Home Sweet Home

Trip Start Jul 18, 2009
Trip End Jun 08, 2011

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Mom & Dads

Flag of United States  , Michigan
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hi Everybody!

Sorry for the long delay with the blogs but I have taken a little break from the bloggin' because I am back home for the summer. My school is gracious enough to pay for a round trip ticket back to the home of record of all their teachers so I of course decided to head back to America to see my family and the Mrs. Im back in America for a few weeks just visiting family, visiting the beach, and relaxing as much as possible. I will attempt to keep this entry updated with as many posts and pictures as possible from my summer vacation.....if I can find time between going to the beach and pigging out at as many American fast food restaurants as I can find. HAHA

Week 1

I flew into Chicago-O'hare and spent the first week of my time in America back in my hometown of Hudsonville (Holland), Michigan. It was so great to see my parents and my brother. But in true Dutch style, as soon as I got home, I was put to work! But in all honesty, it was my pleasure to help out as much as possible. My Grandfather, who unfortunately passed away a few years ago, had an extensive collection of farming equiptment, and when I returned back home, it was right at the time where my family was having a big auction to auction off my grandfather's equiptment. So I spent a number of days cleaning out the barns, cleaning up the tractors, and directing traffic at the aution. The auction was a great success and I was happy to help out my grandmother and my family and make up for all the days I missed helping her out when I was in Thailand. Everyone knows that Grandmas are the most precious people on earth and I would help my grandma out every day of my life if she needed it.

It was great to be back where I grew up, it was great to see my family and get some good 'ole home cooking, but now I am ready to get back to the beach. Myrtle Beach here I come!

Week 2-4

Im back at the beach! And it is great to be back. Say what you will about Myrtle Beach, but I really grew fond of this place through my 7+ years here and I am really enjoying my time back here. I have had a chance to see a bunch of my friends, see some old collegues and bosses, and of course, spend some time with Lauren. I am fortunate enough to have a place to stay here as Lauren is back getting her Master's degree and currently is sharing a really nice apartment with her cousin.

I arrived in Myrtle Beach just in time to celebrate my 1....2....3rd(!) year wedding anniversary with Lauren. Wow, the time flies. We have really been blessed in the past 3 years and have been through so much, so it was great to be able to be back in America and celebrate this milestone. In our usual traditional fashion, we booked a weekend trip to Savannah- the place where Lauren and I first started dating. Besides a bit of a calamity with a very mis-represented Bed & Breakfast, we found a beautiful hotel in downtown Savannah and enjoyed a fun, but way-too-short, anniversary weekend.

One of the other highlights that I have been fortunate to experience here, is watching the World Cup matches! Soccer is huge in Thailand so I know I could have watched the games there, but being back in my home country and being able to cheer on the Stars and Bars (USA! USA! USA!) has been great. I was able to head to a local pub and watch all of the USA games as well as my other team, the Oranje (Hup Holland!), and all of the up and down emotions that those games had. As you know from reading my blogs, soccer is my passion and I really hope that it continues to grow in the United States. Uncle Sam's Army, 2014 World Champs. My prediction. You heard it here first.

I have one more week here in Myrtle Beach so I am going to try to get as crispy brown as I can with frequent beach visits, enjoying a few last harrahs with my friends, and continuing the daily tug-o-war with eating whatever my heart desires, and then going to the gym and paying for my eating sins. I love this place. God bless the America!

Week 5-6

Wow. This has proven to be one of the best Summers that I have ever had. I have been blessed to see so many of my friends and do so many things that I have been dreaming about doing while I was back in Myrtle Beach. Everyone has been great in meeting back up to hang out and have a good time. Plus, I was really busy at my Alma Mater as I just found out that I got had an article published! It had to do with the "History in a Box" project that I helped developed a few years ago. Me and a couple professors wrote an article about it and it got published in July-August issue of 'The Social Studies Journal.' Because of this, my University, Coastal Carolina (aka greatest university in the world!), asked me to do a bunch of taped interviews about it for their television program. The local NBC station caught wind of it too, and they asked me to come to the studio to do an interview. Now if you dont know, my brother is a newsanchor for an NBC station in Indiana, so I cant brag too much, but for a few moments this week, I felt famous. I've subsequently had a few movie offers that I am looking into. Ha. Just kidding of course,

This has been an amazing time in Myrtle Beach. Im going to be sad to leave this place. I am sad to leave this place and wish I had more picture of it. Say what you will about Myrtle Beach, but because of what I have there and what I have done there, I really do consider it "home." I love the place. I love all of the people there and I love the time that I got to spend there. My heart will always be in Myrtle Beach. But......all good times must come to an end, and my time in America is almost up. Its time to go back to Michigan to be with the family one more time before I head back to Bangkok. Look for that post coming soon. As always, thank you so much for reading and God bless!

Week 7

My trip back to Michigan was met with mixed emotions. It would be my last week in America which made me sad. I was leaving Myrtle Beach which made me really really sad. But I also was heading back to Michigan to take part in a family reunion that was being held at this BEAUTIFUL lodge up in Northern Michigan. And that made me really happy and excited;. The lodge is owned by my Dad's boss and he was generous enough to allow my extended family to use it for the weekend. My mom has two other sisters and if you count up all the kids and in-laws there were 17 people there with me being one of 11 grandkids (not to mention a great-grandchild on the way). So it was a pretty good sized group, but the lodge/house/mansion/compound was so huge that you literally could go a whole day without seeing another family member.

Now I dont know all of the facts about the house but Im pretty sure their are 14 bedrooms, a weightroom, a spa, a game room with 3 pool tables, a tennis court and more. I believe it is around 1 million square foot big give or take a few feet. It was also on a massive private lake and came fully equipped with kayaks, boats, 4-wheelers, etc. It was unbelievable as you will see from the pictures. Now I am not so much a cabin-in-the-woods guy as I am a cottage-on-the-beach guy, but I could certainly have gotten used to living at this lodge. It was an amazing time to spend with my Grandma, Aunts and Uncles, and all of the cousins before I shipped back out to BKK. As you can tell from a lot of my previous blogs, I really love my family and feel blessed to have the people in it that I do.

As the visit to the lodge was just over the weekend, I spent the rest of the week getting all the clothes I needed and last-minute toiletrie items to take back with me to Bangkok. And of course I tried to spend as much time with friends and family as I could.

My time in America was amazing. I never realized how much love and support I had from friends and family. Like I said before, I am truly blessed by the people that I have in my life both in America and in Bangkok. Moving my entire life to Asia was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, but the support that I was given and continue to receive continues to astound me. I just looked at the tracker on this blog and since I began this blog, I have had over 10,000 visitors! That is incredible to me. So to all my friends and family and to anyone else who reads this please allow me to give you all the biggest THANK YOU that I can give for all your love, prayer, and support over this past year. I look forward to another year and BKK and all the blessing and challenges that it will bring. And I promise to keep you all updated every step of the way.

Its time to head back to the City of Angels. Thank you all again so much and may God continue to bless you all to the fullest! Sawasdee Khrup!

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