Sunday, July 01, 2007

Back In The Georgia

So, after a few magical weeks in America the Beautiful, I’m back in Georgia (which is also beautiful). My time at home was all good family, good friends, good food, good times. My brother’s wedding and all of the festivities that went along with it were so fun, and seeing my family members transform into party animals for the weekend was highly entertaining. But of course my visit was all too brief, and passed by too quickly, and I find myself back in the Georgian life already. It was incredible to see everyone while I was home, literally my WHOLE family, and thanks to everyone for their well wishes and words of support. And, I apologize again for never updating this blog, didn’t realize so many of you folks were reading it! I’ll try to update more regularly, when especially important/bizarre/exciting things happen to me over here, although I get the feeling all of you back home think that my life is much for intriguing than it actually is…
One part of my trip that was decidedly NOT pleasant was my air travel. Before this experience, I was a very naïve traveler. I’d never had a flight canceled or delayed and never had any lost luggage. However, all of these unfortunate incidents happened to me at least once during my travel to and back from America. My faith and trust in air travel has been severely bruised. Have you ever seen that poor girl sleeping on the cold, concrete floor, using her backpack as a pillow and a t-shirt as a blanket? That was me. Or the crazy, cell phone-less traveler tearfully cursing a pay phone because the phone card she bought isn’t working? Right here. What about that immodest girl washing her arms and legs with dispensable hand soap in the airport bathroom because she’s been trapped in airports for almost 3 days? Sadly, yes. I was a pitiful sight. However, after four separate flights (not one of which took off on time), two lost bags, and three sleepless nights, I eventually made it back to Georgia in one piece. A cranky, delirious, on-the-brink-of-insanity piece, but one piece nonetheless. Phew.
Now, some lovely photos.

My dad sporting a traditional Georgian wool hat from Svaneti, the 60-year-old drinking horns my Georgian host father sent as a gift, and some old Soviet medals that I bought him a the Dry Bridge bazaar in Tbilisi. Looks quite fetching.

Who are these lovely girls? Why, they are Kelli Denise Blair and Erin Lee Burrows. And they are quite lovely, even though they constantly lie about wanting to come visit me in Georgia.

The triumphant Mr. and Mrs. Derek and Jennifer Weldon! A very handsome couple. The wedding was not only beautiful but lots of fun, and I'm so happy I was a part of it. You can't tell in this picture, but they were very happy and thrilled to be married.

The newly expanded Weldon family: Jennifer, Derek, Dad, Mom, me, and Brady. Despite the heat and humidity, I think we clean up pretty nice.

My cousin Jodie's daughter Hannah's 8th birthday party at the skating rink. Everyone skated except me, including my parents and Aunt Karen and Uncle Joe. Pictured are some of my little cousins, Taylor and Hunter, and my cousins' kids, Hannah, Hudson, and Nolan. They're digging into a Baskin Robbins' Mint Chocolate Chip Ice-Cream cake...Yum.

MaSue and Pop, on the porch swing in front of their house on Father's Day. But as far as I'm concerned it was Paige's Day because MaSue made one of my favorite things on Earth, her blackberry cobbler with BlueBell vanilla ice-cream.

My brother and his wife now live in New Orleans, so we hung out with them down there for a few days. We're taking a break from meandering around the French Quarter, cooling off with some frozen daquiries. Each daquiri came with a free shot. Needless to say, taking a shot at 2 in the afternoon with my parents was a first. 16-year-old Brady, of course, is sipping a virgin strawberry daquiri. Someday Brady, someday.

My host family, sporting some gifts I brought back from the U.S. They were so excited and it was so fun to give them stuff, it was like Christmas. They were especially fond of the cake mixes and amazed at how easy to make and delicious they are. My host mother was exasperated to learn that there is an easier way to make cake than spending 3 hours slaving away in the kitchen.