I got in to Chicago a bit later than anticipated due to a bizarre seating situation on my American Airlines flight and since I have no cell phone (still!) I had to find a pay phone to call Howie to see where she was. While trying to figure out the pay phone (since I was quarter-less) this woman comes up to me and starts trying to ask me about the pay phone, but she was asking in Spanish--it made me feel a little bit at home to not understand a person asking me a [probably] simple question. I found Howie a few minutes later and let me tell you, reuniting after six months was lovely. Even though it was the wee hours of the morning for me I was too excited to be jet lagged.
We woke up early on Friday to go to Egg Harbor--perhaps the best breakfast place in the universe (I had pumpkin pancakes that were incredible in case you were wondering) after that we went to get out nails done. This is for the other au pairs: a manicure/pedicure was only $37: god bless America! Another reason America is pretty darn wonderful: J.Crew. And having a very generous best friend who works at J.Crew and can get you a discount on sale items--and to think I even packed light for once! (Good thing I saved all that room!) After we went to go pick up the first friend to arrive, Heabs from Philly, and we grabbed lunch and just enjoyed each other's company again. We went to dinner (sushi--yessss) and then picked up the second, and unfortunately, only other friend to come. (Molly had a migrane that delayed her in D.C. and then about two feet of snow that prevented her trip which was too bad). We had a blast with one another all weekend (think more Egg Harbor, more J.Crew, more eating, being overwhlemed by Target et cetera) and I was so grateful for my wonderful friends to come to Chicago. Next reunion in Switzerland, okay?
I got home around 11 am on Monday and had no idea how to reveal myself to my brother. Fortunately by the time I got home Jack was still sleeping so I decided to do the only thing an annoying little sister could do: I jumped on him and said, "You really didn't think I would let you have all the attention did you?" (I told you I have the annoying little sister role down). He was sleepily very surprised so I consider it a success. Jack and I decorated the tree with our dad (my favorite Christmas activity) and relived all the usual conversations (why does Jack have like 17 baby's first Christmas ornaments and I have one very ugly one?) which was truly great. We went out to dinner at the wine bar where 3/4 of us used to be employed and had a wonderful dinner (which was also a birthday dinner so that was great too!).
Although it would have been cool to use this time to travel around I am so glad I came home to be with my family and mostly go to Target (just kidding!).