2015 was a rough year, even for an optimist like me -- and through all our struggles, America felt far, far away. Coming home this past December was a real blessing, a chance to recharge and move on.
My visit reminded me just how lucky Chris and I are to live this life we’ve built. In the spirit of practicing gratitude, here’s an overly long and mushy shout out to the lovely people we saw on our American journey this winter break.
In order of trip appearance, thank you:
To Nicole and Kyle, for letting us crash despite annoyance and inconvenience, for fun times around Astoria, and for the pizza;
To Paul and Lauren, for letting us share your beautiful daughter, for reminiscing about the MHCA, and for walking us all over beautiful Brooklyn;
To Rachel and Ben, for happenstance meetings around a huge city, for great stories over great beers, and for lots of laughter;
To Brian, for our swankiest and *hottest* stop on the USA tour, for fueling our Dunkin’ addiction, and for losing us in the back roads of Milford;
To Nicki, for driving many hours just to come see me, for your honesty and strength, and for always L(M)LAS;
To Mom & Dad 2, for your generosity and support, for your constant favors, and for the Christmas TV specials;
To The Hayeses, for your interest in life abroad, for your efforts to make a memorable Christmas, and for the question bags;
To Tim, for your great sense of humor, for (like Brian) enabling our DD addiction, and for always-interesting conversation;
To Mommy & Daddy, for inspiring me with your support for each other, for giving me the courage to live the life I want, and for your constant and reliable love;
To Amanda, for always finding time to sneak in a quick hang, for your generous offers of Pittsburgh hospitality (we will come soon, I swear!), and for knowing a little bit about everything;
To Laura and Luke, for our annual breakfast at my namesake diner, for sharing gripes about the struggles of an English teacher, and for your general wit and wisdom;
To Steph and Adam, for our lounging chat sessions in front of Family Feud, for your easy and infectious laughter, and for always knowing what’s up with the old OHS crowd;
To my brothers, for your wicked senses of humor, for your inspiring passion and talent, and for the example you offer of how to love your work;
To the wider Best family, for your love of music, for your willingness to come out for another family party, and (of course) for being the “Best” extended family a girl could ask for;
To Catie and Andrew, for a house full of love and energy and laughter, for your hilarious high school documentation, and for reuniting me with old friends (‘twas almost Jimmelbrica);
To Kelly (and Justin), for opening up your lovely house to us, for sharing your morning playtime with your beautiful kids, and for being ever cheerful and kind…
To Jim and Jonathan (though I didn’t see you, and you live in Canada!), for being hilarious and smart and interesting, for being steadfast friends despite the ocean between, and for the cutest pup in the N American continent – I’ll catch you next time!
We love you all, and are so lucky to have a USA family like you to return to each year. We miss you already.
Posts soon about our travels through Turkey / Greece…
PS: I haven’t forgotten you, my amazing friends who live outside of the Northeast – I’ll hope to see you on another journey!