My whirlwind of a weekend home is over and I already miss it. I mean, I don’t miss the utter exhaustion, my inability to tell which day of the week it was, or the distance from my husband (not the largest ocean, but a pretty big one none-the-less)…but on a whole, it was a pretty magical trip.
I’ve never traveled so far (24 hours there, 21 hours back) to be somewhere for such a short amount of time. So I guess I should explain why…
The real why goes back to July 3, 2016. My wedding day. And there, standing next to me (on the opposite side of my soon-to-be husband) was Nora. A woman who wrote out my invitations, shared a room with my sister and other bridesmaid, Erica (both strangers to her), and has been a source of comfort and conversation since we met in the early days of university.
She was my witness on our marriage license.
And on October 1, 2017, it was her turn to get married. Now, living halfway around the world, I couldn’t write out her invitations (and let’s be honest – she has better handwriting anyway), I couldn’t dye or tie her lovely keychains to mark the seating chart, and I couldn’t be with her to try on various wedding dresses (which she had done with me).
All I could do was be there. So I did.
And despite the travel hours logged, I am so happy that I did. Fun fact: I did not cry at my own wedding – I was not going to waste that professionally applied make-up! But I sobbed like a baby at Nora’s, my heart bursting with joy.
I finally got to meet Sumit, her now husband – the ocean between us preventing that from previously happening. And I got to steal small moments with her when she wasn’t taking a million photographs, greeting everyone that came to her wedding, and spending time with the man she will now be spending the rest of her life with.
If that was all I got from my weekend home, it would have been enough.
But I got more.
After a three-hour delay in Amsterdam, turning my nine-hour flight into twelve hours, I finally got to see my parents and sister. Excepting my sister, they don’t get out much and so I hadn’t seen them in over a year. We immediately got into the swing of things: My father shouting at traffic, my sister getting exasperated by my mother, and me trying to Skype a medical appointment from the backseat. So little time.
I got to have dinner with the three of them, plus my grandparents and my first meal back in the states was a burrito (Chandler has trained me well). It was delicious, even if it was from the freezer section of Trader Joes.
The next day I got to visit with even more family as my grandparents opened up their home to anyone who could claim relation to me : ) A feast was laid before us and we spent the next six hours eating and catching up. Our time together was way too short, but I got all the most important updates: deaths, divorces, and new dogs. My family is a country song.
Those were some hard goodbyes to make, but time waits for no one and my sister and I had friends to meet in Minneapolis that night! I had my first (but hardly last) dinner with a baby and a reunion with three incredible friends (two of whom I’ve seen part of the world with and a third who’s been in my corner since high school). It’s always awkward bringing strangers together but my friends seem to do it with ease (proving they are far more evolved than I am!).
I got to learn about internet dating, how having a baby changes your life, and good news! More of my people are coming back overseas. They may not be anywhere near Ghana, but maybe they’ll be closer than the US!
Then came Sunday, the day I flew halfway around the world for. It was beautiful and emotional and something I’ll always remember. Not the least of which because of the after party : )
Brittany accompanied me to that and we decided it would be a shame to waste my gorgeous new dress (not exactly activewear in Accra), and so we proceeded to host a fashion shoot at Betty Danger’s Country Club. Hardly the oddest thing to happen there, as you’ll be able to surmise from the photos below:
Hiding in an apple from an ostrich…
Chillin’ with a gorilla…
Looking longingly at a giraffe…
Loving a blue horse…
And a little bit of camel time between sisters. The park was filled with the randomest animals – and not all of them cute!
The next day was more sister time and a quick lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in over five years! My the time does fly. But she’s also moving overseas – to Germany : ) Making it easier and easier to keep in touch!
In the end, I couldn’t believe my time in Minnesota had already come to a close. But I wasn’t upset…I came, I saw, I conquered. And I loved every minute of it. Next time I should probably spend more time with my family!