I have been to three different Marine Corps Ball. The first year, Tanner was stationed in Twentynine Palms for training so the ball was held in Palm Springs (about an hour away). It was held at a beautiful resort and we had a blast. I can't believe how young we were!
2013 Marine Corps BallThe second year, Tanner was stationed at Miramar so it was held in downtown San Diego at a fancy hotel. We had a room on one of the top floors in the hotel and had a beautiful view of the city.
2014 Marine Corps BallLast year, we didn't attend the ball because Tanner had just gotten back from deployment so he was on his post-deployment leave. That brings us to.. this years ball. Tanner is still stationed at Miramar, and this time it was held at a resort in Carlsbad. One of my favorite parts about the Marine Corp Birthday Balls is that they are usually held at resorts and hotels and the venues offer discounted rooms for the military! I love getting to stay the night at the venues and not having to worry about driving back the night of the ball.
Our night started at 5pm with a cocktail hour. This is the first year that Tanner and I were both over the age of 21 so we could actually enjoy some drinks :) The Omni La Costa resort was huge and the ball was held in their giganitc ballroom. The doors to the ballroom were closed so we enjoyed drinks from the bar while hanging out with friends. At 6pm the ceremony started and we took our seats. We attended the same ball as the Comanding General of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing so the ball had special touches that I've never seen before! For example, this year the ceremony began with a band of Marines playing a couple of well-known songs. They were absolutely amazing! Afterwards, there was a moment of silence for the fallen comrades and they talked about the history of the Marine Corps. The ceremony then continued with some traditions such as giving the first two bites of cake to the oldest marine and youngest marine present at the ball. This was the first year that Tanner and I had good enough seats that we could actually see the entire ceremony.
It lasted for about an hour and then they served dinner! They always start with salad and bread, entrees and then cake for dessert. As they began to serve dinner, I got up to use the restroom with a friend. When we walked out of the bathroom, my friends boyfriend was talking to the Commanding Generals wife. He introduced both of us. I complimented her on a USMC pin she was wearing on her dress. In response she said thank you and to my surprise, she gave it to me! I actually got "pinned" by the commanding generals wife. It was so sweet of her and such an amazing moment. I'm so glad I was able to end my Marine Corps Ball experience on that note.
The beautiful pin she gave me :)After dinner, dancing began! Tanner and I aren't the greatest dancers so we took off and enjoyed sitting in the hot tub for awhile and then adventuring to find some late-night snacks. :) It was a bittersweet evening. Bitter because I truely have enjoyed every ball that I went to and I will miss getting to go to them. But sweet because I know that this means we're getting closer to Tanner's EAS date (End of Active Service). I will always miss the Marine Corps Birthday Celebrations and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to attend 3 of them!
Our final Marine Corps Ball and our first one as a married couple!Have you ever attended a military ball of any kind? I would love to hear your story in the comments below!<3