Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Things I Did Not Do While in the US for One Month That I Normally Do When I’m Home for Two Weeks

- Eat fast food
- Watch prime time television
- Keep up on gossip blogs
- Exercise
- Go clothes shopping
- Buy a crapload of previously-viewed DVDs
- Go to Spring Lake (where my parents live) (this was a first)
- Sleep in
- Play games with my sister (I do NOT understand how this didn’t happen)
- Feel an urge to leave
- Get sick of the weather (I loved it even when the temps dropped into single digits)

Things I DID Do That I Do Every Time I’m Home:

- Eat at my favorite restaurant, Café Iberico (this time with new friends)
- Eat at my favorite Thai restaurant, Opart
- Squeeze in a lunch at Panera (yes, this all revolves around food)
- Stock up on sunscreen (you wouldn’t BELIEVE how expensive it is in Zihua)
- Speak Spanish to everyone for the first couple days, especially little things like “Excuse me” and “No, thank you” that come out of my mouth automatically
- Talk to my sweetie via Skype
- Ooh and ahh at the tall buildings as if I'd never lived in Chicago
- Laugh and laugh and laugh with friends and family, and leave feeling like we didn’t have enough time together (although much more this trip than in trips past)
- Invade my brother’s apartment (formerly my apartment) for a couple days, then breeze out like I still own the place (half the stuff in there used to be ours!) (Thanks Brian!)

Things I did that I don’t normally do when I come home, but MAN how I would love to do them on all my future trips:

- Go to a Red Wings game at the Joe with my mom
- Get together with several writing friends (see laughing statement above)
- Get together with several middle school friends (see laughing statement above)
- Drive an hour in the middle of the night on icy roads after downing several cups of coffee so I would stay awake for said late-night drive home, then lie awake in bed unable to sleep, then just as I’m falling asleep receive a call from one of the friends I’d been with and talk for another half hour, during which time she realizes she’s locked out of her aunt’s house and we feel like we’re in middle school again (what? You didn’t sneak out in middle school? I swear it only happened a couple times)(I'm thinking this probably shouldn't be in this category, but the whole night was JUST SO FUN that it has to stay here)
- Get a netbook (okay, I don’t need a netbook on every trip, but you know what I’m saying…)
- Get an idea for a novel that has me really really excited (yes, it’s still just a premise, but I have high hopes)
- Bake and cook in an oven
- Talk with my aunts more than I have in YEARS
- Really get to know my grandmother
- Feel more useful and productive than I have in years

And thus ends my month of living...

You know? I can't think of the right word, but I'm grateful to have had the chance to do what I have and I only hope my actions will continue their positive ripple once I'm gone. Thank you to everyone who made it happen.


Aunt Sue said...

What a month, huh? Where does cleaning the refrigerator and running back and forth to stores fall on your lists?

JLC said...

What a great post, Mel! I am so happy you were able to enjoy every minute of time here. (Even the fridge cleaning minutes) ;) Hope you are having a safe trip back!

Nadine said...

What a fantastic trip!!! And I love that there were so many food references!!

I'm so glad your trip was awesome - you deserved it!!

Natasha Fondren said...

Oh yay! That sounds like a total blast!

I forget, and I think in general, we all forget, that the joy in life is the connections we have and the community we build around us.

WendyCinNYC said...

I love all the restaurant references. You sound like me. Yah yeah yeah, visiting is nice, but where are we going to EAT?

Robin said...

I love all the food references! You are a woman after my own heart. Is your favorite restaurant Italian of Mexican?

Janna Qualman said...

Food! I can dig it.

Great lists, Melanie! It sounds like your trip was worth it in every way. I hope your journey home is/has been successful. Get back online soon!

Sara Spock said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful trip :) Hope to get together for food and laughter one day!

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks everyone! I had a long, but uneventful, trip home and then we went out with some friends for dinner -- people we'd met a couple years ago while they were vacationing here and hadn't seen since then.

Now I must clean...

Sue, I didn't want to embarrass gramma TOO much...

Robin, I can't believe you even asked that. Mexican is not among my favorites. I like it well enough, but I prefer Thai, Italian, Spanish, etc before it.

Jason Tudor said...

Sounds like you brought home plenty of war stories. Keepers, even. And that's worth any experience every time.

Erica said...

Sounds like a heck of a trip! Can't wait to hear more about that great idea :o)