Summer in the USA

I made it! On Thursday morning, I woke up to the news that my flight to New York (JFK) had been delayed four hours, and I would probably miss my connecting flight to Chicago. As you can imagine, I was quite—shall we say—perturbed by said news. Nonetheless, I made my way to Barajas, only to stand in the check-in line for an hour and forty-five minutes! One hour and forty-five minutes. Incredible! Somehow, we made it to JFK by 4:05, and as my connecting flight was set to leave at 5:05, I booked it as fast as I could. Thank goodness for fast-track passes that allow those with flights leaving within the hour to get through customs. I arrived at the gate at 4:55, triumphant but sweaty, and I immediately texted my parents, who were, as it were, standing by, just in case I did make it. And they met me in Chicago three hours later! A happy ending indeed.

The first things I do when I get home are …


  • … relish falling asleep to the sound of crickets, rather than my neighbors’ television.
  • … wear sweatpants to the grocery store. Because I can.
  • … order two or three refills at all restaurants, even if it’s just water.
  • … take the dog out on a long walk.
  • … text message everyone because now I don’t have to beg them to get Whatsapp.
  • … wake up at 8 a.m., even though I can sleep in, because of jet lag.
  • … immediately have my Spanish-speaking skills regress. It’s amazing how fast this happens!
  • … eat cottage cheese and Ranch dressing. But not together (ew)!
  • … sit out on my porch and watch an amazing sunset.
  • … drive my car, and realize (for the umpteenth time) that it really is akin to riding a bike. You don’t forget. I actually go into auto-drive mode incredibly quickly.
  • … relish the fact that I get to see people I know, but hate the fact that I see people from high school with whom I really don’t want to have an awkward encounter.
  • … miss Mario, but not Madrid’s unrelenting heat.

What is going home like for you?

8 thoughts on “Summer in the USA

  1. Welcome home! And I don’t know about Indiana, but it is hot like a furnace in NY this week! I would take Madrid’s dry heat over this humidity.

  2. I can second the car-driving-is-like-riding-a-bike thing; I was really worried I would be such a terrible driver after nine months away from the wheel…nope, didn’t forget a thing! :D

  3. Haha, the high school comment made me laugh. I’ve already seen a friend from high school, but it’s just that – we’re still pretty good friends and were friends throughout uni. Not sure how I’m gonna feel about seeing some other high school people soon.

    Going home this time has been so rough! I loved doing all the things you mentioned at first, then instantly realized I was missing something – the freedom I had while living on my own. It’s so nice to have the luxury of a big house, parents who love you, not having to work your butt off just to pay for everything, etc etc, but I LOVE the freedom I had in Madrid. I’m sure you have it a little different, having Mario and everything! Still, it’s always nice to go somewhere familiar for a bit. Enjoy it. :)

  4. I need to research this “fast track pass” thing because I just barely made it through customs and security to catch my connecting flight. It was my first experience with customs and I didn’t realize that I had to re-check my luggage. Anyway, for the first few weeks and even now over a month later, I sometimes wake up at 7 am-8am which is WAY TOO EARLY for my night owl self.

  5. I agree with everything on your list except for the cottage cheese! I never realize how LOUD it is in the city until I go back to suburban Ohio and hear only crickets at night. I also dress like a slob just because I can. When I am packing in Madrid, I always have grand plans to wear all my dresses and cute sandals like I do there and can’t imagine not bringing it with me, and yet all that stuff gathers dust all summer while I wear only two pairs of jean shorts, a rotation of plain tank tops, and flip flops for two months. I never learn…

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