So last I left you, I was counting down the days until I returned to the States. I had one of the longest flights ever as I flew from Auckland to Sydney to Los Angeles to Chicago to Minneapolis. It didn't help that I had close to a 6 hour layover in Chicago. I was greeted by a harsh dose of cold. The highs were predicted to be below 0 (F) for a stretch and then it got close to 20 above before I left. That is right, I'm back in New Zealand already, but that will be another post.
So being home meant seeing a ton of friends and family and eating at my old haunts. My parents and one of my nieces came up that first weekend I was back to say hi. Beth's family came up the following weekend. Each weekend I was busy destroying the house as I was making 3 piles of stuff. The get rid of pile (sell or donate), the bring to New Zealand pile, and the keep but keep in MN pile. We had designated 3 different rooms for this task. I didn't realize how much stuff I have accumulated over years that I haven't seen since it was packed. I gave my dad a ton of books that I was keeping in case I was going to read them again. I did purchase an e-reader while I was back and added a few books to the electronic library. Its not the same as having a lot of book shelves, but that many books is hard to travel with.
I played with June and Asa as well as took them each out for a special outing. I took Asa to his skate boarding lesson and then indoor rock climbing. We had a short lunch at Punch Pizza his favorite and one of my former employers. Then for Juniper, we watched Tinkerbell and Kung-fu Panda spin offs and we took her out to Chin Dian. Several older couples thought that she was Beth and I's kid. I had a lot of fun with each of them and I'm sad that I am missing out on their lives. Asa did comment that he wanted to visit us in New Zealand and that he wanted me to stay longer in MN.
I caught up with former co-workers at a couple different points and it was much of the same since I have left. My former boss still hates the chops and there is still turn over. I went running with one of my former coworkers and then shared a quick meal at the Butcher and the Boar. I was told that I sucked multiple times by the majority of people. I would show pictures of where I had been living and talking about how the weather was awesome this time of year unlike MN.