Anyway, to say that I'm excited is an understatement. I haven't been back to the U.S. in over a year, which seems like a really long time to me.
This trip wasn't planned. It's just that ... well, I've been homesick. And when my mom asked me if there was any way I could come over in May or June, we took a look at John's BA points and there were flights available, so I snapped them up (thank you, John!).
Here are all the things I can't wait to do:
Hug my family.
I love giving my dad and my brother a hug when they pick me up at the airport, then seeing my mom at the door to greet me when I arrive home. I love heading straight for the shower after a long flight and sitting down to eat my mom's congee and special pork belly.
Buy fruit from a fruit stand.
We have lots of farms and fresh fruit stands in my hometown. My parents often stop to buy huge ears of corn shucked on the back of a flatbed truck or Honeycrisp apples twice the size of my palm. I'm tired of the sight of packaged fruit at my local Tesco Express here in London and can't wait to stop roadside for fresh fruit when I'm back in May.
Renew my U.S. driver's license.
My trusty U.S. driver's license (and my only form of photo I.D. aside from my passport) expired last year. Although I was granted a paper extension, I have to go in to re-apply for a photo I.D. in person, so I'd love to get that ticked off my list of boring administrative things to do when I'm back! I also need to study for and pass my UK driving test(s), but that's another story for another time.
Eat all the donuts.
I miss American donuts so much. Despite all the novelty donut shops that are available in London like Crosstown or Dum Dum, nobody makes better donuts than my local donut shop in Washington. Actually I'd prefer it if Crosstown parked their crazy concoctions for a hot minute and just made a delicious maple glazed bar or a bear claw for goodness sake. Sometimes, simple is better!
Eat all the sandwiches.
Following the donut route, sandwiches in London have marginally improved since I moved here 9 years ago. Marginally. I miss those crunchy green pickles on the side. I miss the choice of chips (that's crisps, to you Brits) I get on the side (at no extra cost). I miss sandwiches stuffed with two, sometimes three different types of lunch meat. I MISS ALFALFA SPROUTS.
Buy everything (well, almost everything) in Target.
I am bringing one outfit with me. Just one. For a whole week. Otherwise, my suitcase will be empty, waiting to be filled with goods from Target. Homeware, makeup, Motrin, cough medicine, Goldfish crackers, magazines, underwear ... I'm buying it all. John, you have been warned.
Visit the Skagit Valley tulip fields.
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival runs from April 1 - 30, so I'll have missed it by the time I arrive in May. I'm not sure if the tulips will still be in full bloom by then (Mom, can you advise?) but I've been dying to go, given my tulip obsession over on Instagram.
Having breakfast with my dad in real time, rather than FaceTime.
I've talked about how my dad and I have a Sunday tradition of chatting on FaceTime while he's making breakfast and I'm making dinner. I'm super excited to have breakfast with him in real life. He talked about taking a few days off work to have a "special" breakfast in Snoqualmie, which would be lovely, but I'd be equally happy to enjoy the delicious breakfasts he cooks at home or a trip to Denny's for a French Toast Slam.
Shopping with my mom in real time, rather than sending links with subject titles like, "Should I get this yes or no".
I'm only back for a week, which isn't very long, but it'll be so nice to see my family in the middle of the year, which is rare for me. I also love seeing Seattle and Washington in the spring. Contrary to popular belief, we have really beautiful summers and I'm crossing my fingers for good weather while I'm there!
My heart is bursting in anticipation.