Saturday, September 11, 2010

Back from the homeland

Just as this blog has started getting hits from GO! Overseas as being a top blog for Ecuador, I took a month off from writing.  That's because we spent the month of August in the US, visiting family and friends, and traveling a good bit around the country, too.  And to further vex anyone in search of some good travel stories from Ecuador, the next couple of months will be all about the United States, as I recap our trip last month.  But, if you're in search of those kinds of stories, all you have to do is go back to previous posts, starting with this one.

So to kick off my triumphant return to writing after a month's hiatus, here's a photographic summary of what we got into while we were gone:

One of the things I had been looking forward to about being back in the US was the beer.  Good, honest, craft beer.  And as I was happily surprised to learn, our first of many hosts had gotten into homebrewing since last I saw him.  So it was that our first night in the US was spent in Albuquerque, playing obscure board games and drinking delicious, dark beverages.

Our trip, as you may have gathered, began in New Mexico.  I had lived there for several years before I turned my sights to Latin America.  Long enough to have accumulated lots of earthly possessions, many of which I had left there.  And long enough, too, to have gotten to know some great people, whose good taste and generosity led to such things as us staying in bedrooms like this one:

Good friends opened up their homes to us to spend the night and their front lawns for me to sell off my personal belongings in a good, old-fashioned yard sale.  They also drove us around endlessly.  Once, we even drove here, where some of New Mexico's nicer hot springs flow.

As hard as it was to leave the beautiful State of New Mexico behind us, the time came to get into a rental car and haul what was left of my personal possessions back to the land of my birth.  We chose a route north, through northern New Mexico's countryside.

We drove through Denver, where we spent the night with another kind friend.  And then, we made the big push across the Midwest, on the way back to Ohio.  Along the way we drove through corn fields.  Lots and lots of corn fields.  And to our surprise, a big wind farm.  In the State of Kansas we saw the biggest collection of windmills I've ever witnessed, and while places like California and Texas are better known for their wind farms, it makes sense that Kansas, smack in the middle of tornado country, would be getting in on the game.

And finally, after two days of driving cross country - and thanks to the generosity of so many, our only night spent in a hotel - we made it back to Ohio.  This trip marked my first time behind the wheel of a car in three years, and while it was fun for the first few hours, the novelty had worn off long before we got where we were going.  Once in Ohio, we were able to unpack our bags fully, and relax at last with my family.

The weeks there will always stand out in my mind as a time spent in places at once familiar to me and new for my wife.  It was her first visit to the US, which meant the first time seeing many things the average American takes for granted.  Big back yards, a multitude of grassy parks, and the expansive Lake Erie were among the things that were impressive to Nancy, and so we made sure to spend time in all of them.

It was a great trip, and we had a great time.  Up until the last day, when the time came to say goodbye to my family.  After spending several weeks together, it was easy to forget that our time was limited, after all.  But even when people are perennially close, geographically, I suppose it's still important to remember that time will always be limited, and that we always need to make the most of the time we have.

And for now, I'll leave it at that.  There's plenty that I haven't included here that will make it into the next few posts, and even more that is just as nicely shared among ourselves and our loved ones.  But the bottom line is, it was great to be home!


Lani said...

Glad to see and hear that you all have a wonderful vacation. That dark beer sure looks good. Sigh. The US has its moments, eh?

Negra said...

Good beer. Good!