Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Back in the good ol' US of A

Thursday 8 May-Sunday 25 May
For shame!! I am behind on this blog.

After Iceland, Preston and I headed back home to America for a couple weeks. When I envisioned this trip…I wanted to travel for f̶o̶r̶e̶v̶e̶r̶ at least six months. Be that as it may-we are at an age where many of our friends are getting married!! 

Preston was in a wedding in December of 2013 and scheduled to be in another wedding in May of 2014!! That didn’t give us the itinerary that I was hoping for, so we made the decision to travel around these weddings. It wasn’t the most financially smart decision, but some things are more important than money---such as good friends and milestones in their lives. I’d have done the same in Preston’s position, so I completely understood.

So, on 7 May we found ourselves in Maryland for about 18 hours. We landed at Dulles and were met by a customs line a mile long with ONE agent working the US Citizens side. Seriously America? I'm ashamed!! Indonesia has their stuff more together than this!! How can that ONE worker possibly be on his game?? It took forever, but we were finally home. 

I got to see my family and meet my brother and Nikki's (my brother's girlfriend and conveniently my BFF) new cat AND dog AND see their new house!! Lots of changes!! Also, Nikki made us guacamole on arrival. I think that guac may have been one of the top foods I've been craving since leaving California in January. I. inhaled. it.

*I forgot to take out my camera, so these pics are all from Nikki :P




And best of all!! (sorry, Baxter) I got to see my cousin Amanda’s baby, Madeline-who I met briefly when she was born over Christmas.

I want to eat her :D

On top of that, I got to meet my childhood BFF’s new baby to boot!! Everyone has a baby these days J

AND my dad took us all out to lunch!!

It was a whirlwind and I didn’t get to see everyone that I wanted to, but that’s often how it is when I’m home in Frederick.

From Frederick, we flew to Chicago where Preston was quickly emerged in wedding duties. I got to spend lots of time with my in-laws, relax, and work on the blog and pictures. I am lucky to always feel so comfortable in Preston’s parents house.

We got to spend time with Preston’s amazing group of friends. Seriously-he’s had the same friends his whole life and they are as tight and supportive as ever-it’s pretty awesome. Also, most of them seem to have children too!! :P

Rich had us over for lunch and to hang out with his adorable daughter Juliana.

Timmy and Lindsey hosted us many times and we had a great time hanging out with Avery :D They even cooked us crab legs one night!! Fancy.

My whited out face is a bit terrifying :P

Playing with Avery in the backyard

We got to see Timmy's mom's new lake house. Beautiful!!

Preston took over a bit of Daddy Daycare

We also went downtown to meet Jerry and Colleen's new baby (not pictured. fail.) and ended the night at an awesome blue's bar with Matt and Christina...and later Pam, Slavko, and Pam's sister Christina.

We even took a day to do a little sightseeing in Chicago :D

Oh...and it SNOWED one day. In MAY. 

Not the best pic, but I assure you...it snowed. In May.

And, the wedding? AH-MAZING. It was one of the most extravagant weddings I've ever attended. For one, it was HUGE...like 500 people. There was SO much food and it was all delicious. Pam is Greek-American and Slavko is Serbian-American, so it was fascinating to see the mix of the two cultures. My favorite part of the wedding was when women in Pam's family kneeled in front of her while she danced around them. It was so beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes. And, Pam's Aunts all brought little desserts-enough to fill my kitchen-in one of the most impressive dessert displays I've EVER seen. (Of course, I forgot to photograph it) This was in addition to cake and baked alaska. Oh. My. Gosh. They even had someone hand rolling cigars. Wedding of the year, for sure. Of course, I took almost no pics. Maybe I'm burned out on pics?? :P

Me and my beautiful Mother in Law

Unbelievable flower displays

Da guys getting ready to walk down the aisle

My fuzzy photo of Slav and Pam

My Chicago BFF <3
Nonetheless, while not having a job and traveling the world is > cool….not having a job and hanging around your parent’s house all day< cool, so we were excited to get back on the road and head to Europe on Memorial Day weekend.

I was lucky enough to have a TON (more than 100k) miles on American and pay for our return tickets using miles, but was unlucky to find that one must still pay the (outrageous) tax fees on these tickets. Womp wa. Either way it was worth it and we are off again to Paris!! 

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