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there's no place like home

Well, I clicked my heels all the way back to Kansas and the fun continued with a trip to Pittsburg. The home of the Gorillas was a required destination during my month off. First stop, mall deli. The crackers and dressing just aren't as good anywhere else.I then stopped by the tech center. It was great to walk up the stairs and see the entrance to the Graphics and Imaging Department. While I was taking an advanced graphics class, we were challenged to design a large wall graphic to celebrate the department's 100th birthday. It was so fun to see my hard work displayed on the wall for all to see as they entered the department.While at the tech center, I got a phone call from Michael asking if I was interested in some adventuring. Of course, I was gun-ho and darted out of the tech center lickity split. After visiting his house, followed by the tire store, and a trip to the bank ATM, I felt like our adventuring was actually errand running. Michael confessed that we were running errands, but he knew when he called me, if he used the word adventure, I wouldn't be able to turn him down. He knows me too well.The weekend was also filled with plenty of reunions with friends, roommates, and sorority sisters. Seeing everyone reminds me how incredibly blessed I am to have the friends I do. The weekend was complete with slumber parties, greek celebrations, and nights out on the town. Plus a morning at Fat Daddies and a trip to the mall.Later that week, after returning to Kansas City, I met up with my friends KO and Carolyn that I had met on the cruise. We grabbed lunch and caught up. They are so kind, and I am so excited that we have created a lasting friendship. From there it was a straight shot to Dad's house. Oh how I missed those little 3-year-olds! I got my fix of twins, and of green bean casserole that weekend. One night we were reading books and talking about words and Hannah told me "My favorite word is just inertia." They are so smart! Since when is inertia in the vocabulary of a 3-year-old?No trip to Kansas City would be complete without a day at the Truman sports complex. I through on my Royals gear and joined some pals to support the boys in blue and celebrate Kelly's half birthday. Justin requested that our seats would be so high we could touch the fireworks... I would say his wish came true.It was a kerperfect night! It was buck night, Friday night fireworks, and the Royals pulled out a victory!
After checking all of the Kansas City hot spots off my list, I had to get my Chicago fix before returning to paradise. I spent a few days in Chicago catching up with friends and family and taking in the city. Matt, six soup Matt, recently moved to Chicago, so I got to meet up with him and see what he has been up to since he left the ship. It was the kerperfect way to end my vacation.
I took the thirteen hour trip back to Honolulu, and headed to Waikiki to meet up with Theo and his family who were in town visiting. He has a lovely family and we had a fun afternoon of meeting, greeting, eating, and relaxing before I signed back on the ship.
It took a good week to get used to the time zone change, so my first week was a whirlwind while trying to get back into the swing of things. Luckily I had a little free time in my schedule to get things in order. One morning, Theo and I went to breakfast. He wanted to run some errands after, but I wanted to relax, so we agreed that I would do a little reading on the beach and meet him for lunch. I woke up 2 hours later from a deep sleep. The kind of deep sleep that leaves a puddle of drool on your beach towel. I was a little disoriented and almost an hour late to lunch, but the rest was much needed and kept me going for the rest of the day.Since then, I have been feasting on mangos, strawberry papayas, and peanut m&ms! I have managed to fit in a few nights to show off my groove thang too. It is so good to be back to the nice weather, and in the company of great friends. I think this contract is off to a good start and can't wait to see how this next part of the adventure will unfold.


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