Thursday, January 27, 2005 was a beautiful day in Twentynine palms, CA. So much different temperature than when we here in July and August of 2004. We had been at the 29 Palms Golf Resort and RV Park for two days now, awaiting our son, Christopher’s return from a Marine Corps artillery training class in New Jersey. He was ready to be out of the snow and we were anxious to see him. On Wednesday we drove into Palm Springs and saw a lot of beautiful landscaping around the city. Many brilliant flowers and well-manicured golf courses. We stopped at Olive Garden for lunch.
Our son called on Thursday morning and he was finally back at the Marine base, but would not be available to see us until Friday. On Friday we got to the base in time to see the Marines in formation and got to watch an awards and promotions ceremony. After the formation, we took Christopher to Burger King on base and had lunch, then we went back to his barracks to hang out with some of his friends.
On Saturday we picked up our son, Christopher and two of his fellow Marines, Lee Calles and Jason Keppner and drove to the Spa Casino in Palm Springs. The youngsters were fun to be with and made an effort to keep us entertained. The boys really enjoyed the buffet. Lee won $300 playing blackjack and was really excited during lunch. We stayed a few hours and had a great time. Lunch was delicious, but a tad expensive.
We stayed home and did some housework on Sunday, then on Monday we picked Christopher up at his baracks and he took us for a tour of the base. It is a city unto itself – the Marines could stay on base all the time and have everything they needed. There are some portions of the base we did not see, such as the artillery ranges. Christopher also knew very little about the Aviation Wing at the base. Christopher was on pre-deployment leave and he was relaxed, but anxious about going to Iraq. Although he was on leave, Christopher spent most of his leave time lazing on base. Kathi and I are not that much fun when we stay at home.
February 1st was a Tuesday and we did our laundry and read. A boring day for some, but good for us, since we had been moving so often. On Wednesday we picked Christopher up so he could spend a few days with us. We watched a whole season of episodes of “The West Wing.” That was a show Christopher really enjoyed and we had some fun discussion with him about the show.
On Saturday our oldest son, AJ flew into town and we picked him up at the airport. The four of us stayed at the Howard Johnson in Palm Springs and hung out together all weekend. We made a trip to a casino and AJ had some beginner’s luck playing Baccarat. Christopher won $1,500 by getting three of a kind and a straight flush playing three card poker. He shared his winnings with us and I assume we had a great time, since the money was gone before we returned to the hotel. We had a great time with the four of us together and Kathi and I were exhausted after returning AJ to the airport for a flight back to San Francisco and returning Christopher to the Marine base. Family is good.