My trip back to the states was mostly uneventful. Except for the classic Ecua-ness I experienced right before leaving. I told my family I needed to catch a train by 7pm so I needed to leave the house at 6:30pm. 6:15 rolled around and my host family was nowhere to be found. The girl who works for my host mom just asked me to wait for them. So I waited. 6:30 came and went and still no sign of them. At 7pm they came through the door like nothing had happened and asked me what time I needed to leave again. I told them 30 minutes ago and they looked at me like I was nuts. I'm telling you, time means nothing to Ecuadorians.
Then I met up with some friends in Quito and turned out to have the role of "translator" for a date between Peter's cousin and a girl from Colorado. It was definitely interesting seeing as my Spanish isn't that great yet. But in the end they seemed to like each other.
Then I caught my flight back to the States and made it to Miami. My first meal was real Chinese food. It was wonderful. Chinese food in Ecuador tastes a bit like tar. While I was eating my food I contemplated all the things I had done in just a few short minutes that I hadn't done in months (flush toilet paper, use my debit card, and drink from a water fountain). After I had a long layover in Miami I made my way to the plane to go to Cleveland. However, when everyone got on the bus to go to the commuter plane we found out there was no crew. Apparently the crew was delayed and no one told the bus driver or the gate workers. Thankfully it was Miami and not Cleveland where I was stranded outside. Eventually the crew showed up and I made it back to Cleveland after a nice 15-16 hours of travel. Then back in the states I said hello to my kitties and drifted off to sleep with the smell of dryer sheets filling my nostrils.
The next morning I started my American holiday adventure filled with lots of non-ecua food and family. I headed to both Columbus and Pittsburgh on my adventure and got to see a whole lot of my family. I even got to skype with my dog, Brady! I made cookies, sang Christmas carols, and opened presents. I also got a lovely facial with my aunt Ginny. The most adventurous part of my trip was definitely when I tried to go cross-country skiing. Apparently I'm not so cut out for it because I fell a million times. Three-fourths of the way through I decided to take off my skis and just walk. It was a brilliant idea. My dad and I also attempted a super hard puzzle of Machu Picchu. I left with about 100 pieces to go. I got to see my friend Amanda in Columbus too! I haven't seen her in forever!
And I even got pulled over for the first time by a police officer on Christmas. I was driving out of a gas station because I filled up before heading back to Cleveland. I made a U-turn at the light because I needed to go in the other direction. Apparently those are illegal in Columbus. Who knew? So the nice police officer flashed his lights at me and I pulled out my handy-dandy North Carolina driver's license and said I wasn't from there. He told me to have a great Christmas and not to make U-turns in Columbus anymore. (I don't think I told my dad that story yet, opps).
If I didn't get to wish you a Merry Christmas then here you go: Merry Christmas!
I'm so glad I got to see everyone and I'll probably be back in July to see you again. The next post about New Year's and Kaytee and Max's visit will come soon!