Monday, February 19, 2007

The Wizard of Oz . . .

. . . might have been the best thing to come out of Kansas. No, seriously, I drove through about half of this state, from KC to Manhattan, and might have seen about 4 buildings, all of which were abandoned farmhouses. The only interesting part of the drive was that I was in the back of a stretch limo. The limo ride itself is actually worthy of a post, because I haven’t done much else in the 3 days I've been here.

Life must really hard if I'm taking a limo across Kansas, right? There's actually a good reason we (my 4 friends from Ft. Lee and myself) took the limo. After leaving Ft. Lee at 7:30am and spending most of our day in the airport because of delayed flights, we finally arrived in Kansas City around 3pm. Upon arrival, we were told to contact the shuttle that normally transports Soldiers from KC to Manhattan. The shuttle, however, couldn't pick us up until 7pm that evening, and it would be a 3 hour ride because of its required stops. Being the good Soldiers we are, we decided to arrange for alternate transportation. The only company willing to pick us up within the hour that had prices comparable to the shuttle was a limo company! So of course, we didn’t hesitate to roll across the Kansas countryside in style.

It was actually a pretty interesting ride. No, not because of the scenery, which as I mentioned consisted of a few abandoned farms and a race track; it was interesting because seemingly every car we passed honked their horns and waved frantically at us. A couple of girls even leaned out of their windows and blew us kisses! They must have thought we were celebrities, and clearly not many stretch limos make that drive.

The comedies of the limo didnt stop once we arrived at Ft. Riley. The gate guards also thought our choice of transportation was comical, and foreshadowed our time here when they told us it would be the last nice thing we would have while we were here. Ft. Riley is a very large post and it took us a while to find our building, but we finally did and pulled our stretch limo in front of the Task Force headquarters. I wish I thought of taking a picture, because there were at least a dozen Soldiers who crowded around and gave us high fives for our stylish entrance. I did take a picture of all of us in the limo with our bags though, and it’s posted in my picture link at the right. They too echoed the sentiments of the gate guards, and told us they hoped we enjoyed the limo because there wasn’t much else we'd enjoy while we're here! Wow - what a great introduction to the next two months of my life!

Since the limo ride, we haven’t done much. We all got split up into different companies and buildings and were taken to our rooms. The team I am on has been receptive and made me feel welcome, and the training we have scheduled looks challenging, but I am glad for it because the time will move fast. This week will be more paperwork, vaccinations (the anthrax should be pleasant), and briefings. After that, we will do realistic training that aims to simulate life in Iraq and will allow our team to gain cohesion. Hopefully it moves quick and I will be that much closer to home!!

4 comments:

Erin Convery said...

Isn't it amazing how flat Kansas is?!! No wonder it is so easy to get your house blown half way across the state in a tornado!!
It sounds miserable, but it could be worse, it could be the middle of July and about a 1000 degrees!!
Take care of yourself. :)

Erin

Sandro Rosa said...

Hey, look at the bright side, you could still be up in Watertown. I think they got over 100 inches of snow two weekends ago. And even if you do get snow, there are no big drifts, it just keeps blowing until it hits the Mississipi River!

You better practice up on your orienteering, There some hills just to the east of you, that have to be at least a few hundred feet high.

I've been keeping my fingers crossed that something more comes out of Congress' vote that they didn't support the new troop call up. Can only hope that the generals get conservative and "delay" the deployments based on Congress' reaction. There are worse things in life than spending some time persuing your new favorite sport (Cow Tipping) on a nice extended vacation in Kansas.

Stay safe and keep your eyes open for those damn flying monkeys!

LiMousine said...

You’re the luckiest person in this world if you have got a chance to taste the ultimate luxurious voyage in a limo. You had great ride in limo!

hummer limo said...

When you are in limo in a good company, it doesn't really matter what is around. You enjoy inside and forget what is outside.