Chris and I waved farewell to Oregon. (while we did not fly over the coast, the picture above is how I choose to remember my home) Next time we step foot in Portland, we'll be a year older, more traveled, and perhaps a little bit wiser. Who knows, Oregon, next time we meet, Chris and I should be fluent in Serbian and working on mastering a third language. That's a thought! Time to start studying!
|How cool are the mountains that surround Las Vegas?!|
Hey Las Vegas . . . . there you are! Our only lay over was in Vegas, and we landed at sunset; just in time to watch the dry, pink, broken mountains give way to the flashy city of gambling and lights. The actual "Strip" looks a lot smaller from the sky than I had imagined. Chris assured me that it really is quite impressive when you're in the midst of it. No time for black jack or slots, we quickly made our way to the connecting gate and bucked up for the flight to Kentucky.
|One of the many Kentucky horse farms - (courtesy of Google)|
Chris and I landed in Kentucky at 1:00 a.m., and we were greeted by Chris' parents and grandparents. It was so late for them, but we were ecstatic to see their smiling faces as we exited the airplane.
The next three days were relaxing and peaceful. It was exactly what we needed after a busy week in Oregon. Basically we holed up in Chris' grandparent's home and simply enjoyed the family. Between meals, we played card games, board games, golf and bowling on the Wii, Family Feud, exchanged gifts, shared stories about Serbia, showed everyone pictures and videos, presented the family Fantasy Football trophy, slept in, laughed, and exercised (just a bit).
|Chris' uncle with the 2011 family Fantasy Football trophy|
My dear, sweet husband loves American football, and since I want to see him on Sundays, I learned to enjoy the sport myself. There are still a few things that I don't quite understand about football, but regardless, I agreed to play in a family Fantasy Football league. Basically everyone in the league puts together a "mock-football-team" online and every time one of "your players" does something good on the football field, your team gets points. It is a little more complicated than that. . . but you get the idea. Most of Chris' family participated, and we discovered that Fantasy Football was actually a really good way to keep in touch despite the time difference. Much to my surprise, I sort of enjoyed playing, and the best part was that Chris' grandparents almost won the entire thing. In the last few games, Chris' uncle snuck in and nabbed the title of "Family Fantasy Football 2011 Winner." I found an old clown statue/trophy (that used to be in my childhood room) that must be displayed in the winners home for an entire year.
Now I know why I hate clowns!
That thing is hideous.
I am okay if I never win.
Chris better not win either.
That thing will not be back in my room ever again.
|Gmama making breakfast.|
|We brought some Serbian rakija (fire water) for everyone to try.|
|Chris and his Aunt. Christmas gifts!|
|Gmama made homemade stockings for everyone in the family|
|Thanks for the great time family! We desperately needed it!|
After a few days, Chris' Mom told me that she could tell that Serbia was exactly where Chris and I needed to be. We were happy and content, well fed and healthy, and we had so many positive things to say about Serbia. Like all of our family and friends, Chris' family was initially nervous about our big move to Serbia. It was unknown, far away, and still recovering from war. . . but instantly, we loved Serbia, and she could sense that and see it in our eyes. She felt the peace that my mother had felt after her visit to Serbia in October 2011. After this conversation, I was even more grateful for the few restful days that we spent with Chris' family.