Monday, March 28, 2011


I realized how long it has been since I updated this thing. Anyway, things have been going pretty well over here in the mid west. The weather is finally starting to warm up and we get to take the kids outside and play on the play ground and such. I have been working still at the youth center but also go to go and work at the CDC (child development center) where i worked with babies who were 6 weeks old up to pre schooler's who are about 3 or 4. It was a lot of fun and a good change of scenery. I haven't been able to get down to Chicago again yet. As the weather gets nicer, I will definitely begin exploring more down there. I however have been getting to know the area i am currently in, which is good. This week is spring break for the kids so the center is open from 6 to 6. It is going to be a long week. I am going in to get breakfast ready for all the kids, then clean that up and start setting up lunch. Needless to say it is non stop and its only day 1. This week will be a fun day of sports. Wednesday I am going to the McDonalds High School All American basketball game at the united center in Chicago and then Sunday will venture to Wrigley to watch the Cubs play. I am hoping to maybe go to the Cubs game Saturday but we will see how the weather is and if I can even get tickets. Below are some pictures of the area. The big tall clock tower is the main building on base. It is just inside the gate and is pretty cool. The big grass field in front of it is called Ross field. Here is where graduations are held during warmer months and where the kids play soccer which starts soon. To the right, you can't see, is the movie theater where i have been to a couple movies and watch pay per view ufc fights and such. It is a pretty cool place. Movies are 2 bucks, popcorn is 2 and pop is 2. So you can get out pretty cheap. The picture through the tree's is out my window when i woke up this morning. The lake is very pretty when its the right weather. I can see a big beach and grass areas, and a board walk that extends out into the lake. I am hoping it gets nicer so I can spend some time down there. Anyway, thats about all i have to report

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

First time in Chicago

After multiple requests from family I have decided to update this thing. It is a lot harder than i thought to keep this thing updated regularly. Anyway this past weekend I was able to go into Chicago. I went with a friend Lucas who works at navy housing development about 45 mins away. We took the train right outside of base right to downtown Chicago. We didn't really know what to do so we started looking for real Chicago style pizza. We found a place and walked about a mile to it, of course it was closed. But right across the street was a place called Al's Italian Beef. It was one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. We then walked to the Willis Tower, formally known as the Sears Tower. Ended up waiting in line for about an hour to get to the top because the elevators were broken. So instead of getting on one elevator to the top, we took 3! One of which was a massive industrial elevator. We got to the top and it was incredible. It was a gorgeous day and you could see forever. The new addition there is the thing called the sky deck. It is a glass box that extends out of the 103 floor. You step out on it and you are standing on a 2 inch piece of glass looking straight down over the street. It is in the picture. It was a weird feeling. From there we walked down by memorial park, by the big Picasso mirror bean. It was cool. Walked on lake shore drive and ended up at Navy Pier. We walked there for a while and then stopped at the Billy Goat Tavern. This is where the Chicago Cubs curse of the billy goat began and was also featured on SNL... look it up. We then walked to one of Chicago's top 5 pizza places called Gino's East and had some of the best pizza of my life. On the way we walked the Magnificent Mile which was full of stores I don't belong in. We decided to catch an earlier train to get back home so ended up speed walking/slight jogging a mile or so to catch a train. We made it with about 2 mins to spare. On the way home our train hit a pedestrian at one of the stations. The man was not killed but we were delayed about 90 mins. Finally got back Great Lakes and crashed. Overall was a great day. Still need to see some of the museums, China Town, Little Italy, and Greek Town. Maybe this weekend.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Storm of 2011

The storm is here... It began about 3:00 yesterday afternoon with high winds reaching 40 plus mph. When this started to pick up, most of the office was sent home. Only a couple supervisors stayed with the last few kids. The whole base was shut down yesterday afternoon and is completely shut down today. The youth center where I work is considered essential personnel. This means we are the last place to close in case fire fighters, cops, emt's, guards, etc have children and need a place to bring them. It is so bad, that we are actually closed today, this means no work, but I can't go anywhere or do anything. Last night I sat and watched the storm slowly move in. Every hour it was getting worse and worse. At one point it was reported that winds were over 70 mph off the lake. My window is about 100 yards from the lake. It was pretty brutal. I was very excited to wake up this morning to see what the storm had brought. I looked out to see cars completely buried, plows attempting to plow the street, and enlisted navy wrestling. It is hard to put into words what is going on. We got about 2 feet of snow, but have drifts up to 4 feet in places. below are a few pictures of places right outside my hotel.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First Week

So I just finished my 3rd day at the youth center. It has been a whirl wind of events, but a pretty good time. On Monday (My first day) I began the day by doing some paper work so i can get my ID batch, got a tour of the cdc's (Child Development Centers) basically the day cares, met a ton of people and still trying to make my way around this place. Everything is an abbreviation or a number. All the buildings aren't named, but numbered. So I work at buildings 3110, or can't remember the others. Anyway I learned how the daily activities ran after school in the SAC (School Aged Children)and the youth and teen programs. The teen center we have has every video game system. 2 XBOX 360's a wii, play station 3, XBOX Kinect, which is soooo fun. The guy I work with, the teens and I have heated battles at track and field. Starting at 5 basketball practices start. I am basically doing what I did in Pullman. Overseeing practices, coaches. I also have been coaching a couple teams of all sorts of ages. The second day the T&C (Training & Curriculum Specialist)put me through a bunch of trainings. I got certified in a bunch of things which i can put on resumes. So that was good. Again did basketball practices and learned more about the system. Today, my 3rd day at work I got my first project. I updated the youth centers slides that are shown all over the base on t.v. They tell everyone about activities, clubs, etc going on in our center. I also spent about 3 hours shopping at staples and best buy today. The boys and girls clubs give us money to use in order to supply the kids with things to do in the center. We got money to buy stuff for kids and the office. So far it has been pretty good. Longer days than I am used to, but I don't have much to do outside of work so its alright. I'm looking forward to getting more involved

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Welcome to the midwest

The long journey is in the near future. Mom and started our journey Sunday morning. Map quest, an atlas, and the GPS (Richard aka. Rich) in hand we began. The morning was filled will lots of rain, but no snow thankfully. We made it to Rapid City, South Dakota the first day. It was about a 13 hour drive. We got up early the next morning and went to Mt. Rushmore. We were just about the only ones their at 8 a.m. It was blue sky and sunny. Perfect setting, for a perfect place. We spend an hour or so wondering around the facilities there. Then head out.. Next stopping spot was Grandma and Grandpas in Traer. With stops at Wall Drug, and Mitchell S.D. we finally made it at about 9:30. It was great to see them, Grandma has not changed one bit. We got up and visited for a while then headed to Madison WI. A 4 hour drive seemed easy after the previous days. We got to see Susie, Dave and Christopher. It was great to see them all.

After mom left this morning I headed to downtown Madison. It is a pretty cool place. I went to the capital, a museum, and The University of Wisconsin football stadium. I then met Chris for lunch at a local bar and got a brief tour of the massive campus and what they call state street. It was a good day, and fun to see a big 10 campus. Defiantly a little different than Pullman. Tomorrow I am hanging out and going to the Wisconsin vs. Indiana bball game. Friday morning early I will head to Great Lakes and start the new adventure.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Back from D.C.

The past week I have been in Washington D.C. for my internship orientation. During this week long orientation I learned all about military families, children and how child development centers work on Navy, Army and Air Force bases. My week started with a cab ride through the city getting to see the sights from a distance. I was greeted at the conference center by the people who I have been emailing for the past few months about this program. The first night there a group of interns went out on the town. Found a bar called the barking dog where we watched the national championship football game. The next day everyone was so tired from the night before we played card games, air hockey, pool and an array of video games. It was a great chance to talk with people from all over the United States and world. We met people from France, Brazil and Japan. That same night, a few people in our group got to see snow for the first time in their life. We had a huge snowball fight, with a bunch of 16 year old French kids. They thought I was a big professional baseball player. To say the least, it was a fun time. Wednesday night the same group went into D.C. Here I got to see the white house, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial and WWII Memorial. I saw the Capital, Arlington Cemetery, The Pentagon, and Jefferson Memorial from a far. All very very cool. Vietnam was one of the most somber, moving things I have ever had the chance to see. Lincoln is way bigger than you think too. We took city buses, and the D.C. metro which was another experience in itself. The final night we were there we went out again to a place that had dollar beers, and dollar drinks from 10-11. It was a great time to bond with the other interns and have some fun while doing it. Overall it was a absolute blast over there and I want to go back and see more.

Tomorrow Mom and I begin our journey to Chicago. We will be driving over 12 hours to Rapid City South Dakota. It should be a good time. Will keep everyone updated on the journey and experiences in Chicago and the life on a Navy Base.