Initial Observations


In our two weeks here, I have made several observations about this new home of ours.  In many ways it’s different than I was expecting…but then again I don’t know that I really had that many expectations.  Here are a few things I’ve noticed about Del Rio and Laughlin Air Force Base…

1.  It’s small.  Very small.  Del Rio is basically one main street.  The biggest store is Walmart.  In the mall, there are some very small versions of JC Penneys, Ross, Marshalls, etc.  We do have a movie theater, though…and tickets are less than half the price of what we paid in So Cal!!  The base is also quite small.  Last week I walked to a someone’s house in the other housing tract and it was only a 9 minute walk.  (And that was me walking slowly when I realized I would be very early to the appointment!)  There is a nice library here…again, very small…but I have high hopes of reading quite a large selection of their books while here!

2.  There is greenery.  My limited experience of Texas has just been that it is flat, flat, flat….and brown.  While there aren’t mountains here, there is definitely more vegetation and variation of the land then I was expecting.

3.  This is the fly capital of the state.  Probably the country.  A few nights ago, the Pilot came into our bedroom and informed me that the reason he hadn’t come to bed yet was because he was battling flies.  He had gotten 16.  Yes….16.  Just in our bathroom.  There were more throughout the house.  This is probably largely due to the fact that we have had to leave the door/s open for extended periods of time over the past few days, what with movers bringing in furniture, and us traipsing in and out with boxes.  Hopefully this fly situation will be short lived!!

4.  I have never been in a place where people actually followed the speed limit.  People of Del Rio…I applaud you!  Even in the 30 mph zones, people are seriously going 30 mph.

5.  We are going to have lots of opportunities to hang out with people!  Because there isn’t much to do in town or on base, we have already spent quite a bit of time with a friend who commissioned with the Pilot at UCLA.  (The other night we had a game night until 1:00 am!  Fun times…)  I started babysitting for another family here on base, and I look forward to spending more time with them.  We’ve started visiting churches and it will be nice to get plugged in with people there and start attending a Bible study hopefully!

So there you have it.  A bit of what I have learned so far. 😉


3 thoughts on “Initial Observations

  1. Sounds like you are settling in! That’s great that you have so many opportunities to meet new people – the hardest part about moving is finding a community again. 🙂 And ugh, flies – we don’t have many here in Victoria so I’ve almost forgotten what that’s like!

  2. Welcome to Del Rio. I had the great honor to spend six months there about 15 years ago. I found the people of Del Rio to be wonderfully accepting and I hope you have a similar experience. There are some wonderful things to know about Del Rio.
    1. Julio chips. Best potato chips I ever had.
    2. Lake Amistad (I think I spelled it right) go to the MWR and get a ski boat and spend time out on the lake.
    3. I am not sure if you can go to Mexico, if you can then GO!!! Daytime only, get some good food and enjoy the people. They are wonderful.
    4. When you can, at least once a month go to San Antonio and experience some civilization. Get the DV suite at Randolph and have fun.
    5. Go to Schlitterbahn near Austin. What a great place.

    I really enjoyed UPT in Del Rio by the sea. You are going to have some long days ahead of you. Michael will be gone for 12 hours a day. Monday thru Friday. No exceptions unless he is sick. When he gets home, he will eat dinner and hit the books for a couple more hours until bed time. Again, no exceptions. He will be living on pins and needles every day, the pressure is intense. I cannot sugar coat it. He will have bad days, he might fail a test, a EPQ, a sim or a flight. He won’t be able to see anything but bad things. Those things happen to almost everyone. Even Chuck Yeager had bad days in training.

    You can best help him by being a stable rock in the home. Take care of all the things that he can’t, which is everything not related to flying. Keep the yard cut and the shrubs manicured. The yard Nazis live their life with one purpose, make your life suck. They are plain mean and yes it will reflect on him. It isn’t fair but it is true.

    Help him study. Verbally quiz him, nightly. Be mean and demand he say exactly the correct verbiage. Have him study the cautions, warnings and notes in the Dash 1. You may not know these terms today, but you will soon. In a year, when he gets his wings, make sure you know that half belongs to you. Pin them on his chest because no one in the world will be more proud of him than you.

    The 48 hours from the end of Friday to Sunday afternoon are the most sacred hours of the week. They belong to both of you. This is the time that you are ordered to decompress from the stress of the week. No book work. Ever! Not even if he has an elimination ride on Monday. A tired, distracted and stressed out pilot does not do well on elimination flights. Sleep in on Saturday. Do something fun every Saturday. I am sure his buddies will tag along from time to time, but that is the one day of the week for you to keep your marriage strong and to have some fun.

    What an adventure. I would do it again, in a heartbeat! If you ever have any questions, please ask. I am proud of you guys for this opportunity. Thank you for your service.

    Off you go into the wild blue yonder….

    • Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate all your advice and encouragement! We are so looking forward to this season of pilot training….challenges and all! 🙂

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