Jared and Mary's Excellent Adventure

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Wings and Sausages

So what do wings have to do with sausages? Moreover, what does South Alabama have to do with German sausages? We're still not sure, but it has been an exciting week. Jared was given his wings yesterday, essentially a graduation from training. And since Mary has all but officially graduated from grad school, we can both celebrate a bit.

Sue and Bob Burns, Jared's parents, arrived from Connecticut earlier in the week to attend all the winging ceremonies. There were plenty of things to do: blessings on the wings, speeches, official ceremonies, receptions, breaking champaign glasses, after parties. As Sarah Weber Young said: "It sounds like a bachelor party mixed with a Jewish wedding." All the winging events were moving and memorable. The main ceremony, held at the National Museum of Naval Aviation, recognized Jared as a top graduate. He is in the top 15% of the last two hundred graduates, which is how the Navy grades them. Mary clearly married well. She even got her own recognition from the Navy for putting up with an aviation student, quite a nice surprise.

In addition to having his parents visit and getting his wings, Jared is happy with Mary's new job, which she stumbled into. Stumbled because Mary applied, was called back, interviewed, and hired on the spot all on Tuesday. She will be working at a Sylvan learning center here in P'cola, helping kids who struggle in school. Jared's looking forward to the nice increase in the household income. The job is good because it allows her to still travel and prepare for the upcoming move to Texas. Mary has applied to other jobs in P'cola, just to see what's out there. All good additions to the resume before heading off to Abilene.

And now to explain the sausages. After dropping Bob and Sue off at the airport early Saturday morning (everyone woke up at 4am), we took a long and well-deserved nap. We woke up midmorning to a sunny, warm day, so we decided to explore the Gulf Coast a bit. Our plan was to go to Fairhope, Alabama, a small town about an hour away. Instead we ended up in Elberta, Alabama, a town along the way on the scenic route between P'cola and Fairhope. This Saturday happened to be the annual German Sausage Festival and the little town was packed. We couldn't resist a festival like this (and the road was like a parking lot) so we stopped to see it. The festival turned out to be a little gem. The food was great, plenty to see and interesting music. Mary particularly enjoyed a band with an electric washboard, toilet banjo, and pogostick marraca thingy.
Ah Alabama.

PS: Ask us about the dolphins!