Here we are eating--
And eating out--
Look at the size of the drinks on the kids menus! Everything's bigger in America. Drink refills are my love language.
So is Carrabas.
So let us recap the past several weeks:
-We hung out in a hotel on Grand Vía for ten days before leaving Madrid. The kids had school, we had all sorts of appointments and things to do, and lots of goodbyes.
-The flights back to the States went relatively smoothly.
Except that it took us an hour to check in because the check in desk apparently had never met anyone traveling with excess baggage. I find it hard to actually believe that, but it would seem that it was everyone's first day on the job.
This is where we stood for an hour with all of our schtuff.
We were in everyone's way. The kids were bored and poking at each other. I became hangry.
It was not a great start to a long day of traveling.
Here we are in Paris waiting for the second flight.
Neither of our flights took off on time, and the one out of Paris sat at the gate without the engines running, so there was no air conditioning. It was hot. The guy across the aisle smelled bad. Every time he lifted up his arm, I died a little inside.
Who gets on a 9 hour flight without showering sometime in the recent past?
Thankfully once we were airborne it wasn't so noticable. Either than, or my nostrils shut down in self defense.
The plane had little screens in each seat-back and the kids happily watched one movie after the other for the whole trip. Win for the home team. I watched several myself.
I quite dislike long flights and jet lag, so unless the Air Force sends us overseas again, I don't see myself jumping on another one anytime soon. Or possibly ever.
Our adjustment here was actually not too bad. Derek is the king of overcoming jet lag, and slept through the nights local time right away, further proving himself to be the easiest child on the planet.
The rest of us woke up at 3 am local time for a couple of days before getting back on schedule.
Josh was able to stay in Michigan for almost 2 weeks before leaving this past Saturday for Alabama. In the end, he drove the van that we'd been storing here down to Montgomery. The kids and I will fly down later this month, leaving us as car-less moochers for the time being.
While he was here we were able to visit our brand new niece, Anna Joy, while she was just days old! Newborn snuggles are the sweetest :)
We stayed a few days in their town and got to visit with Pat the Bunny, Josh's brother Jason, his sister Jessica (the new mommy), her husband John, and my adorable nephew Caleb.
*Imagine a picture of said people. The actual picture is stored on a laptop in Alabama*
(I am the only non-J name among the siblings and have always been ridiculed and mocked as the black sheep. I sleep with one eye open.)
We came back to west Michigan, where both of my parents live, in time to celebrate the Fourth of July. We had a good 'old country holiday complete with bonfire, s'mores, barbecue, and near death experiences with fireworks.
My dad put on a show that might have been professional-- except for that one that turned sideways and headed toward the crowd.
The good news is we all still have all of our appendages and eyesight. Here's to tempting fate next summer!
Operation "country summer" is in full effect for the children.
They spend lots of time outside riding bikes (thanks Mimi and Mr Mark!), picking wild berries, "helping" in the garden, driving the tractor, catching fireflies, collecting bugs and frogs, and generally just getting dirty.
My mom lives far off the street and it's a perfect setting to be able to let them explore a bit on their own. It reminds me of when I was a kid and my mom would kick us out after breakfast and we only came in for meals or to beg for a Popsicle.
My dad lives about 10 minutes away, so after getting hot and dirty, we make an almost daily trip to his house to jump in the pool and hang out with Pepaw and Grandma Cindy in the early evening. Added bonus is that sometimes we count the pool as credit for taking a bath.
Cousin Time! Our first week here, my sister and her family were over to visit. They live a couple hours away. My sister is in the middle of a condensed nursing course that takes all of her time, so my niece Kennedy is staying with us at my mom's house for the weeks that we're here. The girls have really enjoyed it!
Summer smells like sweat, sunscreen, and bug spray around here.