Friday, March 3, 2017

A Visit to New Hampshire

Since moving to Abu Dhabi in Spring of 2014, I had only been back to New Hampshire once. Spring of 2015 was the time that I made a quick 72 hour round trip from Abu Dhabi to New Hampshire to retrieve my parents and get their butts out to Abu Dhabi. Being near the end of 2016, that means that I had been "home" for less than 48 hours in two years. Despite how it may seem, choosing to live so far from our families, and traveling to all of the exotic places that we do instead of "going home all of the time", we are truly close with our families and they mean the absolute world to us. We are really fortunate to live in the age that we are in constant contact, albeit digitally, with family and friends, so it does not seem that far or that long between visits. That being said, I was really feeling that I hadn't "seen" my amazing family in so long and was aching for some in-person interaction. That and some of the most important people in my life don't email or Skype.

So, while Adam ventured back to Pennsylvania to do a few days (of which I am disappointed there is no photographic evidence to show!!!) at the annual Boys Hunting Camp retreat and to escort his parents back to Abu Dhabi, I took some much needed time to see my amazing clan. I was also to the point of absolute exhaustion and just needed some down time, not working, not living everyday life (which is absolutely amazing, don't get me wrong) and not traveling.

Every single day of my trip home was spent getting quality sleep (we're talking 10-11 hours each night!) because I was in bed and hardcore sleeping by 7p some nights, eating amazing food made with love, and spending authentic quality time with the people that I love....completely disconnecting with the rest of the world and focusing on them. And I don't care how old you are, there is something amazing about going home to a mother's love. I don't think you ever get "too old" or tired of that. It's the best!

So my entire trip was structured around great people, great food, and wonderful times.

Aunt Gretchen and Uncle Steve

My amazing Aunt Rita

Uncle Pete <3

Oh Maia...still SO mad at me for not bringing her to Abu Dhabi with us!

Not gonna lie...there were more than a few days that mom and I were sharing our first bottle of wine before noon, and just enjoying the afternoon passing together. But, we were at the gym bright and early every morning!

Mom really maximizes the volume of the wine glasses, thus making her a fantastic bartender!

Thanks to the wonders of Facebook, I am connected with all of my cousins, and we are able to stay fairly "close and current" in each others lives. It is still shocking that we are all old enough to be independently functioning adults, and we come together outside of the parents collecting us all together at family gatherings. I was able to enjoy an awesome night out with Dennis and Sam and lunch with Jamie (I was able to kidnap him from work for a few hours, yay!).

Cousin Love: Sam and Dennis

And to feel slightly active and not like a complete slug, the parents and I ventured up to Burlington, Vermont for a day, just to explore the quaint little city, and experience one of the newer cideries that had open. Citizen Cider is absolutely delicious, and they have a fantastic little restaurant inside of their brewery. I highly recommend a visit if you are ever in the area. We enjoyed some nice flights, a couple of pints, a delicious and hearty meal, and pleasant banter with the bartender.

Not ashamed, both of the flights were for me! I had to try them all, obviously!

The best parents in the entire world!

Cousin Love: Jamie

And, thanks to flying in and out of Boston, I always get to spend time with Liz and Rick, who are not-actually-related-but-are-totally-family, for a wonderful afternoon into evening before my flight left. I am frustrated that I forgot to capture the time in photos this time around, but we were too busy enjoying ourselves to think about it.