I took two weeks off from work for a trip home for the holidays. It was a great trip, but I’ll be brief and just list a few highlights/ observations:
- See my post “Americans Rock” on how great it was to see Americans again and how much I love them. Its easy to be cynical about Americans, but more than other culture I’m aware of, everyone is such an individual. I saw so many random/awesome types of people. After two weeks home, the novelty of it started to wane and be less present in my mind, but the thought endures: Americans rock.
- I also noticed how “corporate-ized” America, or atleast its suburbs, is. Town after town seemed to be one corporate playground after another, only with a different arrangement of Wendy’s, BestBuys, Walmarts, CVS, and Applebees. I guess its always been that way, but going from Vietnam, where most places are locally-owned, to seeing carbon-copy clutter was a little disturbing.
- My flight from SF to NYC was cancelled mid-layover, and after an hour and half of waiting in line and then another two hours negotiating, I convinced the JetBlue ticket agent to route me through Vegas for a two-day trip rather than sit around Long Beach for three days. Fittingly, I stayed at New York, New York. The short story: a made enough money playing poker, blackjack, craps, and roulette to cover my hotel bill, some great food, and a new ticket for the flight I missed the next day because I overslept! I had an amazing time, but its definitely a place to go with a group of friends rather than alone.
- In 17 days, I slept in 14 different beds in 7 different cities! I was exhausted by the end of it. Special thanks to Alex, Jon, and Katy for putting me up in your places, also thanks to Jetblue, the Long Beach Airport, and momma.
- I bought a case of Zaxby’s sauce… thats 120 packets. Man I love that stuff, but the tower of Zaxby’s sauce piled on the table was truly a daunting sight. I gave away some, left some at home, and stuffed about 30 in my bag, of which 28 made it intact.
- Went to the concert of the always-awesome Avett Brothers at the Fox Theater on New Years Day with my mom, brother, and brother’s gf. The theater has an amazing roof, which looks like an evening sky from below.
- My little brother had been talking smack about his tennis game, but we hadn’t had a chance to play the entire time I was back. The night before I left, it was dark and below-freezing outside when he returned from a three-day church trip. It was then or never. My mom, dad, and I each drove a car over to the courts, flipped the high beams, and set the stage for an epic tennis battle.
All in all, it was great to be back home for a bit and see friends and family. It was a little tough getting back on the plane, but I’m definitely not ready to leave Vietnam yet, and have a lot of exciting things coming up in the next few months to keep me busy. I’ll keep you posted…