One of the great things about living abroad is how special and exciting it is to travel back to the USA to see friends and family. We do this every year at the end of the Chilean Summer / start of summer in the USA. We do 2 weeks in Chicago with my folks and the same in Oregon with Jenine’s family. This year we sandwiched in a San Francisco visit, which was full of nostalgia for us, as Jenine and I spent over 10 years after college there. We still consider it our home in the USA.
Our first stop was Chicago. My parents have a new home in Chicago right downtown (South Loop) walking distance to the beach and the river. My mother runs a ballet school named the Chicago Dance Academy. We flew home just in time to see their summer performance “Gone Fishing”. Chicago is one of the most beautiful cities in the USA and we love going there, and it was so cool to see my mom’s show and all of her students!
After our time in Chicago we flew west to San Francisco. San Francisco is the city that we would return to if we ever left Chile. I’m not sure we could afford to live there now, but I think there is no better place. Sanjay and Colleen welcomed us in to stay at their place by Dolores Park. We came in hot to the City for the engagement part of Tim and Erika (who visited us in Chile in January this year). After that big party we mostly chilled out and pretended like Sanjay’s house was ours and that we were living again in this beautiful city.
After SF we were up in Oregon to see Jenine’s family. We had a new nephew to meet and it was nice to be back amongst the trees and rugged coast in Oregon. Rena loves playing with her older cousin and he is so good with her. We ended the trip camping on the coast with the family and it was truly so relaxing.
After loading our suitcases to the limit (and buying one more) to cram all the Amazon orders in that we could, we flew back to Chile on July 11. I wish we didn’t have to buy so much stuff when we travel back to the USA but many things in Chile are more expensive and there are some things we just can’t get in Chile.
Our 5 week trip back to the USA meant I had missed almost 3 weeks of building the house with Martin. When I got back the plywood walls were already up! I jumped right back into work though and through July/Aug/Sept we managed to get the exterior/windows/doors done and move onto painting, drywalling and installing the electrical in the interior. I’m learning a ton, but I’ll have to admit that I am in no hurry to build another house myself again. I think I’m a better planner and organizer than the actual builder. But I must admit I am very impressed by how far I’ve come. 3 years ago, assembling store bought furniture was the extent of my builder career, and now I roughly know how to build a house! It’s cool to see yourself grow like that. If all goes well, we will be done with the house before Christmas.
Once back in Chile it was back to “winter” beach life. Rena is a year and a half and she is such a gift in our lives. Her personality has really started to come out. She loves helping Jenine in the garden and she focuses intently on any job you give here like pulling weeds. Her best friend is our dog Brisa who she has started to boss around by saying “stay” when Brisa licks her, “Mat” to get Brisa to go back to her sleeping mat, and every day she get up and calls out Briiiiisa to get her buddy to come find her. Rena’s favorite food is “Fish” which is what she says anytime you ask her what she wants to eat. She is a book worm and every morning the first thing she does is pick out a book for mom to read. She won’t go to bed with out readying at least 3 books and she even loves to read my surf magazines with me.
Some memorable moments from the winter July/Aug/Sept in Chile:
After bath time the Naked Bear runs free
Until next time!
George and Jenine and Rena.