Crazily enough - and let me tell you, it TOTALLY doesn't even feel real - we will be on a plane this time tomorrow on the way out of Chengdu for our first (of two, this tour) R&R.
In fact, I do dare say that when the boarding gate is opened for our plane and the steward or stewardess or whoever says that our family can board, we will be heading toward that airplane like:
There will be things that I will miss about Chengdu while we're gone.
There's no food in the world as yummy as Chengdu food. Kid you not. I don't quite know how James and I will feel, being unable to gorge ourselves out daily on the spicy goodness that is Chengdu-y food for more than a month.
And absolutely, the boys have some great friends right here in our apartment complex (and area) that are going to be greatly missed, especially since the grandparents' house has no one our guys' ages nearby for them to hang out with.
But, in the end, are we going to cry because we're leaving tomorrow to go HOME to our families and our hometown and our friends and OUR COUNTRY?
Land of familiarity.
Land of Chipotle. And Texas Roadhouse. And baked potatoes.
Yes, my boys have long ago outgrown carseats, but here in Chengdu you don't see them. Ever. And I literally mean: EVER. When folks in Chengdu take their babies/toddlers/children around in cars, the babies/toddlers/children are literally just climbing around in the back seat... or, my favorite: CLIMBING AROUND IN THE FRONT SEAT while the car is going down the road and driving around in the land of no traffic laws.
Or, even better: When an entire family is barreling around on a scooter and there are babies/toddlers
IN BASKETS, on the FLOOR of the scooter
kind of like this:
except not so much like that because, 1.) No one wears helmets here. No joke - I literally have never seen one, and 2.) The baskets that the babies/toddlers are in aren't plastic, they're wicker.
You think about that. The ramifications of the safety issues make me cringe every time I see that sort of thing, which is often.
So, yes. Land of Whole Foods, Taco Bell, and carseats... HERE. WE. COME.
And no, we haven't started packing. We haven't even pulled the empty suitcases out of the closet yet. I told you... it just doesn't seem real. I'm sure it will seem mighty real indeed when it's 1 am and we're STILL not finished packing and we leave for the airport just a few hours later!
Oh, yes. It will feel quite real then, I'm sure!
See you on the flip side!