Post number two will carry us through the 11 action-packed, surreal days I spent back in Nova (see definition here).
It was a blast. Lots of emotions. Memories rekindled and memories made. I woke up early August 9th and rode with President and Sister Winder to the Boise Airport. I felt even more like a superstar walking through the airport alone. People recognized me as a missionary, but I was secretly smug knowing I got more attention than usual as people looked for my companion. They knew. A missionary in the airport? Alone? He carries himself too confidently to be leaving. He must be going home.
As suspense was high, I stepped off the airplane to…a subway? The Dulles Airport is known for it’s unique subway and trolley system. I rode over to baggage claim and turned the corner. As soon as I walked out the terminal, I saw…no one? This is way more anticlimactic than I had anticipated. Hey! There’s my family! And they’re totally in the wrong spot. I hoped to sneak up behind them, but I was spotted. Then the awkardness. Uncomfortable attention, like when Dad starts talking to my lady friends. It was just weird being back. I felt almost exiled as we were at dinner, etc. no one knew what to talk to me about!
It was good though. Real strange being around my family again. JJ understands me. Sometimes, we just need a break. And it was hard because they hadn’t seen me in two years. I get that. But they haven’t seen me (one person) in two ears vs the herds of followers and fan girls that expected to hang out with me. Balance was tricky, but somehow I managed. To quote one if my favorite ladies, “This is how we do.”
I don’t know quite how to articulate all my at-home shenannies. Plus I realize you’re all anxious to revel in my exploits in the City of Trees. So here are some highlights, and then we’ll get into the campus life:
- Steak ‘n’ Shake pilgrimage with Blair like old times. Dang good burger for the right price! Traffic was absurd at 2am, but it was otherwise the perfect trip for us to do some bro-bonding.
- Gettysburg trip with Dad, Jenna, and Connor. I love military history, but have never been much of a fan of the Civil War. We did the auto-tour, where you buy a CD and it guides you through the battlefields and sites. It was a leisurely, go-at-your-own-pace tour, which is the best. Being there and hearing all that went down added to the magnitude of honor and dedication for both sides of the war.
- Connor got to meet with the missionaries, and I baptized him as a great close to my mission. Before leaving, I baptized my sister, Jenna, too! They made for very nice bookends to the most spiritual experience I’ve had yet.
- We got to see Gary’s comic book basement-museum! Holy Hannah. He’s got an entire basement full of comics and action figures. Nerds unite!
- My momma and I went to the Washington DC Temple, then hit up Robeks for a healthy, nostalgic brunch.
- Naturally, we paid a visit The Laughing Ogre comic book store in Landsdowne. Too bad I’m poor!
- Wegmans – Idaho doesn’t even understand…
- Chilled at Buffalo Wild Wings with the D28 homies. They no longer carry Coke products 😦 I’m over it. And by it, I mean them.
- Burger 21 – delicious! I just had sweet potato fries and a bananas foster shake. Its so crazy how much Ashburn has grown!
- Guardians of the Galaxy at The Alamo after a day-long superhero movie catch-up (The Wolverine, Man of Steel, Iron Man 3, and Thor 2).
- I visit the North American headquarters of Heckler & Koch, which is conveniently 3 miles from my house in Ashburn! They’re a German firearms manufacturer based out of Stuttgart. The Navy SEALs use their guns. In my ascension to Tony Stark status, I hope to land a job with them, which would let me split my time between Ashburn and Germany 🙂
- Huzzah Games. Table top and card games with the dorks
- I got to spend time with my buddy! 🙂 He was the hardest part about leaving again to Idaho
Thanks for all your love and support over the past two years! I couldn’t have done it with out ya! The whole blogging ever week to keep ya’ll posted will hopefully work out from now on. In the posts about college to follow, you’ll know why I have no freetime.
Peace ‘n’ blessin’s,