Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blast From the Past: Parents' Weekend: USAFA Prep School Edition

This is going to be a "Blast From the Past" post, meaning that I am catching up on significant events that I want to remember forever. There will always be pictures and a story included, and I will TRY MY BEST to keep them in order, but I make no promises. I have already written several of these, but they were mixed in with my 30 Day Blog Challenge, so they're just kind of all over. I will eventually make one post with an index to ALL of them. I know most people don't care about these memories of mine, but I do, and that's why I'm writing about them.

Today's Topic: The United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School's Parents' Weekend, Fall 2009

As most of you know, my fiancĂ© (then boyfriend), Dan, left for the Air Force Academy's Prep School in July of 2009. I wrote all about him going to BCT in THIS POST, so check it out for background information. We were both unaccustomed to being in a long distance relationship, and while he was in Colorado, I was still in Missouri finishing my senior year at the University of Central Missouri. When we first heard about Parents' Weekend, we were unsure of whether I would be able to attend or not, but upon calling the Academy, Dan determined that ALL guests were welcome that weekend, and we booked a hotel for me to stay in. Since it's only 650 miles from home (roughly a ten hour drive), I drove myself out to Colorado Springs for Labor Day Weekend in 2009.

I got in on a Thursday evening, and one of the girls who first welcomed me to the cadet girlfriend group on Facebook invited me to dinner with her and her boyfriend (and his family). It was amazing getting to meet her after she had given me so much support over the summer, and the next morning, I was able to see Dan for the first time in two months! I waited outside of the Prep School with another girlfriend, and we were SO anxious to see our boyfriends. When the time got closer for them to come out, I started getting pretty nervous, and by the time he called to me telling me to meet him half way, my legs had given out completely. I was frozen, unable to move. I couldn't believe that I was seeing him with my own eyes, just a few feet in front of me. Dan ran up to me, grabbed me into a big hug, and I just fell into his body and let him hold me up. It was the most exhilarating moment of my life, yet it was so simple. No one can truly understand that feeling until they have experienced it themselves. As much as I hated being away from him, and as difficult it was being in a long distance relationship, I wouldn't trade the experience for the world because I learned SO MUCH about myself during that time.

Over Parents' Weekend, Dan and I ate a lot of good food (Luigi's, Edelweiss, and others I cannot recall), went to an Air Force Falcon football game, toured the base, visited the GORGEOUS cadet chapel, went ini golfing, got bad sunburns, went swimming in the hotel pool, hiked through Garden of the Gods, took the Cog Railway up to the top of Pikes Peak and had a picnic, and took WAY TOO MANY pictures. You are about to see those pictures soon! Overall, it was the most wonderful short visit a girl could ask for, and that trip is what sealed the deal for us. That very weekend is when we talked about our distant future together for the very first time, and I drove home on cloud nine, excited and giddy for the entire drive.

And now, the pictures:

our first hug

outside of the Prep School

I went to class with Dan, and his calculus teacher made him demonstrate a problem on the board because he was the only one who got it right!

Between his classes...

his room was so empty and clean!

it was so nice seeing the pictures of me and us on his desk! :)

getting ready for his soccer game (that he did NOT play in because he was a manager with his roommate (and now best friend), Aaron.

before the football game

USAFA football

USAFA football

USAFA football

I was so impressed with Wings of Blue the first time I saw them! :)

Not only did I get to meet Danielle, but we got to hang out! :) 

the game was a blast!

Dan had a GIANT turkey leg...

I got to meet SO MANY other girlfriends of cadets... it was fabulous!

playing around by the chapel...

in front of the chapel...

We got dressed up for a nice dinner out :)

we had so much fun together mini golfing

Garden of the Gods... first time together!

the most peaceful moment of my life: we were at Garden of the Gods, all alone, when a thunderstorm rolled in... PERFECT! 

before dinner one night...

heading up Pikes Peak...

heading up Pikes Peak...

heading up Pikes Peak...

at the top of Pikes Peak! :)

a kiss at the top :)

great scenery

looking out at the BEAUTIFUL city!

I love this one so much. It felt like we were on top of the world! :)

I'm sure that this post was excessively long for most of the people who chose to read this, but as I said, I am hoping to document ALL of our important memories. This blog seems like the perfect place!

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