Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Great Things About Home Trips

I have loved about 95% of my time in China.  There are times, however, when I am little homesick and yearn for a trip back to the motherland.  Fortunately, as part of our expat package we get a three week whirlwind trip back to the states.  In July, I was able to visit home and realize why I miss America at times.

The Shopping
Home trip time is always time for me to stock up on clothes, shoes, and other goodies that are hard to find in Shanghai. 

My large feet make it difficult to find cute shoes in Shanghai. So this trip I purchased my annual shoe wardrobe. 

I also purchased a year's worth of Bath and Body Works products.

When entering stores like Target, Walmart, or any other grocery store it is very easy to get in hoarding mode.  We usually horde antiperspirant, over the counter drugs, ranch dressing mix, hygiene products, brown gravy mix, printer cartridges and other items that are difficult to find in or are expensive in Shanghai.

The Sites
After getting over jet lag, I love visiting some of our old hangouts. 

Chris and our niece, Annabelle, have a tea party at the Indianapolis Children's' museum

On the way back from Indy, I stopped by my old sorority house at Purdue University.

We also took a stroll by the fountain in the center of campus.

In St. Louis, we had a great time at the Cardinal game.
The next day, we visited the Cardinal hall of fame at Cardinal Nation in downtown St. Louis.  I had great time holding Willie McGee's bat.
On Tuesday, I had a great time riding a camel at Grant's Farm in St. Louis
Chris has a grand time nursing baby goats.  
The Food
When returning to the states, I usually have a list of restaurants to visit and foods to eat.  Unfortunately this usually leads to a ten-pound weight gain.

It was great to eat lots of barbecue!

In Charleston, I ate some yummy lamb chops at Peninsula Grill. 
We finished off the meal with Peninsula's 12 layer coconut cake. 

 No trip to Chicago is complete without an Italian Beef sandwich.
The Friends and Family (especially the kids!)
When in the states, many people ask me,
            “What two things do you miss most about home?”

My answer is always the same, family and friends.  The best part of the home trip is seeing family and friends for the first time in a year. 

Annabelle and I had fun playing dress up.

I miss having ordinary fun with my nieces. 
After the Children's Museum, we had a fun time at gymnastics class.

We had a great time hanging out with the Kosiors

Chris and I had a chance to catch up with an old college friend.

I finally got to see my parents for the first time in a year. 
We caught up with cousins.

Chris and my 95 year old Great Uncle Peter swap home brewing stories. 

I had the chance to catch up with my Charleston peeps.

I saw the musical Schoolhouse Rock with my niece, Amelia.

We had a great time having a photo shoot in her qipao. 

We also had many Frozen tea parties.

On Friday we had a great time at swimming lessons.

The highlight of lessons was sliding down the pool slide.  

As much fun as our trip was, I am very happy to continue our adventures in Shanghai.   I am excited to see what this next year has in store!