Monday, May 9, 2016

DC: Homes

I couldn't believe how much D.C. and Maryland felt like HOME! I only lived there for 3 years, and this was my 3rd or 4th visit back since I moved away over 10 years ago. But it just instantly felt like I was right back where I belong. Part of it I'm sure is being with Ananda - things are always better when I'm with her - but I just have so many happy perfect memories from that time in my life (6, 7, and 8th grade) and it felt so good to be back again.

The third night we took the train to Columbia, MD, which is where I lived and where Ananda's parents still live. It was positively MAGICAL to drive around and see where we grew up! Not to mention seeing Pat and John - they are my second parents and I love them SO much. We pulled into the driveway of 5344 Racegate Run and opened the front door and the nostalgia hit us so hard it actually made us a little emotional - the number of times we have come careening in that door fresh from the "stress" and "drama" of our inconsequential middle school days and then run back out on our next adventure is innumerable, and it was so happy and lovely to be back there again together.

Pat had lemonade and, of course, a steaming salty bowl of edamame ready when we got home, and then we went for a walk down our beloved neighborhood paths.

 It was just so good to be with these happy people. I never wanted to stop talking!

mm, so many delicious foods have been made and devoured here!

We stopped by my old house (which used to be blue!)...

...And then went to good ol' Oakland Mills Middle School, Home of the Falcons and the reign of Jessie and Ananda (and Rajani and Grace!) from 2003-2005. I wish we had more video evidence of us as middle schoolers because it was EPIC. Ha, we had such a good time reminiscing and checking out our old school. Christian and Pat probably thought we were crazy, but they were good sports.

this might be my favorite picture haha

I hope our children also have epic middle school experiences! Although I don't think anyone can top the adventures of Padfoot and Prongs : )

Pat had an Indian FEAST prepared for us and it was every bit as incredible as I remember from all those dinners I had in the olden days! YUM.

 my mouth is watering...I NEED THIS FOOD AGAIN

We took some last pictures and said our goodbyes after too short of a trip. How thankful I am that this all worked out! I could say so much more, but Ananda I love you and miss you always and can't wait til next time!

the classic grandfather clock picture! some day
i'll dig out all the others
Then, I got to go to another home away from home: The Nuss Hotel. My mom met Kellie right when we moved to Maryland and they've been best friends since. It has been enormously satisfying to grow up and get to be friends with her too now as an adult! I felt so at ease and welcome and I'm so glad it worked out for me to stay there for a night. Anyone who has had the privilege to know Kellie knows she is without a doubt the BEST.  (Gah I had a picture of us somewhere but it's lost, so I'll just have to remember how happy I was to chat and enjoy each other without photographic evidence!)

my coziest of cozy lair
happy sunburned tired loved...selfie

the happy red door! til next time...

this doesn't fully capture it but oh how I MISS the MD greenery!!
Kellie dropped me off at the airport and I walked in, checked my bag, and wandered over through security feeling sort of down that my trip was at an end. As I went over the events of the past three days though I started grinning at how fun it was to banter back and forth with Ananda again and get to know Christian better (he's awesome, once again GREAT CALL Ananda), how great it was to show Renetta around and have her meet my friends, how comfortable I felt back where I spent my formative years, and how grateful I was to have seen Ananda's parents and the Nuss's. I realized that mostly I just felt so full of love and, in turn, so loved - I'm so lucky and thankful to be surrounded by so many wonderful, loving people, and I smiled the rest of the way through the airport. THANK YOU to all the people that made this trip possible! Seriously.

look! a picture with Dan! we owe him all the success
of the trip, since it was his conference that got us
all together in the first place : )
And oh how fun it was to be reunited with my dear family! It is so wild to go that long without being with my children, and I think we were all happy to be back together even though, at least for me, it was a nice break from the norm. The boys clung to me until I bribed them off with fruit snacks or something, and Natalie was so excited by the snow globe I brought her that she dropped it and it broke and she burst into tears, ha. Poor thing was a little overwhelmed I guess. As fun as my trip was, it is always a relief to be back with my brood.

 pictures from while I was gone

they are the best!

1 comment:

  1. And loved you are. It was such a treat to see you!