We were up early again, but not as early as the day before. This was where it was great to be at a hotel where they had breakfast. It started at 6am so we had missed it the day before, but ate there all other mornings.
Of course these would be our waffles here:
Don't mess with Texas.
We got on base by 7:15 am and parked near the parade grounds. At least the sun was up today when we drove in.
I was now wearing a smaller ankle brace and hobbled out to the stands. We were in the stands by 7:45 and even that early, found that all of the center seats were already taken. We took the last seats in the bleachers nearest them, and thankfully were in the shade and not in the side bleachers, which had full sun the whole time.
Yes, San Antonio is hot. And humid, as in you feel like you are constantly dripping, even at 11:00 at night, when it is still 78 degrees out with 90% humidity. I don't mind that kind of weather - what bothered me most was the contrast from going inside and outside. Most inside places kept their temps at at least 68 degrees and super dry, or low humidity. Going from one to another was not fun and I was actually really cold in some places.
The parade started promptly at 9am. All of the flights had made their way onto the grassy area.
Can't see them? Yup that is them, way over there. Another day where I was thankful for the binoculars.
All of the flights were accounted for and with great military precision, put at attention.
Then they began to walk around towards us and down the bomb run.
We all stood when the stars and stripes came by, leading all of the state flags.
Mr Lego Airman was in Kisling Flight, and towards the end, after the flags had passed.
There he is - he is second from the right, first one in the line.
The airmen marched back to their positions and then all flights came forward as they took the oath of enlistment. This is actually considered a reaffirmation of the oath, since they all took it the day they enlisted.
Then the Airman's Creed is recited, and then they are at attention until tap out.
And Mr. Lego Airman was an official airman!
He was free to come with us as we drove in our car back to his dorm. The Open House begins at 10:15, but the majority of us were stuck in a traffic jam and we didn't get to the parking area until about 10:30.
Heading into the dorms.
These dorms are newly built, and the trainees refer to them as "Disneyland". There are a few squadrons that are housed in the older dorms which are known as "Alcatraz", but don't worry, Alcatraz is just as clean as Disneyland, it's just an older structure.
The thing is massive. I counted and I think that there are at least 24 flights in each dorm, which means there are around 1200 trainees in each building. And there are four of them!
The entire building is raised so that they have a place to do PT and work outside without being in the sun.
And this is not the greatest photo, but the center of the dorm is hollow.
We went up to his dorm on the 4th floor (I went in the elevator) and were able to pretty much go wherever we wanted in his dorm area.
We saw the laundry room.....
and the Day Room. I didn't get a photo of that, but it was where they had some meetings and had mail call.
We were even able to go into the bathrooms and see the shower area.
This photos was taken in the day room, and is of him and his two MTI's.
The MTI's follow the flight the whole 7 1/2 weeks. Mr. Lego Airman really connected with the one on the right, and was encouraged and motivated by him. He told us that he was actually really sad to be leaving him.
As element leader, his bunk was nearest to the door.
His clothing drawer, which was impressive.
He showed us the stack of letters he had received through the 7 1/2 weeks, and was very thankful for all those that wrote him.
His shoes, all lined up.
After a while, other airmen came around and were talking with him. A few even came up to introduce their parents to him, since he was their element leader.
I'll tell you, all of these guys looked sharp and very neat.
After open house we said we would take him wherever he wanted for lunch. One of his wingmen had talked about Texas Roadhouse the entire time so he wanted to go there for a steak.
I am sure it was a bit surreal for him, sitting there in his blues, eating in a restaurant, and off base for the first time in 7 1/2 weeks.
The day before we had visited the ITT on base to see what we could do in SA. Unfortunately, Six Flags had a private event going on all weekend, which was a bummer since he had been looking forward to that.
But we found some other fun stuff to do for the next three days.
First, we visited The Alamo.
Yes, that is The Alamo. It is a pretty small structure and crazy that we could defend it for so long.
The next thing we did was a ticket package we had gotten on base - a haunted mansion, 3-D laser ride, and world record museum, conveniently right across from The Alamo.
No photos, but I will say that the haunted mansion was the most fun. This is the kind of place where they have live actors in there scaring the heck out of you. Stuff like that doesn't scare me so my brave men sent me in front of them...halfway through we were in a room with mirrors and I caught a glimpse of both of them cowering behind me, using me as a shield. I thought it was hilarious but I think both of them were glad when we got through it.
The museum had interesting stuff in it and we learned some crazy facts. And the 3-D laser ride was just that - you boarded a car and then shot lasers at targets while wearing 3D glasses.
The other big plans we had for today was doing go carts.
There was about a half hour wait and while we were waiting the boys played some basketball.
Finally it was time to suit up. I was cool with sitting on the nice couches there and videoing the race.
They got going pretty fast in those things.
It was getting late so we headed to Maria Mia's on Riverwalk.
We asked our server to please have us out of there by a certain time since you CANNOT be late back to base, and they totally accommodated us.
After we dropped him off, we walked across the street from our hotel to Riverwalk and had a couple of margaritas at where else? Margaritaville.
The end of another wonderful day.