Our trip to the states: we did other things, too!

Posted on 27.07.2016

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So, on our trip to the US that was mostly about Steph’s wedding, we did a few other things. As I said in the last post, the main focus was of course the wedding, and getting to spend time with my family, whom I hadn’t seen in about 3 years.

But I still wanted to see my friends, and also had a wish list of food I wanted to eat.

I’m not sure if I wrote about it, but I’m trying out 80% Vegetarian, 20% Pescetarian this year: I can eat seafood once a week, IF I NEED IT. This is basically, in my mind, the ‘sushi and crab cakes rule’, since I really can’t imagine life without those things and am able to kill a fish on my own. I also had plans and personal allowance to eat ONE cheese steak while I was there, but that fell through. I’m saving it for next time.

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IMG_6774Almost as soon as we got into town, there was food.

OH, was there food. But there was one issue with said food:

I forgot how big it is here in the states. I mean, in my mind, I guess I remembered. I talk about it often in my lessons with students who will be going to the USA. I actually mention it as something I miss, when students ask me what I miss about life in the states. I always say ‘the food’.

That being said, I made the mistake of ordering ‘an appetizer’, as you people call it, at a restaurant, because I ‘wasn’t that hungry’, COMPLETELY forgetting that appetizers in restaurants in the USA are either a) made to share or b) big enough to constitute a full meal. 100% slipped my mind.

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we did our  best.

we did our best.

I ordered nachos for an appetizer and basically expected chips with some melted cheese. When it came out, in all its mountainous glory, I actually said ‘godDAMMIT America!’, or something to that effect. It may have been ‘fucking America’, but I can’t remember now.

Thankfully, Mark loves nachos and tried to help me, but we only managed to get through about a third of it, as a team. We are weak. We ended up boxing it to bring back to the hotel room, and finished it off as a full dinner that night while watching something IN ENGLISH on TV. And it was glorious and much-needed.

The day aIMG_7986fter the wedding, a mere 12 hours after the party ended, I was up and driving to a tattoo shop in the area to meet up with one of my best friends, Bridget, in order to get tattoos. We’ve been planning to do this since I left for Germany, and I’ve been trying to design it for a while. I had (am still having) some issues with Adobe Illustrator (namely that I refuse to pay for the subscription service and am therefore using an older version of it, which makes Adobe mad and my program not work properly), but finally got around to finalizing the image before I left. Bridget liked it, and so did I, so we got matching tattoos.7 stars each for 14 years of friendship (at the time) on our 21-year anniversary.

These tattoos brought to you by the number 7.

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We then went to meet up with Steph and Kyle to watch the game at a pub that was between our hotel and their house, and again were bombarded by HUGE amounts of food. It was all amazing, but there was no way I could finish it all. Especially since after said game, we’d be going out to another restaurant to have a final family dinner before Steph and Kyle left for their honeymoon.

I actually don’t even remember if I ate. Or drank. It was so hot out, I was getting delirious, and it’s hard to remember everything that happened. I may have also still had jet-lag.

Either way, the pub was nice and air-conditioned, there was wifi, and I got to hang out with just Mark, Steph and Kyle, which was great. It was so nice to have so much time with just them while we were there.

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After the game, we left to meet at dad and Sandy’s house to head over to a seafood restaurant that Kim (my stepsister and Sandy’s daughter) had chosen. Hilarity ensued when we realized that Kim, who is married to Jon, who is a vegetarian, chose a restaurant that had about 3 vegetarian options on it, 2 of which were for children and on the kids’ menu.

It was a crab house, complete with the brown paper bag table-cloth and it smelled of Old Bay. I was fine with this and Mark already knew what he was getting into, but I guess Jon did not.

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So I ordered a pound of steamed shrimp (since they were the same price as a half pound and I figured I could handle it), and Mark had a salad without meat on it. That was the only option, I think. Thankfully since we’d been eating so much over the course of the week, he wasn’t even that hungry.

We were so full after that. And I don’t think I need to eat any more steamed shrimp for a while.

It was fun to have a nice dinner out, just the family, after everything we’d done in the days before.

After that, the only thing left to do was see my (our) friends. I reserved the back room of Teavolve on Aliceanna street in Harbor East for a happy hour that went from 5-7, and a lot of people came! It was so great to get everyone together in one place. I’m a little sad I didn’t get a lot of time to talk to everyone more, but I was thankful at least to see them, in person, and to hear that they’re all doing well. Facebook and Skype are great for keeping in touch, but it’s nice to be in people’s presence sometimes. Or most of the time.

After that we went back to my friend Dan’s apartment to check it out and hang out some more. It was a nice, relaxed time, and I enjoyed seeing his place and getting more time with everyone.

Overall I think it was a successful trip. Next time I want to do more with more people, but for only having about 3 days of free time, I think we did well.

I hope I can be back sooner next time. Or move closer in the future. Japan is awesome, but it’s a bit too far away from everyone.