I've been back in the States for a little over a month now, and I'm really enjoying it so far. I had the best Valentine's Day I've had in a while today. I went to the gym and ran three miles, and then went to Chipotle's for dinner, and spent about two hours at Barnes and Noble, and also bought some cute new tops at The Limited.
For the most part, many things are just much more convenient in the States, although I think traveling was actually easier in Europe. That's probably just me, though. I think part of it is just that most of the places I want to go in the States are either too cold and snowy right now, or they really wouldn't be fun to visit alone - I mean, Las Vegas and Disney World are definitely for groups. I've never really enjoyed history museums that much (usually if a topic interests me, I would rather read a book which goes in depth than a poster board that is very general and makes everything sound awesome without getting into the moral and ethical conflicts involved). It's a whole other thing to visit some place and realize that at one point this famous historical figure stood here - that's kind of cool, but as much as I enjoy reading about the Civil War, I could care less about visiting the battle sites. Especially in the States, I feel like we sugarcoat our history when it comes to race relations, and the movement west as well as slavery and the Civil Rights. It is not as if the Civil Rights Movement fixed everything though one might get that idea from reading a poster board at museums on occasion. Okay, I definitely went on a bit of a tangent there.
One thing I have noticed about Virginia, and all my friends are commenting on it, too, is that the roads suck. A lot. The pot holes on the interstates here are ridiculously large.
I've met fun new people, I've gone out more in the past few weeks than I did in the last six months in Germany, and I've been able to go to the movies a few more times as well. Granted, I've seen two mediocre horror films in the past month that really could have done so much more with their premise (Daybreakers and The Wolfman), but it's so nice to be able to choose from several movies any given day rather than having to hope that the day you can go see a movie the theater is actually showing something worth seeing.
I can't wait to see where I'm actually going to end up after my school is complete. The branch manager will be here in the next month to talk to us, so hopefully, I'll get a cool unit in a good location - I'm not sure what's more important to me at the moment - location or unit type (honestly, it's a combination of the two - there's no way I would want Polk, but for a FSC, I might even be happy with Bragg - granted, I'm going to have to get really into running if that happens). Of course, somewhere like Ft. Lewis would have both the kind of unit I want and the location I want. I hope I didn't just jinx myself to Louisiana or North Carolina right now.
I'm actually thinking about signing up for a 10K because while I'm in a "I hate running" mood at the moment, if I have a goal in mind that I've committed to, it might help me get back into it, and I really should work on my distance and focus on something beyond just two miles. Also, all my new friends appear to be PT studs, so while there's no way I want to be on the same level as them, the peer pressure will probably help me get back into a little bit.
I actually don't even miss German food that much, or more accurately food available in Germany, such as the Italian and Greek restaurants. We went out Thursday night, and one of the other captains was stationed in Bamberg so we were both whining about wanting Doener as our post-drinking food, but other than that, I've been enjoying places like Panera's, Chipotle's and Starbucks too much.