Saturday, June 20, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Well, I did it again. I started a blog before leaving to camp, hoping to catch up, but obviously, that didn’t happen. Wanna know how far I got? …not even two whole sentences into it before I had to quit. Yup, this is all: “I WILL be up to date with blogging before I leave for camp, I will! Starting. Right. Now.” We all see how well that turned out.

Now, I sit here in the Khaki Cabin at Camp Aldersgate in Little Rock, Arkansas, relishing the last 15 minutes of our 5+ hour night off during Training Week. Allie (my Cajun counterpart) is in the shower, and the very beginnings of our 40-person counselor crew are starting to stroll in as the clock ticks closer to 10 p.m. (the dreaded time of camp gate closure). Let’s see how far I can get into catching up on writing about my 10 days at home in Louisiana, before I give up and decide to retire (or relocate—outside to visit with friends) for the night.

Back tracking a bit, on the morning of Tuesday, May 26th, I packed up my bags and bid adieu to my Warren Hall family. Saying goodbye was hard, but not as hard as the realization would hit once I touched ground in Cajun Country. Colin generously drove me to the airport so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the whole SuperShuttle ordeal. I was a bit early arriving, but better early than late, that’s for sure. My first flight was pretty rough, and the restless weather prevented me from getting a good departing view of DC (boo). Memphis is surely not my favorite airport, but I did very much enjoy lunch from Popeyes, in preparation for my return home. (Totally not what I usually eat, but a yummy pre-Louisiana idea.)

Upon arrival in “God’s Country” (lol), I headed straight for the luggage claim area in hopes of quickly gathering my belongings and meeting my mother outside. Fortunately, my luggage appeared fairly soon, but when I got it, I realized that two of my three pieces were damaged. Then, I went outside to greet my mom, and showed her the damage. She insisted that I go back inside and talk to the airline representatives. Long story short, after a half an hour of waiting by the empty desk, calling two hotlines, and asking several airport staff members, I was finally able to talk to an airline representative. It was a really ridiculous conversation and process, I settled with a $250 (or 25,000 SkyMiles) voucher for a future trip.

By the time we made it home, it was time to change, and rush over to EHS for Austin’s senior ring ceremony. I’d recently begun to feel really bad about missing out on big things in Austin’s life, so my mom invited me to present Austin with his ring as a means of being a part of something big; I felt incredibly honored and excited to do this. After the ceremony, we went to Nanna’s for dinner, yay!!! Nannie Lois, Uncle Ray, and one of their son’s family was there too. I was sooo happy to finally see them, and eat some of Nanna’s tasty food. Woot Woot.

I will say that I was thoroughly surprised to have been able to see so many people during my 10 days at home. The day after I arrived, I went to a 4-H U (Short Course) meeting; it was nice to visit with a bunch of the kids who went on the WOW trip to DC. One afternoon, I met Kyle, Kayla, and Jodie for Sonic lunch at the park in town. It was fun to see those ladies, and I very much enjoyed FINALLY seeing Kyle, for the first time in six months. He’s a graduate now! Heh. On another day, I visited with Victoria and younger siblings for a bit as we sat out and played Blockus by her backyard pool. My family even went out to dinner together one night in hopes of planning a vacation for the summer (we weren’t very successful). I also had plans to see my former roommates Annie and Jen, but it didn’t end up working out. The hope is to see them later this summer when I go home from camp for a break.

The Sunday after I got home, my family, plus Nanna and Poppa went to Loreauville for the day. My Nannie, uncle, and cousins decided to have a crawfish boil for me (kinda). Basically, it was their bribe to get me to go visit during my few days at home, lol. The crawfish was yummy (of course) and it was fun to spend the afternoon hanging out by the pool and playing with my cousins. Noah, the littlest one just turned two (June 8), and is growing up so fast. I haven’t been around since he was born, which makes me sad. Boo.

So besides seeing friends and family during my short ten day stent at home, I also had to take care of some business, such as doctor appointments and tetanus shots for camp, as well as signing a lease to secure my new apartment in Raleigh. In addition, I spent two days driving to and from Baton Rouge, as Austin had dinner at the Governor’s Mansion and 4-H Day at the Capitol on June 2nd and 3rd. I really enjoyed that whole outing though, because I got to spend some time with my dearest Sunshine (Dawn), for the first time in Louisiana in a year (the other few times I saw her was in DC--sad, lol), and my Summer Sister, Miss Allie Barbay. Allie’s dad even did a nice tune-up on my car in preparation for all the driving it would be doing in the upcoming months. Another cool thing about the visit to BTR was seeing all of my state 4-H people (who were sad that I wouldn’t be going to LSU in the fall) and… drum roll… meeting Governor Bobby Jindal!! Bobby Jindal is seriously the coolest dude ever and I can’t wait for him to be our president. He’s sooo genuine, and pretty much amazing in general! Plus, the crew from Vermilion (and Dawn) were the only ones who got to meet him that day. It was super cool!

A few days later, it was time to pack up once again and head up to Little Rock for camp, which is where I am now. I realize this blog is probably very confusing and quite a bit disjointed, but that’s because it’s taken me several different writing sessions to get it all out. My internet access is also nonexistent, so who knows when I’ll get to post this. I’m also hoping to get another blog out sometime soon, featuring my first two weeks of Summer 2009 in Arkansas. Just be patient, excuse the lengthy posts, and look forward to more updates from my gypsy life.

Stay cool (literally).

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