If you were to draw my summer, it would look like a bunch of squiggly lines. I spent the two months at home running around the country, living out of my suitcase, and watching entirely too much "Criminal Minds." Here's a brief re-cap of everything I did this summer before I got to New York.
June: I spent the first few weeks back in the U.S. commuting between Ontario and Santa Monica, shopping, sleeping in, and eating a lot of ice cream. Really, it was a lot. Andrew came out for his family's final 4th of July BBQ and so I got to spend a few days with him. I got to catch up with lots of friends, including Salwa, Jamie, Valerie, my cousin Amber, Grace and Aaron, Bryant and Shalimar, Maurice, Matt, and a whole bunch of others.
4th of July BBQ, with Grace & Aaron
Natural History Museum Potluck
July: Since Andrew's parents were moving (his dad is now a federal bankruptcy judge!), that meant that I had to gather up all of our things, pack them up, and cart them over to my grandmother's house for shipping. I spent most of July packing things with my grandmother, who really deserves a medal for her superior packing skills. The woman is amazing! We managed to get everything organized and really well-protected (or so we thought). I divided our things into books to be sent via Media Mail through the post office, and other stuff which was sent through Greyhound shipping. Neither method turned out to be great, despite the cheap price, as we found out toward the end of the summer.
All packed and ready to ship
I also spent a lot of July preparing for Nicole's bachelorette party. I worked with Nicole's maid of honor and bridesmaid to arrange for a limo to pick the bachelorettes up at a teahouse in Long Beach and drive us around town where Nicole had to perform lots of silly tasks, including asking random men for advice on lingerie. It was a lot of fun and something I was really proud to be a part of.
Yep, those are two Jack Sparrows
August: I drove up to San Jose and stayed with Nicole and Daniel, joining the assembly line of wedding helpers in preparing signs, flowers, and other matrimonial tasks. It was great to have a little bit of time with them before the wedding. Andrew arrived shortly after, spending his first night in California hosting Daniel's bachelor party (both Nicoles were a little pissed about this). Then came the difficult part, the actual wedding. I was asked to be the officiant, a task which made me feel really nervous the whole summer. I had been having trouble thinking of what to write until the night before the wedding, at which time inspiration struck and I managed to write a good introduction. The day of the actual wedding I was too busy to be nervous anymore. I love weddings where family and friends are responsible for most, if not all, of the details, but it's a lot of work! Thankfully, the wedding and reception went off without (many) hitches, and everyone had a great time.
Three BookWorlds Nicoles
After the festivities were over, Andrew and I spent the next few days visiting friends in the Bay Area. We had a big picnic where we got to see most of our friends, and then followed up with individual meetings with Sue, Sarah, and Andrew's brother James. It was wonderful to see everyone. We left Berkeley and stopped for the night in Hanford to visit Andrew's aunt et al., before driving all the way back down to L.A. We picked up our cat and drove to Ontario, only to leave the next afternoon for Missouri (with the cat).
Dinner with Sarah
Andrew and the pig, Hanford
Our cat did amazingly well on the flights to Missouri. He was pretty quiet, didn't pee everywhere, and solicited lots of comments about his size (someone asked if he was a wildcat). Our time in Missouri was a bit of a whirlwind. We left immediately for a four-day camping trip to the Huzzah River. We took my niece and nephew, my brother and his girlfriend, and the RV, and camped on the riverside for a few days. It was fun just cooking and hanging out in the river. One day we did a 12-mile canoe trip which was great, but really tiring. After that, Andrew flew to New York with the cat, and I stayed behind for another week to visit with my mom, and my grandmother, who flew out the same day Andrew left.
Kitty Flies North
The last week in Missouri was spent visiting family members and hanging out with my mom at work. It was great having lunch with her everyday and cooking with Dana every night. We also got some time to do family pictures.
Me & Hailey