Bonnie Rose and I spent 6 weeks in the US of A and it was a glorious 6 weeks.
Here's a quick run down of what we saw and did:
The first wedding we went to was that of my dear dear friend (she's practically a sister actually) Jenny!
She married Ross. Now they are Jenny and Ross.
I was so so happy to be able to see them get married. Jen was SUCH an incredibly laid back bride. I got to visit her family farm a couple days before her wedding and she was so perfectly happy and fun. You'd never know she was planning a 300+ guest wedding. She considered everyone before her self and she even had fun activities and baby sitting planned for the kids during the reception.
The wedding was so well organized I totally think Jen should be a wedding planner.
Jenny and Ross are such amazing people and I was so touched to see how many people came to celebrate with them. (and eat the really good food)
Jenny's wedding was in South Dakota.
I got to fly on the smallest plane I've ever been on to get there!
I admit. I was kind of skeptical about flying out to the middle-of-no-where, but I totally fell in love with Pierre South Dakota. It's both Jen's home town and the capital of the state and it is SO lovely. It was also the place where I ate the best steak of my entire life.
I will go back to South Dakota some day.
Next we flew to Ohio to see my little brother get married!
Stevie married Annie.
Now they are Steve and Annie. (or Annie and Steve. I can't decide which)
Their wedding was very elegant and artsy. I totally wish I knew Annie when I was getting married. She had some really cool ideas that I LOVED.
Stevie and Annie made all of their own center pieces and the bride's maids arranged the flowers. Every one helped out that week and it was fun to spend the week getting to know Annie better. I can tell we have alot of really fun times ahead of us.
Something especially fun for me was that Baby and I got to wear matching dresses and hair bows!
It was really a beautiful wedding and I have a TON of pictures from it. Selfishly though my favorite part of the wedding was having the whole family together in one place.
We got to see family that we haven't seen in a really long time.
Baby got to play with her cousins, which she really seemed to enjoy.
And we got a rare family picture of the 3 of us!
Next it was road trip time. My mom and I drove town to Tennessee and spent some time there.
Baby got to meet Uncle Howard and we got to celebrate his 96th birthday with him.
We played with the goats (one even nibbled baby's toes!) and enjoyed the clean air, trees and fire flies.
And we both enjoyed the American laundry experience.
Me, dryers, and baby, baskets!
Then it was on the road again to Chicago!
On our drive out there we took a detour to Metropolis.
Here we are with the giant Superman statue outside their city hall.
The detour made our driving time a bit longer than it should have been and we got in later than we planned and very tired. But at the end of the day it felt totally great to be able to say "I've been to Metropolis"
Maybe that and the fact that I'm STILL excited that I got to visit the American Girl Doll store in Chicago makes me a big kid. But I don't care. I had fun.
Chicago was wonderful. My favorite part was the night architecture boat tour we took, with fire works at the end. We learned alot about the history of the city and some really interesting things about the buildings. Our guide was really good.
Chicago is a beautiful city. So clean with gardens every where. Baby and I spent out days taking the red bus tours and walking through the parks.
One thing that I really loved about this trip was letting Bonnie Rose play in the grass. We don't get to do that in Shanghai. There isn't very much nature around in the city and when you do find it, it's just not very clean or safe to let the baby play in it. It was so fun to see her enjoying the grass and the clean air.
Once in Tennessee I even took her outside during one of the evening rains so she could feel the rain on her face. With 75% of the rain in Shanghai being acid rain we don't do that.
I also realized how much I'd missed seeing the US flag. It was nice to be in the US again.
In 6 weeks we took
3 road trips,
visited 6 states, including a wrong turn that got us stuck in Indiana for a couple hours (yes you CAN get lost with a GPS).
And we went to 2 beautiful weddings!
At the end we had a very tired, but very very wonderful and well behaved baby girl.