The summer of 2016 was definitely my favorite so far, so I thought I would share some of the highlights.
- Ben went to Air Force Training (COD) in Alabama
This carried such mixed emotions for both of us. Ben was gone for about 5 weeks total, which may not seem like a long time, but A LOT happened in those weeks. This was the first time we had really been apart for an extended period of time and we really didn’t get to talk besides occasional texts and night time Facetime chats.
Ben went through some of the most physically and mentally challenging couple of weeks in his life at the Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. At the end of training they had a graduation ceremony that I attended with his parents. It was a long car trip, but so entirely worth it. It has been one of the proudest moments of our relationship so far. I gained so much respect for military members and family after I spent a few days on base, witnessing just a small fraction of what they go through.
2 Family Camping Trip
Ben’s family has always gone on some type of trip together over the summer. It used to consist of a destination more south on a beach, but last year they decided to try camping in Michigan. My family has only gone on a few camping trips and they never consisted of a tent, always a camper, so I guess you could say I never got the real experience. Long story short, the trip to Michigan was absolutely beautiful and I ended up sleeping in a hammock all three nights! ( I would appreciate some recognition for my bravery) One night Ben, Caleb (Ben’s cousin), and I snuck out of the camp sight and hung our hammocks literally in the middle of nowhere in this National Forest. It was so scary but yet so fun haha On our way out of the camp site we saw a porcupine, which really started my nerves for the night to come.
(The beach was no more than a 5 minute walk from our camp site so catching the sunset was possibly one of my favorite parts every evening)
3. The Reserve
Ben’s parents were kind enough to invite me down to spend a few weeks at their home in South Carolina , and oh what a treat. We did everything! Surfing behind the boat, golfed, hiked, slid down waterfalls, played pickle ball and tennis, made late night trips to the hot tub, got (multiple) peanut butter shakes from the market, and of course got a great tan. It was such a sweet time with family at such a beautiful place. One of my favorites, was definitely a hike up Table Rock with Ben and two of my brothers. It was a treacherous hike that I didn’t want to even attempt, but I did, and the view was so worth it.
Photo credit to Ben on these next two.
4. Matt and Harper’s Wedding
During our last week in South Carolina we had to make a drive to Tennessee for Ben’s best friends wedding, in which he was the best man in. So, we made the drive on Friday to get there in time for the rehearsal dinner (which was when Ben gave his speech and KILLED it). The wedding was the next day but not until later afternoon so I joined Ben’s parents for a trip to some sweet southern shops and also found some delicious comfort food for lunch (possibly the best fried chicken I’ve ever had). It was such a precious moment to see Ben stand by Matt’s side as Harper came down the isle. Little did we know the next summer Matt will be standing beside Ben’s side as I walk down the isle. Funny how timing works out sometimes. We enjoyed celebrating Matt and Harper and loved the southern hospitality of the state of Tennessee.