Zachary and James flew back to Chengdu about a week ago and got there safe and sound (yay!), so that's good.
Matthew and I have a few more days left here in the United States on our R&R, so we're living it up! I feel guilty, actually, with James and Zachary not here, that Matthew and I are doing so much fun stuff without them.
Guilt. It's my ever-present companion.
So, anyway, since I'm still on American high-speed internet (what a HUGE difference! I would blog every day in China if I had internet like this!), it's a good time to show you guys what we've been doing here in the States. Other than thinking deeply about life, of course.
So: a summary of the last couple of weeks.
Back in Florida, before Zachary and James left to go back to China, some of us went on airboat rides. Airboats are great in Florida because they can glide along on top of all of the vegetation, unlike normal boats. They're just... loud and huge. But that's okay - they're fun!
Airboats zip along and can go really fast. We even saw some gators!
(Not that seeing gators is surprising in Florida. Because it isn't.)
Zachary LOVED the airboat ride:
We cut through serious vegetation:
And just in general acted as though we didn't care if we lived or died. IT WAS AWESOME!
But that was before James and Zachary left to go back to China. And now that they are gone, Matthew and I have gone off on a trip through the gorgeous (albeit burnt to a crisp because of some epic, hideous drought that is torturing the middle of the US right now) states of Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.
Oh, Wisconsin. How insanely, breathtakingly gorgeous you are.
My Auntie hangs out sometimes up in Door County, Wisconsin, and let me just say that it's about the prettiest spot you could ever imagine. Matthew and I would just gaze around at the gorgeousness, in awe.
The little fishing and boating towns are so adorable:
We were super blessed in that family friends own an extra jetski, and for the first time in Matthew's memory he got to ride one. Talk about HAPPY GUY:
The Wisconsin beaches on Lake Michigan are rocky, but pretty:
Believe it or not, the whole month that our family was in Florida, no one got a sunburn. Matthew and I get up to Wisconsin, though, and are immediately burned to a crisp! It was so funny! Just totally unexpected.
Matthew even got to ski for the first time in his life:
Since it was the first time he'd ever tried, it took him a while to get up onto those skis, and let me tell you - - three or four days later and he is STILL sore and walking like an old man!
The playing around on other people's toys was super fun, but really - the biggest treat was just to look around at how beautiful it is up there. Here are two pictures from the area, because I couldn't choose which one to post and so I posted both (yay high speed internet!):
We went through some museums in the area - tiny but adorable - and I found the most disturbing object! It's a tiny set of medical razor blades that used to be used in bleeding patients back when bloodletting was the thing to do. Can you IMAGINE a doctor using THIS thing on you??
I don't know if you can make it out in the picture, but it's a square contraption out of which razor blades pop up.
Medicine. We've come a long way, baby!
If a doting, obliging Auntie gave an 18-year-old-Matthew his first ever bottle of beer, it's not like I would post that here because, HELLO, that would be ILLEGAL and underaged drinking is BAD and all sorts of law enforcement-y types read this blog, etc. But...
Oh, look! Matthew holding a beer! I wonder why. It must have been someone else's and he must have grabbed it for a photo op or to read the label or something...
I'm sorry, I have to post one more gratuitous shot of the gorgeousness of the water:
Because HOLY BEAUTIFUL, BATMAN.
It was so pretty, Matthew even voluntarily went swimming there:
Which says a lot, because Matthew never voluntarily swims.
But how could you resist swimming here?
And, of course, no blog post of mine going on and on about how beautiful it is here would be complete without... BIRDS!!
(Of which there are a gazillion)
(Of which there are an even BIGGER gazillion.)
So, anyway, this is the longest blog post in the universe with the most pictures EVER (thank you if you're still reading... you're a trooper! Or you're my mom, dad, husband or youngest child, all of whom are required to read. Apologies, again, to my husband and youngest child. I MISS YOU. I'M SORRY WE HAD TO HAVE FUN WITHOUT YOU. DON'T HATE ME!)
So, anyway, I just wanted to say hello from R&R
Either that or goodbye to our R&R, as Matthew and I head back to China in just a few days.
And also, that picture makes my rear end look HUGE.
My shadow needs to go on a diet.