A week after my last post, I headed to Seattle for a week of work, and then to North Carolina for 5 more days of R&R before heading back to London. The work-part of the trip wasn't as horrible as I anticipated (read: training+full-time job duties+8 hours of jetlag=horrible), but it certainly was exhausting. Never did I think I'd 'use the jetlag to my advantage' and be awake at 5am and WORKING. Good grief. But, average temperatures of 55 degrees-plus (and LOTS of sun) certainly helped ease the pain. Particularly compared to what the weather has been like in London...
It goes without saying that it was *great* to be back in Seattle. I think I was successful in managing to have quality catch-up time with most folks. I finally got to see my friend Alicia's, new baby boy, Wes, and I got to pat my friend, Chris' growing baby-bump. I also got to have great catch ups with a host of other people-and hear all about their plans for the Winter Olympics. Being only 3-5 hours from Vancouver and the venues, it goes without saying, that many, many Seattleites would head to the Olympics. And, my friends are no exception! Their frequent Facebook status updates this weekend-from 'The Olympics' certainly confirms that! :) I've been green with jealousy ever since.
After a week in Seattle, I took a red-eye to North Carolina, and killed the day puttering around in Charlotte-while I awaited the arrival of Simon's plane from London. He was sweet enough to come to NC and join me for that portion of the trip.. It was an important trip, though. Aside from being able to spend time with family & friends and celebrate my birthday (albeit 20+ days early), Simon came with the express point of having 'the talk' with my father.
Yes. The Talk. I know it seems odd that in this day & age, a 30-something female, who is as independent as they come, would have her BF ask for permission from her father for marriage...And, well, it is odd. But, Simon didn't do this for me. He did it for my dad. My father is a 70-something, old-fashioned, Southern man. He *needs* to be asked. And truthfully (sorry, Simon...I know you read my blog from time to time)...I wanted Simon to jump thru that hoop. A little extra effort never hurts! I am pleased to report that the Talk went off without any problems. Whew.
While in NC, Simon & I took a little road trip to Chapel Hill. It's about a 2.5 hour drive from my hometown, and I hadn't been back to Chapel Hill since Feb 2005. A trip was long-overdue. I love CH. I spent two lovely years there in grad school. It is a beautiful town, and I wanted Simon to see it. I was also somewhat curious about whether or not CH would be a possiblee wedding venue for us at some point.
Let's face it: Between living in London, having most of my US friends on the West Coast, and being from NC...there is no logistically good place to have a wedding. So, in thinking NC-and Chapel Hill specifically-might be a good compromise on logistics, I wanted to check it out. I don't know if other US expats who meet/marry a local (wherever said 'local'/location is...) have figured this out, but I'd certainly love to know how the *heck* we're going to pull this off without causing our friends a ton of pain/expense-or cause us a ton of pain/expense!
Anyhoo...I casually mentioned 'possible wedding venue' to my father (and mind you, this is *before* Simon had the Talk with him...), but somehow, he jumps to conclusions and thinks that Simon is actually going to propose to me in CH! Which, couldn't have been further from the truth. This news has already spread from my father, to his girlfriend-to her kids. Yeesh. I think I have everyone sorted, but I can't help but laugh at my dad for jumping the gun.
So, after what felt like a whirlwind trip back to the US (though, as it was almost a 2 week trip is far from it), I'm back in London and attempting to dig thru the pile of email, mail, blog backlog, work, and everything else...