We are beyond happy and excited to be home visiting family and enjoying the delights of the USA this holiday season. What’s not to love about visiting DC’s most awesome Smithsonian museums – dinosaurs, planes, space shuttles, model trains and all – or heading out to a farm with good friends, enjoying festive toddler-sized dinners with cousins, running wild through the National Zoo, visiting fire stations, watching parades, eating mounds of sweets, frolicking in the snow, choosing and cutting down our very own Christmas tree? Yes folks, we are doing it all, and it is wonderful.
That being said, there are a few things we have had to adjust to when it comes to spending time at home this winter:
1. Instead of getting out the door with shorts, t-shirt and crocs for Logan and a onesie for Kate we have to bundle up. I’m talking warm socks, real shoes (!), two long-sleeve t-shirts, a sweater, fleece-lined pants, jacket, gloves, and maybe a hat. And that’s just Logan. The same routine goes for Kate, but with a more feminine flare. Then I attempt to put on pants, a sweater, socks, tennis shoes, and a jacket. Then Kate spits up. Start again. Then Logan has a dirty diaper. Start again. Finally, we are ready to walk out the door 45 minutes after we started getting dressed and both kids are crying because they hate winter attire. Geesh. How does anyone ever make it out of the house with kids in cold weather? #sothankfulforBangkokweather
2. Driving, driving and more driving. From my parents’ house to DC – about 40 minutes each way. From my parents’ house to one of my best friend’s house – about one hour each way. From Walter’s mom’s house to his sister’s house – about 20 minutes each way. Yes, the kids are sick of driving, but they are being good sports about it. In Bangkok, I strap Kate in the ergo, Logan in the stroller, head down the elevator, and within 10-15 minutes we are at: a) the pediatrician, or b) the grocery store, or c) a shopping mall, or d) the embassy (aka daddy’s work), or e) Logan’s school, or f) lots and lots of restaurants, or g) the skytrain. You get the point. Also, I get many weird looks for wearing Kate in a carrier instead of using a stroller in the suburbs. #sohappytoliveinabigcity
3. Two hours early for our domestic flights and we still almost miss them! Yikes. We totally forgot how difficult air travel was in the USA! Shoes – off, belts – off, baby carriers -off. An airport train at Dulles that doesn’t get you anywhere near your gate. Three gigantic suitcases, two car seats, and a stroller are probably not adding to the ease and efficiency of our travel. Thankfully, we have managed to make all of our flights just as the are boarding. Guess I can’t complain too much. #wemissyouThaiAirwaysandAirAsia
4. The size . . . of everything! Portions and grocery stores, especially. I walked into Meijer two days ago and was completely overwhelmed. They just don’t have mac n cheese, they have an ENTIRE SECTION dedicated to mac n cheese. The same goes for animal crackers. A half-aisle just for ice cream made from candy bars. People, this is what makes America great . . . but it is totally insane. You can get anything and everything. All in one store and for affordable prices. I forgot how easy it was to do one-stop shopping in the USA. I also realize how Americans are getting fat fast compared to the rest of the world . . . #ohVillaMarketyouhavegrownonme
We miss you, Thailand, but not enough to come back just yet. Two more weeks and we still have carriage rides in the snow, a trip to see even more cousins in Laguna Niguel, CA’s Legoland, oh right – and a little something called Christmas, left to enjoy. More from us in 2013. Until then, Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!