Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Count Down!

One month until we begin our trek back "home" to the East Coast for the summer! Yay! Although there is a ton of stuff that I need to get ready before then, I am counting on my excitement to get me through all of the stress of planning and packing.  I get very overwhelmed when I start to think about how much I have to do before we leave so I have been making a lot of lists to keep myself organized (and sane).

School finishes on June 8th but we won't leave for the U.S. right away.  The kids asked to stay here for a couple of weeks so they could hang out with their friends and "decompress". We will leave Bangkok on June 21st and our first stop will be in Seattle to visit with Kevin's brother and his family for four days.  We have never been to Seattle and are looking forward to exploring the city (and visiting some of the brew pubs!).  From Seattle, we fly to Virginia and will split our time there between Kevin's mom (in Gainesville) and my brother and SIL (in Fairfax).  We all love being back in Fairfax and visiting with our family and friends. We still own a home there and do a few drive-bys and "remember whens" whenever we are in town. Christopher was 5 years old when we moved from that house to Australia so I am not quite sure what he remembers, if anything. Caitlynne has a group of friends that she went through Pre-School and Kindergarten with and she always spends a few days with them.  In the past, they went to the park or the pool together but, over the years, their meet-ups have morphed into shopping trips at the mall, going to the movies or getting manicures/pedicures. I get to see a lot of my "mom" friends and we usually have a fun girls' night out and spend some time lounging at the pool with a drink (or two).  I miss Virginia and my friends so much! 

We will spend the week of 4th of July in NY at my parents' home.  The kids have already started to make meal requests of my mom!  There are a few delicious meals that she makes that I cannot duplicate so we save them for our visits to NY.  It will also be wonderful to have a genuine NY bagel again!  We will drive back to Virginia and then Kevin will return to Bangkok for two weeks.  However, he has a conference in Williamsburg, VA the last week of July/first week of August so he will return to the U.S. for that and then we will all meet up in Northern Virginia and fly back here together. Lots of frequent flyer miles for him this summer! In mid-July, some family friends from Miami will be driving North for their vacations and we will try to meet up with them when they pass through Virginia.  We did this last year right before we left and it was so much fun.  

Christopher, Caitlynne and I are going to Miami later in July so Christopher can participate in a basketball camp at University of Miami.  He attended this camp several times when we lived in Miami and had a great time while learning a lot of new skills. Before we moved last year, I promised that if he wanted to attend this year, I would make it happen.  So, off we shall go!  It actually isn't all that much of a hardship as we will visit with friends (and even some family) that we otherwise would not have gotten to see.  I suspect that we will do a little shopping in Miami as well.  After our trip to Miami, we will return to VA to stay until we fly to Bangkok on August 6th.  School begins on August 13th and I hope that will be sufficient time for us to recover from jet lag and get ready for the start of school.

Whew!  I am tired just writing out all of the trip details!  It will be a busy 7 weeks and we will certainly be on the move but it is definitely worth the effort.  Since we are not taking Sonder with us (PeePorn will stay here with him), it  is so much easier for me to plan travel, activities & side trips and not worry about dog walking, feedings, dog-friendly hotels, etc.

Speaking of Sonder...I have been worried about him as he is still quite depressed over Simpson's death.  He eats very little and mopes around a lot of the day.  If a dog can be melancholy, he is.  Just look at this face...
In light of our upcoming trip and our extended absence, I have been trying to think of something that he can bond with so he won't be too lonely during our time away from him.  I know that getting another dog would probably help him a lot but that is something I can't deal with right now.  We will definitely get another dog when we move back to the U.S. but it is too much to think about getting one here.  I found one of old Caitlynne's stuffed animals and am trying to get Sonder attached to it.  He paid it no attention until last week when he at laid next to it and gave it the briefest of cuddles. Small steps!  
Have a great Tuesday!

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