Oddly, I'm staying domestic this summer. When I saw I had a few open weeks, I decided to take myself on a road trip to Utah to hang out with some of my favorite people.
After an quick night at the parents' in GJ, I drove up to Logan to see Andy and Jenn's new digs. They proudly informed me that I was their very first overnight guest. Woot! They were excellent hosts, and we dined out at some of Logan's finest eating establishments, played a card game, and caught up in general.
After brunch the next day I drove to Sandy to see the Walls. They had just bought and moved into a new house (less than a mile from their old place, which of course means that not only are they in a new stake, but there is an entirely different stake between those two. Utah! So weird!), but you wouldn't be able to tell thanks to Emily's remarkable ability to clean, organize, and generally get things done.
Caitlyn, their oldest, very kindly loaned me her bedroom for my stay; which meant I got to sleep a la tween for a bit. I had access to as much pink, Paris, and horses in the decor as I could possibly want, not to mention a One Direction poster should I need a boyband fix.
Man, I love the Walls. They are just an awesome family in general, and I love how Emily and Ben and I can pick up right where we left off despite not living in the same state for well over a decade now. Emily and I stayed up until 3 Saturday night, I joined them for church Sunday, then Emily and Ben and I stayed up until 2 the night night reminiscing about travel, college, and our various creepy past apartments (stories of which include an Indian lamp, a love pit, a hamster grave, a stalker, a poncho, and a SWAT team) (boy, we lived in some awful apartments).
Monday I met up with Kelley and Janelle at our old favorite Thai place out by Dead President Junior High. Kelley's teaching at the high school our old school feeds in to, so she was able to give us quite an update on how DPJH is doing.
Janelle and I hung out that afternoon before I drove up to Bountiful to spend the night with Martha, Ronny, and Josh. I stayed in my cousin's bedroom, decorated with origami whales hanging from the ceiling, the kinda-creepy painting of cougar from Grandma Cook's house, and various items in storage (she's on a mission in Milan at the moment).
Tuesday was more time with Janelle (it was basically a giant mass therapy session for both of us). I had a bit of unexpected time in the evening, so I walked around downtown for a bit marveling at how incredibly different it is, popped into the temple for a quick round of initiatories, then headed back to Martha's place.
Wednesday I got to have brunch with Annie. It's been an astoundingly long time since we saw each other, so it was lovely to get to catch up with her as well. She's got a 4 year old and twin 2 year olds, which makes me tired just thinking about it.
Back to the Walls for a bit more Emily time! As I mentioned before, Emily and I went out for the afternoon and found frites walking around Sugarhouse before Ben joined us for the Met broadcast of "The Elixar of Love." We were slightly better behaved with our bedtimes that night. :)
Thursday morning started off quiet with Emily and I talking while Ben played outside with the kids. Then Logan, their nine year old, cut off the top of his index finger in the door between the basement and the garage. That made things a bit more exciting. And bloody. I kept Sarah (who's 4) outside while Emily and Ben tried to staunch the bleeding, find the tip, and figure out which hospital to go to. Quite the adventure.
My last rendezvous before driving back to Junction was with Heidi. I haven't been in touch with her for about 6 years, and I really enjoyed having the chance to reconnect.
Happily, our entire family was able to come together for the 4th of July weekend. We kept it low-key, mostly hanging out at Mom and Dad's house. It was really nice to see everyone, though. Hopefully we get to all get together again soon!