Our much-needed time home for the holidays has come to an end. We spent a glorious yet non-stop 3 weeks in the states with a week in North Dakota, 10 days in Colorado and a couple days in Wyoming.
Thankfully our journey from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Dickinson, North Dakota was smooth with no delays. The 5 hours of sleep we got in a 52-hour period was not fun but we survived and we also got 2 December 18th since we crossed the international date line. On our final day in KL we took an evening flight to Hoi Chi Min City, Vietnam. After a 3-hour layover we caught a 5-hour flight to Tokyo, Japan with a 7-hour layover. Our time was easily consumed here with an amazing sushi and sake dinner paired with duty free shopping! Then came the long 11-hour flight to Minneapolis, MN in the states where we watched so many movies and ate 3 airline meals. A quick layover in MN luckily went smooth since we had to clear customs, immigration, re-check bags and get our boarding pass to make our final flight to ND.
The first stop in ND with my brother was pizza and IPAs, and it was nothing short of amazing to our palates but not so much on our stomachs. North Dakota also brought us the gift of negative 40F-degree weather, real cold. We enjoyed a week of great food, company, and being pampered by my parents. Zane was able to get some much-needed cooking time in as well. One afternoon we drove to Bismarck to visit our dear friends Julie and Jeff and were able to meet our goddaughter Stella!
The next week was spent in colorful Colorado where we consider home. Trail runs, hikes and visiting our favorite eateries were on the docket. Everyone’s hospitality, generosity and wiliness to go out of their way to see us were overwhelming. We thank all of our friends for the meals, parties, phones and more. You are missed already as it was bittersweet to say goodbye.
We did a quick trip to Wyoming as well to see Zane’s mother and grandmother. She grows most of her own food and has chickens. It was great to eat the fresh eggs from her chickens each morning! Ice-skating and hockey were also enjoyed. On our drive back we meet up with Tiff and Will in Fort Collins, the couple we met on our trek in Nepal. It was incredible to reminisce about Nepal and get re-energized about the next leg of the trip from fellow traveling friends.
In our 3 weeks home between visits, driving through or layovers we touched 6 states. It was a whirlwind much enjoyed and much needed. Yesterday was our 6th year wedding anniversary and we celebrated in style by hitting road again for the next 10 months. Currently we are in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and will board a plane for Lima Peru within the hour. The next 3 months will be spent in South America doing lots of hiking! Stay tuned! Happy 2014!