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Flying Across the Country to See My Boyfriend After 13 Weeks Apart

On July 9th, my boyfriend Sal left for San Diego, California for boot camp to become a United States Marine! This training lasted 13 weeks!!! The only way I was able to communicate with Sal was through letters. These 13 weeks were definitely difficult, but it made my trip to California so much sweeter!


On October 3, Sal’s family and I flew out from Bloomington’s airport right after my classes and we made the long journey to San Diego, California, where Sal would be graduating a few days later! We flew from Bloomington to Chicago because there were not any flights that went from Bloomington straight to California. It was a very short flight. In the picture below, you can see Illinois State University!! 

via Jessica Hogeboom photography​


Once we arrived in Chicago, we took a flight to California. This flight took forever! I enjoy plan rides but after a while, I get annoyed and just want to be there already. Coming from a small town, it was really breath taking to see a city like Chicago from above. 

It was pretty late after we arrived in San Diego. It was 1am (3am at ISU) by the time Sal’s family and I got settled into our hotel room. I fell asleep almost immediately! I couldn’t wait to finally see Sal after 13 weeks! 

On Thursday October 4th, we arrived super early at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (where Sal was staying) in order to see the new Marines from Hotel Company during their Moto Run. It was the first time I was able to see Sal in 13 weeks! It was such an awesome feeling to see Sal and his new friends during their run. 


Finally, after what seemed like forever, Sal was released for Family Day and was able to spend a few hours with us. All I wanted to do was hug my boyfriend, but PDA is NOT allowed on base. UGH. We had to stay on base, so we just walked around and talked a bunch! Then, we had to say goodbye for the night. But, I wasn’t too upset because I would get to see him again the next day bright and early!

via Jessica Hogeboom photography​

On Friday October 5th, Sal’s family and I arrived very early for Sal’s graduation. It was such a beautiful day outside! I was so excited that I was able to be in San Diego for my boyfriend’s graduation. The ceremony was super long, but we finally got through it and Sal was officially a United States Marine! Right after the ceremony, Sal wanted to leave base immediately, so we went back to the hotel to change, and spent the rest of the night on the beach! It was a day I will never forget. 

via Jessica Hogeboom photography 


I will never forget this trip to California. I am forever blessed for Sal’s family for allowing me to tag along with them across the country. I am so glad that Sal is home now, and he can now visit me at Illinois State University! Although these last 13 weeks were unbearable without Sal, I was able to focus on myself, my friends, and learn to grow independently.


Welcome home Sal! ♡

via Jessica Hogeboom photography


Lot’s of Love, 

Lil Boomer ♡

Jessica Hogeboom

Illinois State '22

ISU 2022 | Elementary Education Follow me on Instagram : @jesshogeboom
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