visiting chad

since diana and i started dating i have been able to meet all of her family, and she has actually been able to meet my whole extended family. well, except for one glaring omission: my brother! she still hadnt met her future brother-in-law! weve been trying to fix that for a couple months now. he is currently stationed down in missouri and we had been looking for a time when we could go down and meet up with him. well, the opportunity finally presented itself this past week. diana had some time off, and chad said he would be able to take some time away from the base and see us. so wednesday morning diana came over to my place, bright and early. we headed off by around 9:30am and just started driving. it took us about 7 hours, driving past st. louis and other cool sights, but we finally made it!
we soon met up with chad out front of the base. we followed him in and drove over to where he is living. he took us on a little tour of his place (very small!) and on a short drive through the base (very big!). we headed out to eat at a chilis knock off called peppers (clever, huh?) while there we were able to chat and talk about anything and everything. it was fun to hear him talk about some of the crazy hard stuff the military has him do for training, and we got to tell him about what has been going on in our lives and the wedding stuff. at one point diana left for the bathroom and i asked chad what he thought of her. he said shes cute and seems very nice, he likes her. i told him that that was a relief, because he better- she is, after all, going to be his new sister-in-law!
after dinner we headed back to the base and chad took us around a bit more, showing us the different places in the base, where he works, where he has physical training, etc. it was really great to just hang out with him and hear his stories. i miss that about him being so far away.
chad told us that then next morning there was going to be a military ceremony for some of the soldiers who had been lost in battle, and that we were allowed to attend if we wanted. diana and i figured it was early (6 am!), but we had come to see chad, so we shouldnt really pass on an opportunity to see him. we said yes and showed up at his place around 5:30am. chad still wasnt out to see us, so i called him and i guess he had overslept and i woke him up! he was up, ready, and out to the car in about 8 minutes (dang, thats quick!). we drove over to the chapel on base and watched the ceremony. after it was done, we said our goodbyes, and we were off! diana and i stopped for lunch, and then drove the rest of the way home. it was a long trip, lots of driving, but it was really great to have diana meet chad. i know he wont be around much, but im glad we got to spend some time with him now.
(lots more pics: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

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