Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Airborne Blogging

Sunday, June 27, 2010 2
So I'm chilling in first class on our flight from San Francisco to Atlanta.  Just finished my first John and Coke.  Most people call it Jack and Coke but when you know him as well as me, you call him John.  Anyway, life is good.  Never blogged while airborne so now I've got that check in the block.  There's that other airborne milestone too.  We won't go into that.  This is a family blog.

What a whirlwind the last couple of days have been.  Between the turnover with the new Commanding Officer, finishing up last minute work items, the Change of Command ceremony, personal good-byes and the hectic travel, it's been a memorable couple of days.

Okay, down to only a couple of minutes left on the battery so must type fast...

I'm back.  Battery died on me.  In Alabama now catching up with family.  Here's a quick snapshot of the last couple of hours - Def Leppard on the radio, $3 for a luggage dolly (free in Korea), actually stopping at red lights, birds chirping like it's going out of style, dogs lazily sunbathing on hot concrete, fresh blueberry muffins from Aunt Joy, pot roast from Aunt Annie, CJ enjoying Golden Flake potato chips, Atlanta Braves on TV and the boys chopping the head off a small snake with Uncle Don - life is good.  Off to a pool party now.  We're not in Korea anymore...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Can't Leave Korea?

Friday, June 25, 2010 0
So I'm blogging from the airport in Busan (Gimhae actually).  We got up at 4am, departed the hotel at 5am and should've flown out of Busan by now.  But dang, there was a massive accident on the highway involving a tractor trailer (drunk driver) and some foreigners.  Crushed walls on the side of the highway, debris all over the road and a jack-knifed truck blocking our path to the highway made for an eventful morning.  Needless to say, we didn't make our 6:50 am flight.

Hanee and her father, who were kind enough to take us to the airport, said that Korea really doesn't want us to leave.  Trucks are blocking our way, flights are getting cancelled - things just aren't lining up.  On the positive side, we got to spend more time with these two awesome people.  This is just another piece to our great adventure here in Korea.  Gotta love it.  Well, Carol reminds me that I should save the battery on the laptop.  Signing off for now...

BTW, what an awesome day yesterday was.  Will never forget it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Living Out of a Bag

Friday, June 18, 2010 0
The horror - a blog post with no pictures!  I must remind you that our iMac is packed in a box on the way to the US so adding pics is a little more challenging right now.  I'll fix that real soon though.

It's that time again.  Like many deployable sailors, for a significant part of my Navy career, I live out of a bag.  Whatever I can stuff inside a Navy-issued green sea bag, that's what will sustain me for that six month (or longer) deployment.  Actually, we're able to take more gear than that but you should never let the facts get in the way of a good sea story.

Carol and the boys get a small taste of this kind of living when we move.  What to pack and what not to pack.  What toys do they want to play with for the next couple of weeks that won't take up too much space?  Some items to pack are no-brainers - laptop, iPod, camera, underwear, etc.  But then there's the stuff that's not so obvious that you should take with you - chargers for your electronics, USB adapter to transfer pictures, movies loaded up on iPods and laptops to keep the kids entertained, proper uniform items to check into the new command.  Other things like birth certificates, report cards and other school paperwork to register the kids into the new school.  There's also the fun stuff like goggles and sand toys to take advantage of the beach for the next ten days.  They are on summer break after all.  I remember prunes being an important item on previous moves when the boys were just babies.  We want the boys to poop, right?  And then there's the stuff you need to bring along if you wanna get funky - Barry White music, etc.  I won't go into detail here cause I'm thinking it might not pass Carol's editing.

So all of our stuff is packed away and we're now living in a hotel for the next couple of days.  My replacement arrives in Busan this weekend.  It'll be a fast and furious turnover all the way up to the big change of command ceremony on 25 June.

Another challenge while on the road - eating.  Carol is not proud of the fact that she had 3 buffet meals yesterday - the Seacloud Hotel breakfast buffet, the Party and Play buffet at the BEXCO for lunch and the awesome D-Maris seafood buffet at our farewell dinner last night.  I hope I can fit into my summer whites for the change of command ceremony this coming Friday.

Real time update:  Carol just said, "Man, why didn't I pack a lint brush?"  I'll add that to the pack list for the next move.  Gotta go.  Jake just flooded the bathroom.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Tuesday, June 15, 2010 2
Well, the two year adventure in Korea is just about over for the Cruzers.  On Friday, the movers came to take away the stuff that will be traveling back to the US via airplane.  This is the stuff that will arrive first.  In this shipment you should pack away stuff that will help you out the most when you arrive at your new location.  Things like basic kitchen stuff so you can cook, bathroom stuff so you clean yourself up (hard to shower without a shower curtain), lamps so you can see at night, some bedding so you can have a pillow fight and a chair or two so you can stay in shape by doing dips.  You get the picture.  The chair thing is actually pretty important if you want to sit down.  Not a big deal for Koreans.  There's always the floor. 

So this first shipment is the stuff that you'll get first. We made sure to put the iMac in this shipment. I'm already having withdrawals. That computer is like crack. I'm now slaving away on a tiny Acer laptop.  Woe is me. I think I will hug the iMac when we are reunited again.

It's like a massive ice cream headache trying to figure out all the stuff you'll need to keep with you for the next two months.  That's about how long it'll take to see our main household goods shipment in the US. 
Today, the movers came and packed out the rest of our household goods that will trek back to the US the old fashioned way - by boat.  Tomorrow will be the last of our move days with the final inspection of our apartment hopefully happening in the afternoon.  Then we live in a hotel for the next ten days.  Ah, Navy living.  Gotta love it.

The boys keeping themselves busy during the move.

Things went pretty smooth today.  The only negatives was a busted plate and the movers packing up our bedding and pillows even though we told them not to.  We still need that stuff because we're spending one more night here.  We were also disappointed that they didn't pack our booze.  It's hit or miss.  Sometimes they will.  Sometimes they won't.  I'm sure we'll have some takers that can help us unload our stash.  I also wasn't crazy how they packed our many frames.  Hopefully, they'll arrive undamaged.  Overall, we can't complain.  The Navy takes pretty good care of the move piece.

You'd think with as many moves as we've done, we'd have this down pat by now.  For the most part, we do.  We know that if you don't want something packed, you have to put it in the designated "non-pack" zone.  Maybe a bathroom or a closet with a sign that makes it clear that the stuff in there doesn't go with the movers.  If you don't do this, they will pack EVERYTHING.  We've had our trash cans filled with trash packed away once.  If it ain't nailed down, it's going.

We make sure to have plenty of drinks available for the movers.  We also buy the guys lunch.  Back in the States, pizza is always an easy thing.  We've learned that movers are kinda sick of the pizza thing and offer to get them whatever they want - chicken, burgers, whatever.  In Miami, we went out and got some good Cuban food.  I'm drooling just thinking about those plantains, flank steak and beans and rice.  Yeah, those guys took great care of our stuff.

I remember one challenging move in Rhode Island where there was a bunch of snow on the ground.  Those movers did their thing though and made it look easy.  No falls or slips even though they were lugging heavy furniture through the snow.  I'm always wary of that temp help that sometimes comes with the main moving crew.  Seems like it could just be some down on his luck dude they found on the docks that needs a few bucks.  The movers we've gotten in Korea though seem really professional - other than wearing slippers while moving heavy furniture.  Oh well.  If they lose a toe, they've got nine others.

Gotta go.  More move prep to do.  One random thought.  What to do with the blog now that we're leaving Korea?  Gotta think about that.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Fred Paintings

Saturday, June 5, 2010 1
Losing our dog Fred was tough for the entire family.  Our niece, Jena took it pretty hard too.  Her family was taking care of Fred in Suffolk, Virginia while we were doing our thing in Korea.  CJ and Jena have always been pretty tight.  They are both extremely bright and have similar interests in art, writing and other stuff.  Sometimes they'll get on the phone and just talk for hours.

As a form of therapy over losing our pet of 16 years, CJ created this painting tribute to Fred:

Little did we know, Jena created her own Fred masterpiece at the same time.  There was no prior coordination on this.  I guess the two cousins had the same thing weighing heavy on their hearts.  Here's Jena's artwork:

We found out about their artwork during a Skype video call.  First, CJ brought his Fred painting up to the webcam to show them what he had been working so hard on in Art club.  The reaction was of astonishment.  In a few seconds, I found out why.  Jena ran off to grab her painting.  When we saw her art via the wonderful invention of Skype, we all smiled and began to tear up.  It was a touching moment.  We miss you Fred.
◄Design by Pocket, BlogBulk Blogger Templates. Blog Templates created by Web Hosting