A photo I snapped of Grafenwoehr's iconic water tower landmark,
it features a large water tank, as well as a conference and training room.
This morning was pretty much the same routine as yesterday, eating breakfast at the hotel and picking up the other two that are in our class. We went through the last of the actual material today (blocks of instruction along with our hands on exercise). We then went through the process of initializing our systems back to the starting point. All that work we have done with each practical exercise building on the system, all wiped out in a couple of keystrokes! We then were briefed on our master exercise. This exercise is huge, we will be given a total of 8 hours to finish it. It basically has us start up the system from scratch once again and do everything we've done in the last week and a half all at once. We can ask for help during the exercise and we have to make sure everything is done correctly because the final exam is done based on all the groundwork that the exercise lays out.
We left for lunch and headed to the Grafenwoehr PX. We ate at the food court and SGT Mex went looking for some shoes, but came out empty handed. He was hoping to find something here that our PX in Heidelberg doesn't have. We headed back to class and actually started the master exercise. We all were well ahead of schedule, so the instructor told us to stop when we reached a certain step. At this step we backed up the systems, then shutdown and left for the day. It turned out we ended up leaving at about 1430, which was pretty cool.
Back at the hotel I took a nap, read my book, and then ate way too much dinner. I have to start slowing down and eating less, but all the food they cook here is so good. In addition to the dinner, I've been having a pretty large beer with every meal. I figured hey, I'm staying out on the economy…I might as well live like a German. We only get one free drink per meal. Every drink is in a small glass, unless you order a beer. The beer is served in a large glass, so there is no need for a refill. (On a side note: the water in the mini bar in each room costs as much as the beer). The dinner conversation included some new words that I now have in my army vocabulary: "Dependopotamus" - This is the spouse of a soldier that sits home all day, eats and gets fat. Then there are "Dependabrats" - These are the screaming kids you see in the commissary of a soldier…funny stuff.
The rest of the night consisted of schoolwork, reading and video chatting with my wife. I have one more full night here at this lovely hotel…then it's back to reality :(