On perfect shots and even better holidays.

Originally uploaded by Nancy Dunne

Simon and I have just returned from two weeks in the US and currently the evil that is jet lag is keeping me wide awake, well past my bed time. The photo in today’s post is my friends Katy and Kurt’s daughter Ellery, and it’s an example of the photo journey this vacation became. It seemed like everything we pointed the camera at became photo gold…well, almost everything. Okay, not even almost everything. We have loads and loads of blurred and similarly Susan’ed photos that I’ve been weeding through to get the perfect ones for uploading.

Did I mention jet lag? 1:45am GMT. Me=awake.

The holiday seemed to simultaneously last for a month…and a minute. We’d just arrived, and we were back in Philly on the way home. We were in Greensboro on a Monday, rejoicing that we’d have another Monday in the US in a week’s time…and now I’m staring down a Monday back in the UK in under 24 hours. But I think holidays are always like that…time speeds up and slows down and folds over on itself.

We arrived in Atlanta via Philly on the 28th, and took a VERY long MARTA (because it’s SMARTA, natch!) ride north to meet my parents. We spent the night there, then on Friday headed to Greenville. Katy and Kurt and Ellery were kind enough to host me, Simon, and Leah, and a good time was had by all. Seriously, if I could covet someone’s life/house/etc etc it would be theirs!

By the way, just in case anyone was wondering, it is not at all legal to turn left on red in the US, even when you’re 99% sure that the green light you see includes your left turn lane and completely miss the fact that the lane has it’s own light. Moving on.

Saturday we hit the last Greenville Farmer’s Market of the season, ate lunch at my fav downtown restaurant (Blue Ridge Brewing Co) and then Simon, Leah and I dropped in at the Bark in the Park to see our friends in Greyhound Crossroads.

Saturday night we went Trunk or Treating with about a million other people. After Ellery’s successful climb to the top of the bouncy slide (and Kurt’s rescue of same when she decided sliding was not for her), amid rumors of candy shortages at the event, we headed back home for lots of laughs, even though Katy was feeling absolutely pants with an oncoming head cold.

Sunday morning we headed north to the Carolina Renaissance Festival. It’s all I can do to walk through that gate as a patron because my heart is there, in the group that I helped found. It wasn’t right to be there without a greyhound at my side, but the group has grown and done so so well…I can’t wait to be a part of it next year. Many kudos, much love, and a whole lot of chemise dancing to Debbie for taking the reins and running with them in my absence. I can’t wait to see where she will take the group in the future!

Sunday night saw us following Leah up to Greensboro, and Monday we got to see the house that we hope against hope she will be able to buy and move into very soon. Anyone who knows me and Leah knows that we watched Talladega Nights while we were there visiting. “Just one more shot, Ricky. One more shot…”

Tuesday we headed back to Greenville to meet with a realtor and saw a few houses. Tuesday night Katy and Kurt again opened their home to us, and we had more of the same…”Fun, Food, and Conversation!” Thanks unending to everyone that put us up for the night on our Carolina Excursion!

Wednesday we were off to Georgia to spend a night with my parents before going to Atlanta on Thursday to spend a night with my sister, her husband, and the most perfect niece anyone could EVER have, Joy. She has grown up so much since I last saw her in March! Part of what sucks about being an expat is that I feel like I have missed so much.

Friday night we headed back to north Georgia, and on Saturday we drove over to the gorgeous Unicoi State Park to meet my college classmate Heather and her new husband for lunch. To be filled under Weird Things That Only Happen When Nancy and Heather Are Together, the Georgia Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf was having their conference at Unicoi that same weekend, so the place was overflowing with interpreters.

Sunday we went to church with Mom and Dad, and Sunday night we again imposed on Katy and Kurt so that Monday morning we could meet with the realtor again to see more houses. This time, the first one we saw not only ticked ALL the boxes for us but was literally right around the corner from our friends…but it is under contract and we wouldn’t be ready to buy yet if it wasn’t. We had a good experience with Suzanne, our realtor, and look forward to working with her in the future.

Thanks to Anne, we had SUSHI Monday for lunch…mercy was that delicious. After she spent a very harrowing weekend looking for a lost bloodhound, I was so glad that we got to actually sit down with her for a meal. That is going to become a HABIT when we live there. Suuuuuushi.

Sorry, where was I?

Monday night saw us back with my parents, and Tuesday we drove down to meet my Aunt for lunch and hit a few outlet malls. We are nothing if not overly aware of the exchange rate being in the favor of those coming to the US from the UK. Wednesday Simon and I went up to my grandmother’s house with my father to start cleaning things out, but that experience is another blog post for another day.

Thursday we bought groceries, we packed our bags, and we generally mourned the fact that we’d be leaving the US on Friday. Friday morning we were up before the sun, we drove to Atlanta, and before we knew it we were at Hartsfield on our way back across the ocean. While it’s been good to get back to Daisy and Mills, my heart splinters a bit when I think of Joy hugging me, trying to give me a kiss and saying “Bye Bye, Auntsie! See you!”

When Jet Lag finds someone else to annoy I will better be able to reflect without floods of tears on a fabulous two weeks. For now though, I’m just so very motivated to get us on track to move back. Bye bye, America. See you!!

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