I seem to have dodged many a weather bullet this past week. I got out of London in time to miss the snow (and accompanying travel delays). I somehow managed to be in NYC when the weather was great, sandwiched between two snowstorms. Seattle was wet and windy but nothing out of the ordinary. And now I’ve made it back to my parents’ home, so even if I get stuck here past my return date, it won’t be such a big deal, as I have another two+ weeks after Christmas to get back to London for school.
My visit to Brooklyn was sweet but of course too short. Herman and Kathleen kindly opened their home (and super-comfy double-decker air mattress) to me. After 14.5 hours of travel door to door, I spent the first few hours back in the States getting things in order – finding a US SIM card for my cell so I could communicate with people, stocking up on the antiperspirant they don’t sell in London – before dinner at Chilis and Chocolate, a favorite Oaxacan / mole restaurant. Tuesday (after waking up for the day at 3:45am) I stopped by the office to have lunch with friends and coffee with my former boss, before some final prep for the cookie party. Herman spent the weekend baking so we could carry on the holiday cookie party tradition, which also served as a great way for me to get to see nearly all of my NYC friends. I was exhausted (a six-hour time difference is tough), but I started to feel a bit like how I imagine the grandmother feels at a big family gathering. Content to just sit in the corner and watch everyone interacting and laughing, not needing to chat. Just feeling good being around all the people.
Wednesday I dragged my (slightly lighter, thanks to the distribution of some holiday gifts) suitcases back to JFK, and spent 12 hours door to door getting from Brooklyn to Bothell, Washington. I rented a car (and managed to spend the whole trip driving on the correct side of the road) and headed up to meet Reagan and Lon, who treated me out to a lovely Italian dinner. Seriously, the theme of the week has been Food I’ve Been Missing. Thursday Reagan and I wandered the shops, finishing up some holiday shopping before I met up with Jeremy for a late lunch (more Mexican – woo!). I got to Jamie and Mike’s to see Jesse, who was not in good form. Poor girl was not a happy child, and after about six hours of on and off crying, melting down, and just general sadness (accompanying the mad cookie-baking and candy-making that Jamie and I were engaged in to prep for her Sunday party) we all piled into two cars to head to the ER at 11 that night. All is well – baby was fine when I left this morning – and that definitely kicked me right onto Pacific time. Friday was filled with more baking, party prep, and just good, relaxing time with Jamie, Mike and Jesse. Saturday I ventured over to West Seattle for time with Renee and Kevan, and dinner with Megan and Mike (who are engaged – congratulations!). Finally, Sunday was Jamie’s party. I hadn’t been to one of her Christmas parties since college, and it was so much fun. I got to see some college friends, and even meet the new girlfriend of another friend (who, I can safely say seems super nice, which means I can continue to honestly say that I really like all of my friends’ partners!).
This morning I had considerably less travel time – just six hour door to door – getting from Seattle to Danville. It’s so good to see my sister, and be with my parents. And it’s even better because, waiting on my bed when I walked in my old room was …
That item is amazing. It’s seven feet long. It’s fleece. There’s a little hand pouch on the front and a foot pouch on the bottom. Both my sister and I fell asleep in our respective slankets by 9:30pm.
To those of you travelling, or who have friends and family travelling, I hope the weather and the transport cooperate and get all to their destinations safely. In case I don’t get a chance to post before then – MERRY CHRISTMAS!