I've been gone for about two and a half weeks. I flew back to the States for a BFF's wedding. Here are...well, not necessarily the highlights, since this isn't the right forum to show all the pictures I took of friends at the wedding and that was definitely one of the highlights, but here are some of the places I went and things that I ate.
I flew into DC and spent a night with the friends that cat sat for us until we could ship the little furballs over. I finally met Cat Foster Mom's mom and was able to personally apologize for Crooked's overbearing behavior (sleeping on her head, getting all up in her face, completely un-bothered by the fact that she's never been a cat person). She seems very nice, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to hang out with all of them until I crashed at the oh-so-late hour of 9pm.
From DC, I went to NYC and spent a night with some friends I hadn't seen in a couple years. I crashed their second anniversary, but they were very good sports about it. We had some kickass pizza for dinner.
From NYC, it was up to Albany. From the train station we immediately went to the tailor to get fitted for bridesmaid dress alterations, then home. On our way to my sister's place, we stopped at Camp, our property in Vermont that's been in the family for generations. It's so beautiful, I got a little carried away with taking pictures.
My sister's boyfriend and I helped her pack up her law school apartment and bring all her belongings back home. Her apartment was a bit unnerving...one corner of the house was slowly falling into the river, so the whole place tilted to that corner. As illustration, this kitchen table is level.
The morning we left for Boston, one of her cats came in from outside in the morning and jumped in my lap, leaving me with a layer of dirt, grit, and a small slug. Nothing starts your day quite like a slug on your shirt.
My first bus from Boston to Cape Cod got stuck in traffic and I missed my connection, but while I waited the two hours or so for the next bus, I was entertained by an irate man loudly and colorfully insisting that a woman he'd shared a cab with had stolen his phone. A police officer arrived, took statements from both of them, and while Stolen Phone Man followed her around the station and grounds yelling and being obnoxious, the officer called the lost phone and talked to the guy that had picked it up in the parking lot, who apparently thought it was a free phone with no repercussions, because the officer distinctly said, "I can't get into WHY we need the phone back, but it's really important." The next time the loud man wandered through the inside of the station insisting she give his effing phone back, the officer informed him that the phone was located, she did not have it, he owed her an apology, and he should really find his shoes.
Then I caught my connection but ended up a town too far because the driver made no effort to let anyone know what stops were coming up and I had no way to know what landmarks to look for, and it got more annoying when the driver told me to call my friends picking me up and apologize for snoozing and missing the stop. I sent the company an unfriendly email.
The wedding week was awesome. Being able to hang out in the beach house and socialize with some great friends and meet some new and interesting people was pretty spectacular. Again, this isn't really the right place to share photos of the wedding itself, but here are some of the grounds and decorations:
I experimented with the Color Accent feature on my camera, and I'm fairly pleased with the results.
The wedding itself was beautiful. It was tear-jerkingly emotional, heart-wrenchingly beautiful, and hysterically funny. They are one of my favorite couples in all the word, and the type that are obviously soul mates and it's inconceivable that they would be anywhere other than with each other. It's a beautiful thing, and I wish for that kind of happiness for everyone. There was much revelry and mirth. And mojitos.
There's a funky store within walking distance of where we stayed and. Lots of bizarre carvings, sculptures, and Indonesian doodads, but they also had some pretty nice (presumably handmade) jewelry.
Bonus oddity - company vehicle for Sea Monkey Rentals or something similar.
After the wedding week, I stayed with a friend in Boston for another couple nights. We hung out on her rooftop and went out for some killer pizza.
I reconnected with some family I hadn't seen in over a decade, spent a day on a bus to get back to DC, spent a night with some more friends (and their adorable kitten) and flew back to Tokyo.
The house is the same, the husband is the same, and one cat is the same. Crooked, for some unknown reason, went gray in the face and front toes within the last week. It's a significant visual change, and it's kind of alarming. But his behavior is normal and he's been affectionate, so hopefully it's a harmless skin condition or something.