I’m back! The crazy old commander’s retirement ceremony was on Friday, his going away party was yesterday, and now that it’s over I can finally have my life back and return to writing about Hawaii and all the things that disappoint me.
The ceremony went off as well as any of these big events usually do: you spend months laying out a grand plan for the event, which of course gets scrapped because everything goes to hell on the big day, but in the end it somehow all works out and everyone is happy. And seeing the commander and his family so happy and proud made the time and effort all worth it, since this is a guy we all loved working with. I was glad I got to help orchestrate his big day. But man, that doesn’t mean I didn’t pout and complain every step of the way.
My biggest victory (well, besides making sure no one fainted on stage and that the Very Important Senior Officers got their personal escorts, special seating, and handiwipes or whatever) was that infamous shadowbox. Holy hell, I am never, ever, ever creating one of these again. It was, oddly enough, the best summary of this whole party planning process – looks so simple at the end, but belies the pain involved in creating it: finding a fancy-shaped box, begging for donations to cover the cost of shipping from the mainland, hounding the commander for weeks to have him give me the stuff that goes in it, the painstaking process of measuring, aligning, and gluing everything down, and dealing with last-minute crazy requests like “I want this set of ribbons in there, not that one,” “How many medals do I have again? How come you don’t know how many medals I have?!” “I want this coin by my name. No wait, this coin.” I half-expected him to ask for a unicorn mounted by the flag. The end result was great, if I do say so myself, but I still can’t get over how ridiculous it all was. I’ll be more than happy to give pointers to anyone
cursed tasked with building one in the future, but I told my fiance that if he stays in the Navy long enough to retire, he’s going to have to find his own minion to do his shadowbox because NEVER AGAIN.
But enough about that. I have a handful of half-finished posts that I’d written over the last couple of months, and look forward to posting them now that I’m not spending all my time tracking down cakes and flag-bearers and what-not. I’m really eager to write about the trip I took to London last week for a friend’s wedding! It was only my second trip ever to Europe, and now I’m all sorts of excited to go back and see more. (But maybe when I’m no longer living in Hawaii, because the 20 hour flight + 11 hour time difference was not so fun.)