Thursday, 19 December 2013

Has it really been 3 months?? No...

Oh my goodness! Was my last blog post really in August?! So much has happened since then...

Biggest of all, we spent 28 days in the United States of America!

It was amazing to see all of our family and friends after 14 (fourTEEN...can you believe it??) months of living abroad. To start with, our flight to the States was awful...we missed our connection in LA and had to spend the night in Houston (with some amazing hostesses who picked us up from the airport with about 2 hours notice! I was literally calling to see if we could spend the night while boarding the plane!). Then we got on another flight the next morning, after a quick Target shopping trip to get some essentials, heading to Charleston. We didn't end up getting our bags until the next night!

I'm just surprised they made it to us in the end (all four of our bags ended up taking the originally planned journey to Chicago and Charlotte...and then back again...and then to Charleston)

Overall, it was just that five minute window that really screwed things up....other than that, flight from Sydney to LA (the long one...) was not crowded and we both managed to get some sleep.

We celebrated Ben's birthday about a dozen times (lucky boy :) and ate so much more food than I could ever imagine. I finally weighed myself when I got home and only managed to gain 6 pounds...not that bad :) I was expecting more!

Food Experience Checklist:
-Pei Wei
-Sushi (specifically, Yamatos)
-P.F. Changs
-REAL Mexican (aka free and all-you-can-eat chips and salsa)
-Crave/Sprinkles Cupcakes (managed to make it here multiple times :)
-ShyKatz Deli
-Good 'ole American, corn-fed steak
-Huge Thanksgiving meal with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and pie!
-Shiner Beer

The only thing we didn't eat, and didn't realize we didn't eat until we got back, was pizza! I feel like we pretty much ate from the moment we got off the plane until we boarded again in November (6 pounds heavier...).

Other than eating, we just did a lot of visiting with friends and family, laughing, meeting TWO new babies, and catching up on the past year. Our tour of the States went a little something like this:

Auckland (October 24th) --> Sydney --> LA --> Houston --> Charleston --> Columbia --> Greenville --> Houston/Galveston --> College Station --> Tyler (just me...) --> Austin --> Galveston --> Yoakum --> Galveston --> LA --> Sydney --> Auckland (November 21st)

Phewie! But I wouldn't trade any one moment of it. The flight back to Auckland was the easiest we have had so far. We talked about how it must get easier and easier each time you make that 30+ hour journey :) It was so good to have the time off from work and to be able to just spend time together! Already planning our next trip back. It will probably be during the summer. For some reason Ben misses the heat! Crazy boy...

The view from the top is phenomenal! Below, it was rainy and storming...above, is just a whole other world! This was on the way "home" to Auckland. New Zealand really has started to feel like a home for us, and I missed it while we were away! Our friends who have become like family to us, my babies at work, the amazing New Zealand scenery we are privileged enough to live feels good to be back! 

Next up...our visit to Taupo which did not go exactly as planned but we still managed to have a great time!!!


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