Sunday, May 10, 2009

Home sweet home!

Well, I'm back from my 3 week trip to the states. I was very excited about going, and was sad to say my "see you laters" to my kids and friends, but was so happy to see my pups again. There is nothing like a trip to make you happy to get back to your own space/bed again. Seeing everyone was wonderful, had not been back in 2 years, so it was fun renewing old friendships. Even saw a couple of ole bows... I did a crash course in gaining a few pounds also. Eating out as often as I could, and at my favorite places. One of the things I miss the most as I live in Costa Rica! My favorite pizza place, Alfonzo's...still as good as I remember it. It was a delightful time with friends!! Meeting several friends for lunch was great also! St. Louis Bread Company (Panara's elsewere) has the best Forest Mushroom Soup, and sandwiches that are truly delicious! Don't know how long it will be before I get another sandwich, so good! All breads are not created equal. Coffee and bagels at Carabu Cafe's in MN was wonderful also. My daughter has a diner near her house, where the meals are as close to homemade as you can get, and someone else is cooking them. And I must not forget, "all you can eat" fried chicken at Fisher's, and liver and onions at the Happy Cow. Cute name don't you think. Really inexpensive too. Had a couple of Chinese meals, a couple of Italian, and steak at the best steak house on the east side also.

And then there was the shopping... I shopped until I dropped, only thing is, I am droppng a lot sooner now. Can't go for the long hauls anymore, got to rest! I was so surprised at the new WalMarts... I remember when WalMart was the place to go for lower prices, and you had to work your way to what you wanted, past the other carts which were pretty banged up from the whole process. Then there were the super stores, with food, and anything you really needed in them. Now, the stores are even bigger, even more stuff, and much you would not imagine in one place. And Targets are the same...perhaps a little more high end, but the prices are not bad either.

The thing that amazed me the most, was driving! I had forgotten that there was a place where the road rules, and conditions were anything but equivalent to bumper cars. I could get in a car, point it down the road, and step on the gas. And for some miles, not have to pay any attention to the ruts, bumps, or vehicles which were not, in this case, in my lane. But I did have to pump my own gas. Forgot about that too. I could get across town, without blaring horns, black smoke or much time spent doing it. Only had one J-walker give me a piece of her mind (can't imagine she has much left anyway), and one upset driver give me his horn, when I did not know which side of the road the entrance ramp was on. Infrastructure work is in full swing everywhere. The need for more highway lanes for more cars, has everyone squeezed down to the minimum in many places, but the new portions which are finished, are a dream. And to drive for miles without much other traffic...amazing!

I am just going to have to remember to do this more often, so I don't suffer culture shock so bad, and so I can appreciate home when I return. Think I am a better snow bird than an expat. Will see as time goes by. Having a good ole America fix, gave me something to look forward to next time.