One of the great things about coming back to visit the US is the chance to be a tourist in your own country. Some of the local or near-by sights that others take for granted have a new-ness to them that is refreshing. And the ease of public transportation and the efficiency of the US National Parks Services is a great thing.
After leaving Chad, we stayed in the Washington DC for a month, looking for a house. During that time, we explored a lot of the hot-spots of DC, visiting monuments, museums, and restaurants. My parents came to visit, so it was great to see them and celebrate with them. We visited the Washington and Lincoln monuments on a beautiful April day when the kites were flying, the trees were blooming, and the flowers were at their most colorful. It was great to see my parents again- it had been almost a year since our last visit- and Dad and I enjoyed the Smithsonian together, while both my parents got to meet my new husband. (We also took advantage of a rare time when we were both in the US to get married!).
In June, between Chris’s training and his deployment, we had an unexpected free week, so we split the distance between us and met in Charlotte, North Carolina. We spent a week exploring the city, as well as nearby battlefields, the US National White Water center, the Speedway, the Biltmore House in Asheville, and the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. The views were amazing and we learned so much about the area while we were there. Plus, it was nice to spend some quality time together before a lengthy time apart.
Now Chris is on a nine month deployment, and Deah is job hunting for a librarian job in the local schools. Hopefully Chris’s work schedule will allow for us to meet for a long weekend in the early fall, or for a week at Christmas. Meanwhile, I’ve got some adjusting to the US to do! Reverse culture shock is a real thing.