We were able to spend most of the weekend with Brent, which was his first break from the grueling process of Plebe Summer. He was released on Friday at lunchtime and was able to hang out with us for most of Friday, Saturday, & Sunday. It was obvious that he was ready to have a break and get away from the academy for a bit, but I could tell that he seems to have adjusted and enjoys as much of it as he can.
Once we got away from the academy, we went to Brent's sponsor's house for lunch. A sponsor is someone who "adopts" a few midshipmen during their time at the Naval Academy and acts as a sort of host family for them. Brent is fortunate to have an AMAZINGLY sweet lady as his sponsor and he's going to be in great hands during his four years with her. She hosted us for lunch and had an awesome spread on the dining table, including her famous crab dip. After eating half the dip by myself, I'm trying to figure out how she can be my sponsor.
One last thing...Nicole and I have a new pet. We talked for the past few months about getting a hedgehog and finally picked one up on our way home from Annapolis. He's a tiny little fellow (fits in the palm of my hand) and now calls the Aldridge house home. There were a lot of different ideas for names but after watching how much he liked to scurry around and his interest in digging, I decided 'Herschel' was quite appropriate. Nicole has decided not to commit to a particular name and will call him whatever she feels like at the moment. Whatever his name is...he's ours!