Me, Aaron, Liz, Dan, Kelsie, and Kaitlynn's tongue at The Bailey
Saturday morning I woke up at ten and started getting stuff packed up. We said goodbye to Ashley, Stephen, Jason, and Aaron at about noon and laughed as they tried to fit all their luggage into one little taxi (did I mention that Ashley did a lot of shopping? It looked like a clown car, but they got it done!) Then the few of us that remained walked down to City Centre for some lunch. We stopped at Wholy Wheat and had some fantastic sandwiches. Then, guess who we ran into! Only our favorite seminar teacher, the one and only Robert! He seemed surprised to see us, but that could have been because all the sudden there were 8 kids yelling his name in a restaurant. He handled it well though, and we said our last goodbyes. Back to Brookfield for more packing, gross. We said goodbye to Kylee and Diane that afternoon, two more gone. Then I had my first experience with kebabs (pronounced ki-baaabs...by myself :D) at a place called Istanbul. Apparently I was way behind, as everybody else had already eaten there at LEAST four times. I ended the night with more packing. Everybody else went out one last time, but I opted to get stuff done and stay home. I know I’m lame. So I had to say good bye to Travis and Josh before they left. This day is getting more and more depressing.
Me, Nicole, Scott, and Ali waiting for the Taxi at 4 in the AM
Sunday morning started WAY too early at 4 AM. I had to get Scott to take my suitcase down all the stairs to my apartment, cause there was no way I was lugging it down myself. Scott, Kaitlynn, Ali, and I said goodbye to Nicole before getting into our plenty big enough taxi-van and heading to the airport. We had a little difficulty getting through security; apparently Cork airport has super scanners that could detect the supposedly undetectable titanium pole in Kaitlynn’s back. What’s up, Cork? Oh well, they let her through. We ran into Diana waiting for her plane to Edinborough , Scotland and had some breakfast with her. Our plane left a little bit late due to something leaking (so reassuring), so we had to practically jog to our flight in London. Good thing our gate was the farthest one away! Have no fear, our flight for London was running late too, so we’re good.
The flight was also PACKED. There wasn’t an empty seat in the house, which sucked because it meant I couldn’t move my seat to sit by Kaitlynn, Ali, and Scott. I spent my flight being entertained by Tony Stark and some inane Nicholas Sparks movie between catching some brief z’s. At least I had a window seat. Overall the flight wasn’t too bad. But then we got into Chicago about an hour late, giving me an hour and half to get through customs and sprint across O’hare to my gate. I didn’t get to say goodbye to my flight buddies (*sad face* miss you guys though!), but I MADE that flight. I’ve rarely been so proud of myself. The plane boards late and then sits on the tarmac for a half an hour due to MORE issues. I keep repeating my mantra: almost home almost home almost home. I sat by a guy on the flight who was determined to make friends with me when all I wanted to do was stick in my head phones and block out the world for awhile. He was nice enough I suppose, not his fault I had a long day.
But then I was finally back in Des Moines, where it is HOT and HUMID (go figure, it’s August), but it’s nice to see my mom and dad. Got home and took a shower before dinner, which was everything Iowan summer cuisine should be: brats, potatoes, pasta salad, and delicious Iowan sweet corn. I can now die happy. Jeff was there for dinner and stayed for a while afterwards. Too bad I was too jetlagged to stay up past nine (we did the calculations, I had been awake since 10 PM CST the night before...gross), sorry hun. I woke up after a solid 12 hours of sleep and felt fantastic. Take that jet lag! Then I finally got that burrito I’d been craving for 3 solid weeks (Thank you, Pancheros!!) and went to see Despicable Me with Kyle. We stopped by to see Andrew and then I went to a work party with Jeff. All in all it was a great first day back.
So here are some random/strange things I’ve decided I missed about home:
- Being able to wear shorts and a tank top and be comfortable. Hooray warm weather!
- Cicadas. Gross little buggers, but the noise reminds me of home.
- Driving. I missed my car!!! And singing at the top of my lungs while in it. :D
- Thunderstorms. This may seem odd from someone coming from one of the wettest countries EVER, but it just didn’t storm in Ireland. I loves me some thunder and lightning.
- Decent water pressure and hot showers.
- Reliable internet.
- Not having to use a converter when I plug things in.
Finally, I guess I just want to say that I had the time of my life while I was gone, and a lot of that has to do with the awesome people I was in the program with. You guys pretty much rocked my world and I’m already missing you. Kelsie, Liz, and Diana, we’re gonna have to hang out ASAP. Everybody else, when’s the reunion? I’m there.