And That’s a Wrap, almost.

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Army events take a lot of preparation. For me anyways. Friday I spent most of the day grocery shopping, packing and getting everything ready to go before I had to leave. Ten days is a long time to prep for — especially for me. Finding enough food options, without gluten was a challenge.

I also felt the need to make one last dinner… to celebrate my leaving… Not. But this is something that’s become a tradition. It started back in 2009 when I first left for boot camp. Think of it as a “last supper.” I’ve been eyeing Tina’s sweet potato recipes… So that’s what I made!

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As well as some Watermelon beer. Justin said it tasted like throw up. I think it was delicious!

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Good thing I bought him some coconut beer. It turned out to be a bit too dark for my taste. Stout? No thanks…

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My plate included extra sweet potato wedges and a big side of mixed greens!

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The next morning I had a lot of planning to do. I was designated as the convoy commander. I had to plan a route, plan fuel/lunch locations, and deliver a safety briefing. This included, “No texting and driving, wear your helmet, stay awake and allow civilians to merge…” The basics, but all still very important.

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The ride down to San Luis Obispo took over 9 hours. It was entirely too long. But I got everyone there safely. Success in my book!

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Not a bad view either!

On the ride there I ate several snacks… Justin’s almond butter.

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TWO bottles of Gatorade. I was very glad to have these once the AC broke in the HUMMV… that was one toasty ride!!

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I also read… Gone Girl. And ended up finishing it later that week. It was so good. If you like murder mysteries with a side of psycho marital problems (like, “I drank anti-freeze, then saved the vomit to prove that my husband poisoned me”…) then you’ll LOVE this book. No, but really, it’s fantastic!! I hear the author has two other books — of which I’ll be reading too!

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Instead of spending $6 at the dining facility, I made my own breakfast. They usually included these ingredients…

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GF oats, single serve almond milk, protein powder, almond milk… and sometime greek yogurt with GF granola.

At night, if I wasn’t too exhausted — I’d run around the base. I found an amazing trail that ended at the top of a hill that overlooked Camp SLO.

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The mornings were quiet and cold. It was fun walking around there as a Lieutenant instead of an Officer Candidate. I spent MANY weekends at Camp SLO for officer candidate school. Some more fond than others.

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Most of the time I threw my breakfast into a shaker bottle and took it to go. A few extra minutes of sleep will do that to ya!

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Throughout the day I worked. Some more productive than others. But, I learned a lot and had a great time.

 

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I also got to practice shooting on the range.

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And spend time getting to know other soldiers in my unit.

 

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The last night we celebrated the end with a BIG BBQ!!

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Blue Moon beer on tap as well — yes, please!!

Sunday morning it was homeward bound!!

Stereo on…

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Starbucks in hand…

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And we were off!! I was co-driver for the 5 ton. That thing is old, big, loud and bumpy… but someone had to do it, right?

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All the heat and long hours on the road was making me sleepy. Starbucks energy drink to the rescue!

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I’m a big fan of this drink. It doesn’t make my heart beat super fast like some other energy drinks. And it’s the best flavor… Strawberry Lemonade!

When I FINALLY got home… cherries and wine was waiting for me.

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As well as this handsome guy…

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Who cooks!! 🙂

I didn’t snap a picture of dinner, but J made grilled chicken and brussels sprouts atop a BIG mix of spinach, kale and other mixed greens. YUM!

It’s officially confirmed that I have some kind of allergy to gluten. The last few days of training I had to eat a few meals with gluten in them. I had horrible stomache aches and other undesirable side effects. We’re going to delete that from my diet completely from now on.

One thing that I’ll be continuing to add… Coconut water with a splash of juice!

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I was very dehydrated from traveling and being away from home. A few glasses of this hit the spot!

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Annual training is just about over. And guess what? I survived!

Have a happy week… by then end of it, I’ll be at the Happiest Place on earth: Disney Land!!

XO

Paisley

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