Going Home

Trip Start Jul 03, 2009
Trip End Aug 16, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Sunday, August 16, 2009

It was a blessing that Joe and I were awoken at 6:00AM on Sunday morning from jet lag. We decided to slip out and take a walk on the bike path. The sun was just starting to take its place in the sky, a perfect setting to reflect on our trip and to exchange some fun Wisconsin memories.

We can't believe the trip is over! This has been Joe's work since the day he graduated from Columbia and today we head back to the chaos, friends, and fun of NYC. As much as we are both a little sad to see the trip end, it's time to get back. We miss our apartment, our friends, cooking, and the general familiar things that make our lives what they are.

People were starting to stir in the Chmielewski home by the time we got back: Nancie was awake but Tom was still sleeping. Since he never sleeps past 5:00AM, she went upstairs to make sure he was still breathing. (He was.) We had initially discussed grabbing some breakfast sandwiches at one of our favorite local chains but the family ended up gorging on leftover pizza and muffins...(and maybe some ice cream and bold party chex mix--hey it's mostly cereal). Dave's poor incredibly svelte fit girlfriend just looked on in disgust while she nibbled on some cherries. We are disgusting. After some rounds of Wii dodgeball and plenty of Mario Kart it was time to say our goodbyes.

Joe and I headed over to my mom and dad's house. Mom prepared an elegant, wonderful meal with the odd addition of Elmo's Organic Tomato Soup...complete with delicious birthday cupcakes for me. I also received the usual assortment of birthday gifts, including the following:

- A set of dog-themed dish towels

- Something to remove deoderant from my shirt

- Something to scrub my feet

- $1.00 from Lucy, our dog

- A "Special Daughter" pen. (Past themed-pen presents have included Frosty the Snowman and a Peep rabbit)

- Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul...

-Three monkey-themed presents (a plate, a key chain, a dish towel!!)

By the way, it is absolutely guaranteed that I will receive essentially each of these items for every birthday, Christmas, as well as some other holidays. You can only imagine our collection of dish towels! Please don't mistake me as being ungrateful.  It's nice that they get me anything at all. They also offered to pay for a new cell phone (Palm Pre here I come!). Seeing mom and dad and Lucy of course is always a treat. Even though our time together was short, we got to catch up on developments of their new Florida home, dad's golf game and retirement, and life in general.

Time to board the Midwest Express flight (free warm cookies) to NYC. As I looked out the window and saw my favorite skyline, I got a little teary. These have been the best six weeks of our lives. Travel like this can either tear people apart or bring them closer, and even though I didn't know it was possible, I feel more love and closeness between Joe and me than ever. How lucky I am to have found this incredible person to be with forever?

Tomorrow: a wrap up!
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