Monday, August 13, 2007

My trip

So after the debacle of loosing my passport, my nerves were completely shot, especially considering that my main reason for taking the trip was to avoid having a mental breakdown that was well on its way. I really didn't need the added stress.

Fortunately, I had a fantastic trip home that completely recharged my batteries. Some highlights of the trip below:

  • Sitting next to an Australian girl named Amy on the flight to London. We hit it off and chatted for 7 hours straight. Extremely well traveled, and a very talented photographer, Amy and just couldn't stop talking to each other. I was sad to say goodbye at London Heathrow, but a few weeks later I got an email from her asking if she could come and visit me in Yantai on her way back to Australia. She ended up coming to visit me a few weeks ago and stayed for almost one whole week... now she's planning to come back for 2 weeks in Sept when she is off of school again (nursing student). Yay!
  • Surprising my 92 year old grandfather by showing up in his room. Over the course of 4 days we had numerous pub meals (guy can still put back a few pints) and took some trips. How I miss fish and chips, chased by a good English bitter. It was great to put such a smile on his face.
  • Going out drinking with my friend Mattei and his brother Luc in London. The three of us have been talking about doing that since we were 10. I don't think we had in mind to drink quite so much, but it was still a blast.
  • Talking to the head guy at LBS for 1.5 hours... quite encouraging.
  • Getting picked up by Fargus at JFK when I wasn't expecting it (thanks again, man!)
  • The awesomeness that was Steve's wedding. I still can't believe how good the food was. The ceremony was 1 hour away from the hotel, so the groomsmen (in our luxury limosine van) stopped by the liquor store on the way to the church (at the suggestion of the reverend, I might add) and got ourselves quite tipsy on the way to the ceremony.
  • (Taking a step back) We nearly got kicked out of the hotel room for noise complaints when we had the combined groomsmen/bride's maids party. We kinda knew the night would turn that way when at the rehersal ceremony, the groomsmen all dropped their pants (we had boxers on) for the bridemaids to take photos of!
  • It was really cool to see the first of my friends get married.
  • The 4 days I spent down the shore, with my bro Charles coming to visit. Partying it up with my insane cousin Stokes and his friends. They're 21-is years old and I cannot keep up anymore. Woke up my Gran when I stumbled home at 4am. Sorry Gran!
  • The week of rest and relaxation of doing nothing at my parent's house. Of course, I didn't really have a choice to sit and do nothing. Once my parents got home from Europe, I didn't have access to a car, and since my company had yet to pay me, I didn't have enough money to rent one.
  • Sitting out on my parent's back porch with Charles for hours, drinking good English beer, shooting the shit.
  • Getting to see my parents, even if it was only for a short time.
Bottom line of it is, I have the best friends in the world. I know there were people that I didn't get to see, even though I thought I'd be able to... next time I'm home, I promise you guys, I'm going to come and visit you.

Back in Yantai, I quickly found myself enjoying life again here. I can hardly believe my mood has improved so much over the past few months. I really thought I was done with Yantai, but now I find myself able to stay here a while longer.