Ma Deuce Gunner

Ma Deuce Gunner


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

R&R Recap

I arrived back home in Idaho at about noon, 02 August. My wife, in-laws, niece, Pastor, and about 30 members of my church were there to greet me. It was kinda cool, my wife met me at the outside of security, and everyone else was waiting over at baggage claim. So, I got to enjoy my first kiss without feeling like I had to greet everyone else right away.

That first night, we ate dinner at Texas Roadhouse, which is one of my personal favorites. Texas Roadhouse was the first meal I had on Family Day, the 48 hour pass between basic training and AIT. It's a place where they have piping hot biscuits with some killer cinammon butter, and EXCELLENT steaks. I am the kind of guy that really enjoys eating GOOD food. My wife says she loves to watch me eat. Good thing she is a dietitian, too.

The next day, my wife and I drove to Coeur D'Alene (CDA), Idaho, for some alone time. We had a great time. After sleeping on my single size matress for the last 8 months, the king-bed was AWESOME.

We drove 9 hours straight to get there. Now, that sounds like a long drive, and it was, but it was a wonderful opportunity to have a long conversation, with no distractions, like TV or telephones. Communication is, at best, difficult while deployed, and it was wonderful to be able to talk. Just talk and do a little re-connecting.

The next day, we got up early (well, I got up early, as I was still on Iraq time, and dragged my wife out of bed, which is a complete departure from the norm, where she is the early riser) and drove up to Silverwood, a theme park just north of CDA. It had some big wooden rollercoasters, which I had a great time on. I am very proud of my wife, she actually rode on one with me, "The Timber Terror". She is not much for high-adrenaline rides, but she got on. I think she enjoyed it, too. They had the pre-requisite high-priced food and drinks, and we rode everything we wanted to ride. MDG Wife got some footage of me on the one she decided to sit out. Then, we went over to the water park, and worked on the tan while floating the "Lazy River". There are carnival games there too, and I, fully knowing it is nearly impossible to do, had to attempt to "Shoot out the Star" with the full-auto BB gun. No dice. Just a little shred of red was left. Oh well.

We then ate dinner at a nice Italian place, on the patio. As we prayed over our meal, some really shady looking homeless guy stopped next to our table, and when I finished praying, I looked up and there was a smelly, hairy guy standing waaaay to close to my table, just on the other side of a little plastic fence, staring at our food. I tell you, he just about got to meet my Kimber Custom TLE II. I think he sensed I was not happy with his presence, and he quickly moved on.

Dinner on the Patio

Then, we walked down to the boardwalk and watched the sun set over the lake. For the un-initiated, Lake Coeur D'Alene is a large lake in northern Idaho, about 30 miles east of Spokane, Washington. CDA is a resort town, and it is a popular destination for water skiing, sunbathing, and shopping.

Evening walk on the Lake Coeur D'Alene Boardwalk

Coeur D'Alene was great. There was a street festival in CDA, and we enjoyed meandering through the festival. There were many homemade products, arts and crafts. There were food booths everywhere, too.

The next 2 days were spent bumming around CDA. We just went where we felt like going, shopped where we felt like shopping, and ate where we felt like eating. We went to a sushi restaurant, and, well, it was not as good as we had hoped. We did find a good breakfast spot, however, a place called "The Breakfast Nook" (The name kinda gave it away). I had some great pork chops and hash browns. They were big shreds of potato, and super buttery.
{Homer Simpson}MMMMMMMMM.....Butter.{/Simpson}

On our fourth day, we drove north to a friend's cabin on Lake Pend Orille (pronounced pond o-ray). We spent the day lounging on their little beach, floating on the big inflatable islands anchored just off their dock, jet-skiing, and wake-boarding. We had dinner with our friends that evening, and I finally got some watermelon.

Jet Skiing

On the fifth day, we slept in, because a day at the beach and zipping around on the water, and swimmimg really takes it out of you. We relaxed and hung out. We went to "The Taste of Coeur D'Alene" for lunch. I have been to "The Taste of" Honolulu and Seattle. I was not so much impressed by CDA. The most exotic thing they had there were some wok-fired yakisoba. They were mediocre. I did get a pretty good fresh squeezed lemonade, though.

That night, we went on a dinner cruise on Lake CDA. It was a great night, in the high 70's, clouds just kinda randomly dotting the sky. We really enjoyed the food, which was served buffet style. Prime Rib, baby.

Me and the Mrs on the dinner cruise

The next day, we drove back home. We were gonna take it easy, and stop halfway for the night, but MDG's sister-in-law and her family had arrived from Oregon, and my niece, who is 2, could not understand why Uncle Mike was not home from Iraq. I guess her parents told her the whole 2 day car trip that she was gonna see Uncle Mike when they got to Nana and Grandpa's house. So, we hauled on home. I am not one who would ever try and disappoint my nieces.

The rest of my time home was very relaxing. We did some more shopping, hung out and played with my nieces, I tried my hand at welding while helping my father-in-law build some hitching posts in the barn. I loaded up all my .22cal guns and went up to the mountain behind the house and shot a brick of ammo. I love the smell of burnt gunpowder.

I was lucky enough to be home on my 3rd Wedding Anniversary. I woke up and thought, "OH, NO, I FORGOT FLOWERS". I had a gift, but forgot the roses. There was a fire about a mile away from our house, so I told MDG wife I was going to see what was burning and ran into town. That evening, we drove to the next major town south of where we live, and stayed the night in a 'theme suite' hotel. We stayed in the "Jungle Falls Suite". RAAAARRR!!!! We did arrive in town a few hours before check-in time, and my WONDERFUL WIFE even let me go to a couple gun stores. What a woman.

The Jungle Falls Suite

My wife also cooked me up some of my favorite Filipino food dishes. Sinigang, Pancit, and Lumpia. And REAL rice, none of the 'Uncle Ben's' type ka-kaa they serve in the chowhall. To me, if it doesn't stick together, it ain't rice. With soy-sauce. Yeah.

My Auntie M. and Uncle P. (Auntie is my Dad's older sister), who had been visiting MDG Sis in the Midwest, were driving back to Washington and stopped by to see me for a night a few days before I left to come back here. It was good to see them...we grilled steaks and talked all night.

MDG Wife and I saw "Four Brothers" and "Must Love Dogs". I enjoyed both of them. No, really, both of them. I like John Cusack movies. I can watch "High Fidelity" or "Grosse Pointe Blank" anytime. The dude is hilarious. Language warning for "Four Brothers", and gore too, but a good movie nonetheless.

The rest of my time was unremarkable, yet completely wonderful. It was a great time of relaxation, good food, great company, and wonderful interaction. I really can't think of anything I missed doing, and don't regret anything I did while at home, except possibly the sushi restaurant.

R&R was everything I could have hoped for, and nothing I feared. It was wonderful to be home, however short it was, but I can't wait to make it for good. We're in the homestretch now.

SCOUTS OUT!!!!!!!!!!



At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like I'll be able to be the first to comment on what a beautiful wife you have. You're a lucky man. It feels strange to say welcome back, but I'm glad you had a great time. Hope the rest of your time in Iraq goes by as fast as your R&R seemed to.

God Bless and stay safe,

At 4:57 PM, Blogger Mr A said...

Interesting to read your comments on Uk terror policy. I agree on most accounts.

At 5:02 PM, Blogger TODD said...


I am glad to see your R&R went well and you were surrounded by loved ones. Thank you for your dedicated service.
Why all the commercial ads in you comment section? Keep you rhead down and stay safe troop!!!

At 6:12 PM, Blogger GunnNutt said...

MDG - on the Blogger Dashboard there is a new "word verification" option that you can use to keep the spam off of here. Its in a comment just below the main section.

On to your R&R. You must have gained 20 lbs! Eat, play, sleep, eat, play, sleep, drive, eat - doesn't get any better than that! MDG Wife looks like a doll. Thank you so much for recounting such a wonderful time.

At 7:31 PM, Blogger Toni said...

Cool pics MDG of you and the wife. That theme room is 'interesting'! You looked rested and content. Stay well and stay safe.

At 7:44 PM, Blogger thepatriot15 said...

Oh I am SO happy you are home! Smiling real huge for you, and yet warning you that you will have one angry fan if you quit posting.


At 10:49 PM, Anonymous MissBirdlegs in AL said...

Sounds like R&R was just what you needed - I'm glad for you. MDG's wife is a lovely woman, great smile, nice direct eyes - and she let you go to some gun shops!

I don't think I need to tell you, but stay focused, keep your helmet on & your butt down. Mothers talk like that, you know, even to other folks' sons.

At 7:36 AM, Blogger David M said...

Congrats on a great time at home...many times life comes so fast that we forget what's really important in life. It seems to me that you have a very firm grasp of what is important in life and you aren't letting go.

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia ." (Charles Schultz)

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Thanks, Remy...She is Gorgeous, isnt she?!?!!

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Remy said...

As my wife always says, I have a habit of stating the obvious.

God Bless and stay safe,

At 2:11 PM, Anonymous MDG's sis said...


At 6:36 PM, Blogger Subsunk said...


Sounds like a great time. Those memories will keep you going till the end of deployment. It just reminds you why you need to keep hitting the dirt hard every day until the job is done.

God bless you, son. Press on.


At 9:18 AM, Blogger Chevy Rose said...

Your wife is a real cutie pie, and you ain't so bad either ;)
I really appreciate your sharing the photos and adventures of R&R with all of us.
God bless and press on. The time will pass and you'll be home. Stay safe.

At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After spending a week in Japan last summer, all I can say is "10-4" on the rice. I can't understand why the Chinese restaurants in the area don't use rice that works when you use chopsticks.

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Wayne's Mom said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about R&R. Our Wayne was here with us for only 3-1/2 days, since we live 4 hours away from his new fiancee, who is in summer school in LA. We loved every minute. Thumbs up to all of our soldiers on the back side of deployment now!

At 8:19 AM, Anonymous sarahk said...

sounds like a wonderful time! and what wife wouldn't let her husband go to a gun store? and who wouldn't want to go with him?? :D

At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have made a mistake with the homeless one.
I feel you should have offered him your food instead your killing looks. I feel you have failed a test from God. Think on it please.



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