Yesterday afternoon families were permitted to take tours of the new Joint Force Command buildings at the new NATO headquarters. (The old headquarters building is pictured at the end of this post.) The move to the new place has been over a decade in the making...there is a fun story (well, fun for those who aren't involved, I'm sure) about the yellow house that sits, empty, on JFC property. Because it took so long to get everything in order, someone built a private residence there before the gates/fences were erected. Once everything was put together, it became apparent that there was a family living on government property! They had to move away, and there the house sits...inside the fence!
Anyway, we were excited for the opportunity to tour the building where Ted works. As you might guess, this is not an everyday opportunity, LOL. The building is still fairly sparse, but a number of offices have already made the move, and it is a much nicer place, owing no doubt to the fact that it is decades newer than its older counterpart! We even got to see the "situation room" that looks very much like scenes from movies!
We also toured the wedge-shaped building next to Ted's building, which is the large Community Center. It will be wonderful once it is completed! There will be a miniature "commissary," post office, fitness facilities, swimming pool, cafeteria, etc. So nice! At the old JFC headquarters there were all these amenities, but they were spread hither and yon. It was never worth it for me to make the trip down there (the old place is south; this is just a few minutes north of us) to shop. But it WILL be nice to do so in the new place! They say January or February it should officially open.
After the tour we enjoyed music from the Navy Band, seeing our friend "Tuba" (guess which instrument he plays?!), Italian cake, and real hot chocolate--I mean, REAL! Oh, my, deliciousness in a cup! It was raining, so the ceremony was moved indoors, which was nice since all 6 kids were with us, but not nearly as impressive as the real tree lit up outside. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable outing. We went home and had a couple of hours before we left for the Air Force Christmas party that night.