richard. Alright, well now I'm off to do my final baggage weigh-in and get some sleep for my flight to Philadelphia for staging.
Richard cooking up the butt
Shannon surprising me with her 27 letters prepared for every month I'm gone
Joe licking the magnum wine bottle
Richard and his party cup