Thursday, November 16, 2006

Happy Birthday, Marines!

We celebrated the 231st Marine Corps Birthday at the Seoul Hyatt this year. Included among the guests were the current Republic of Korea (ROK) Marine Commandant and 9 former ROK Marine Commandants. Our guest speaker was GEN B.B. Bell, the U.S. Army general who commands the American military forces, the U.N. forces, and the combined U.S.-ROK forces here in South Korea.

Although the U.S. Marines here are a small group, the Birthday Ball was a big event and the Marines did a great job organizing and hosting the Ball. We filled the ballroom at the Hyatt and had a great time. Unfortunately, the Marine in charge of the event placed a bottle of soju at each table. His wife (a good friend of mine) thought it would be a good idea, or at least very funny, to have her friends each do at least one shot of the stuff. It is horrible. A bit like trying to drink rubbing alcohol. I don't know how Stretch stood it last year. Despite that experience, we really had a great evening with our friends.

Usually, I get one token slow dance a year at the Birthday Ball. This year, Stretch actually danced quite a bit with me, even to faster music. And while my shoes started off comfortable enough, I eventually had to kick them off, along with many of the ladies on the dance floor. Then, after the taxi dropped us off outside the base, we had to walk about half to three-quarters of a mile to get home. Yes, in those shoes! Plus, I was trying to keep up with Stretch. You may have noticed in the picture that his legs are a little longer than mine (by about a mile!) He was sweet and tried to carry me part of the way, but that didn't really work.

All in all, it was a memorable Birthday Ball made more so by the company of good friends. We will definitely miss our many wonderful friends here when we leave the peninsula next month.

*Despite the picture, but I'm not really that short. I'm 5'4" but Stretch is 6'8".


Amy said...

What a lovely picture. At least you get one dance a year--I have to settle for when we're invited to a wedding :)

Where will you be going when you leave Korea, or do you not know yet?

Anonymous said...

You look great, and how fun to get to dress up! Sounds like a wonderful time.

Meredith said...

You guys look just like you did on your wedding day! How lucky you are. Sounds like it was a great party.

Cooks on the ROK said...

How sweet! But if you look closely, there are definitely more wrinkles on both of us and I'm now covering the gray more regularly! :-)

Peng & Ai Li said...

Hi Sonya & Sam, sorry for not catching up for so long! It's really nice to see you both. What a wonderful picture!