In my life, I have had many days where I thought it was one of the best days of my life. I really believe that people can have an undetermined number of “best days of their lives”. It really just depends on what the situation is and what is going on. Most people would list their wedding day, children’s births, and other types like that as the best days of their lives. We never know what is going to happen in our lives, so I firmly believe in “best days” opposed to one singular day.
Today was definitely one of the best days of my life.
A few days ago I received an email saying I had been nominated to attend the upcoming USO Tour breakfast. There were going to be some stars touring some countries outside of the United States and they were coming to the base I am deployed at. On Tuesday I got a follow-up email informing me of the details of the event; where to be, time to be there, etc. I was excited because I recognized some of the names of the people who were going to be at the breakfast. Names like Katie Meili, Robert Irvine, Dominick Cruz, Craig Morgan, and Jim Karol. I was pretty excited, but still didn’t really know what to expect.
Last night, I had intentions of waking up at 4:15 this morning, but when my alarm went off I hit snooze a couple of times. I really did not want to wake up. Finally, at 4:30 I begrudgingly got out of bed and began getting ready to go to the breakfast. We had to be in our seats with our food by 6:15 and I have a thing about not being late so I was there about 30 minutes early. That worked out anyway because it gave me an opportunity to eat my food and get that over with before the USO guests arrived. I really wanted to be done with my food before they got there because I didn’t want to be eating while I was trying to talk to whoever I was sitting with. I got my seat and realized I was sitting with Katie Meili which was super cool because (hello!) she is a recent Olympic gold medalist from Rio 2016. How cool is that! I was one of the first ones at the table I was assigned to so I strategically placed myself across from where her nametag was.
The breakfast lasted about an hour and it was such a great experience. I had the opportunity to talk to Katie the entire time since we were sitting so close together. Of course, she talked to other people as well but she and I got to talk quite a bit. She was such a sweet, humble, kind, beautiful person. I found out that she is originally from Texas. She asked me questions about my career and I asked her questions about hers. It was fun getting to know her and hear about her life story and her swimming career. While we were talking she said that she didn’t consider herself as someone who is famous. I thought that was incredibly humble of her. I wanted to be like, “Hello! You are an Olympic Gold Medalist!!!” I loved the humility she projected.
Once the breakfast was over, some of the guests hung around and gave the attendees an opportunity to take photos. Katie went over to talk to a few other people. I really wanted a photo with her, so I went to where she was and asked her for a photo. She was so kind about it and said yes. She said, “I have my medal with me if you want it in the picture.” OF COURSE I DID!!! Below is a photo of me with Katie Meili and her Rio 2016 Olympic gold medal. Holy crap! I held in my hands, an Olympic Gold Medal!!! What are the chances of that?! I was totally geekin’! I wanted to give her a hug because I was so grateful for her, but I didn’t want to be weird. Lol. I thanked her about 15 times before we said goodbye. What an opportunity! Here is a photo of me with Katie Meili and her Olympic gold medal.
I also really wanted a photo with Dominick Cruz, the UFC fighter that was in attendance. He was so nice, too! Someone from the USO was giving out Monster bandanas so I asked for one to have him sign. When I asked him for his autograph and for a photo, I explained to him that my husband was a fan of his. He asked me my husband’s name, I told him, and he said, “Should I write ‘Hi Bill’ on here?” YES, of course!! This is a photo of Dominick Cruz using my back as support to sign the bandana and one of us together. And also, here is the bandana that he signed.
Finally, I got a photo with Robert Irvine, the chef from Kitchen Impossible. He is also on a lot of other Food Network shows. He, too, was incredibly nice and willing to take a photo. Here is a photo of him and me together.
The USO also had the advertisement poster in photo format. Each attendee of the USO Tour breakfast received one to take with them. The poster has a picture of all of the stars and their autograph. It is pictured below.
After I left the dining facility where the breakfast was being hosted, I was on a complete high. I felt totally star struck and every time I thought about it I got teary-eyed. In fact, even though it was almost 11pm at home, I had to call Bill and tell him all about it. I could barely get through saying what I wanted to say and I started crying. He asked me why I was crying and I told him that I was just so happy to have been given the opportunity to experience that. My morale was lifted so high and it felt great to have been part of something so amazing. It was pleasing to see stars acting like every day people, extremely appreciative of those who serve our country. I cannot wait to send the photos, poster, and bandana to Bill so he can get them framed for me by the time I get home.
This is an experience that I will never forget and it definitely rates as one of the best days of my life.