Home Leave | Virginia Beach

Post-5k race.After a few days apart in Michigan and California, Kail and I spent the last portion of our home leave visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Virginia Beach. Kail stayed for a week before heading back to Amman, but I was able to enjoy an extra two and a half weeks with my family.

Home Leave | California

Kail stayed behind in Michigan while I headed to the Berkeley area in Northern California to visit my friend Catherine, who had moved there from Washington earlier in the year. Catherine and I have been friends since college way back when — and a lot has change since. She now has two little ones, andContinue reading “Home Leave | California”

Home Leave | Michigan

From Fredericksburg, we headed to Michigan to spend a couple weeks with Kail’s family. At this point, we were two weeks into our home leave. On the agenda: a trip to Frankenmuth, Michigan State football, our niece’s and nephew’s soccer and football games, Jordanian cooking, and lots of relaxing and spending time with family.Perhaps most ofContinue reading “Home Leave | Michigan”

Home Leave | Washington & Fredericksburg

Kail and I went to the U.S. on home leave over the summer. Jordan is our first four-year assignment (technically two two-year assignments), and it was the first time we took home leave in the middle of a tour, as opposed to in between assignments.In some ways, middle-of-tour home leave is less relaxing, because KailContinue reading “Home Leave | Washington & Fredericksburg”

Three Days in Paris

View of the Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe.Over the summer, Kail and I spent three days in Paris en route to the United States for home leave — similar to our stopover in London on the way home from Afghanistan. It was an amazing trip, and we only touched the tip of theContinue reading “Three Days in Paris”

Home Leave | Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Our third and final “hike” in Virginia Beach was during a visit to the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I use the word “hike” loosely since it was more like walking on a series of short boardwalk trails, followed by a longer walk on a gravel road.

Home Leave | First Landing State Park

Inspired by our hike and excellent wildlife sightings at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, my sister, Kail and I embarked on our second of three hikes during our stay in Virginia Beach — this time to First Landing State Park. While this more urban park doesn’t have quite as large a variety ofContinue reading “Home Leave | First Landing State Park”

Home Leave | Wright Brothers National Memorial

Wright Brothers National Memorial.While visiting my sister during home leave in Virginia Beach, we took a day trip to the Outer Banks, North Carolina, which is about an hour and a half away. The Outer Banks — or OBX as it’s come to be known — holds a special place in my heart as theContinue reading “Home Leave | Wright Brothers National Memorial”

Home Leave | Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Kail and I spent part of home leave visiting my sister in Virginia Beach, where, previously unbeknownst to us, there are several hiking trails at state parks and national wildlife refuges within an hour’s drive or so. We went on a couple hikes during our one-week stay, the first of which was at the Great Dismal Swamp NationalContinue reading “Home Leave | Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge”