Thursday, November 4, 2010

Back From the States

Last month we spent 2.5 weeks back home in the US visiting family and friends. It was an amazing trip and a sucky trip all at the same time. First we flew to Philadelphia to visit the husband's family. Would have been great had all 12 of us not contracted the stomach flu. Not one of us was spared but fortunately the bug only lasted 24 hours, except for the babies who fared the worst.

My kids have 2 cousins, one turned 8 on our trip and the other is only 1.5. Big girl had a great time playing with them and was introduced to something called a Bakugan. No idea but she loves it!

We met up with a friend who lives in Washington DC while we were there. He took the train up and we met him in the city. The husband had to eat a cheesesteak and then we went to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell so the big girl could see some of Philadelphia's history. Both the Liberty Bell and a tour of Independence Hall are FREE and I got a good story out of it later.

It is always fun to ask kids for their take on whatever you do and I asked S what she thought of Independence Hall. She said that there used to be a princess and king but then the colonists got together in the castle (Independence Hall) and told them to go away because they were too bossy.

Puking babies made us miss our plane to Texas and US Airways in their sucktitude charged $150 change of plans fee plus the difference in airfares. Because we don't know when we will get back to the US, I sucked it up and put it on the credit card. Not my favorite thing to do but it happens. Next time I will buy cancellation insurance for our flights. Oh well.

Texas was as good as Texas can be. My big girl and I both have wonderful friends there that we miss tremendously and we had a good time chatting and playing. No sight seeing, just friend visiting and eating cheap American food.

From Texas we flew to New York City where the husband had a conference. We spent a few days walking around NYC and had an incredible amount of Chinese food. I took both kids on the subway, which is just not as clean as Swiss trains, but runs more frequently.

S charmed the ticket taker at the Empire State Building. She was telling him some random story about Switzerland without telling him we live here. Then she went on to tell him about her kindergarten. I blushed and apologized for taking up his time but he said he really enjoyed talking to her.

Although I have been to NYC several times, I have never seen the Statue of Liberty so we made our way to the ferry dock. That was an adventure by itself but when we got there it was relatively late and the ferries to the statue weren't running any longer. The Staten Island ferry was though! Also FREE. It was sunset and we took the ferry round trip. Lady Liberty was beautiful standing there with the setting sun behind it. S loved it and danced around looking at her both ways. I did notice on the way back from Staten Island, a coast guard boat followed the ferry with a huge machine gun mounted on the front.

After NYC, we took the Bolt Bus back to Philadelphia and back to the inlaws. We spent one last night together before heading back to Switzerland.

Epic trip - too long for the kids. Jet lag was horrible and the baby just started back on a decent sleeping schedule. I think from now on everyone can come visit us. :)