Home Leave (this time without the bulk)

Hubs and I wrapped up the summer with a trip back to Maryland to visit family and friends. Over the years, we’d stock up and pay extra luggage fees to bring back heaps of American stuff you can’t find overseas. After reading “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, watching the documentary “The True Cost” and experimenting with capsule wardrobes, it’s changed the way I am as a consumerist. So, even though we nested an empty medium suitcase inside of a large empty one, expecting the craziness of buying up everything in sight, we actually only bought stuff that fit into the empty medium suitcase and donated the large one we left behind. For the first time, we came home with only two medium sized suitcases and carry on’s. Which also included a few requests from our friends in Vienna.

We spent a lot of time with family and friends and eating lots of crab cakes.  There’s nothing like that delicious blue crab taste anywhere else in the world! Jumbo lumps of crab with very little filler is how a crab cake should be.  And Maryland sweet corn, with their delightfully silvery-white kernels, nom-nom-nom-nom.  Crab cakes and corn were the first meal when we arrived and the last dinner before we left.  Perfect.

Unfortunately during our visit,  I suffered from a case of food poisoning that resulted in an ER visit, because of dehydration.  I was on the BRAT diet and antibiotics for the rest of the time in MD. It was horrible and put a wrench in an already short visit, but we got to see almost everyone we wanted to spend time with. Being home was a near perfect way to end our summer.

*Disclaimer: There are no pictures while at my in-laws, because I locked myself in the bathroom the whole time during our visit with food poisoning*

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Holiday Cheer

The holiday season begins at the start Thanksgiving, for us Americans. It’s also one of my absolute favorite holidays. So, it’s no surprise that we chose that time to go for our “home leave”. It was filled with lots of food and quality time with our family and friends. During and after our return back to Vienna, I was filled with sadness and I didn’t want to be here; I missed our life back in Maryland. It took me by surprise, because I haven’t had that feeling since the beginning of the year.  Here’s some highlights from our “home leave”:

 

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 This past Christmas has been a very special one for Hubs and me. It marked the first (ever) Christmas that we’ve stayed put. What do I mean by that? Christmas, New Years and Hubs’ birthday have always been lumped into one big trip or the one time when we were getting ready to move here (almost two years ago).

So to mark this special year I made a huge feast for us on Christmas, and then went to see the Nutcracker at the Vienna State Opera house the day after Christmas. The tickets to the Nutcracker were our gifts to one another for Christmas this year, but Hubs surprised me with another small gift on the actual day. It was such a magical day for us and made us question if we would want to stay “put” next year, too.  It’s still up for debate. There’s so much we’re grateful for. There have been so many amazing memories that we’ve made this year and I can’t wait for what next year will bring.

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Back to the States

Shortly after getting back from India, I had to turn around and hop on a flight back to Maryland. It was for a time sensitive emergency that couldn’t be resolved here in Vienna. Although it was a short visit, it allowed me some time to catch up with family and girlfriends. I was reminded of how strong my friendships were with these girls and that it didn’t seem like a year had pass since I last saw them. It was comforting and heartwarming. My family and friends also spoiled me with great meals whether it be home-cooked or out.  This was a great little trip back to the familiar, but I’m glad to be home with Hubs.

my mother in-law and stepfather in-law drove an hour and half to come have lunch with me
No one makes a crabcake like the state of Maryland. NO ONE!
I love these girls!
Got my Five Guys burger fix at the airport before heading back to Vienna