there last. This time around was a little bit different. Somewhat because we didn't have too much time and somewhat because we were taking a side trip to see old friends, but mostly because Aya would meet my dad's side of the family.
She had met a few of them before as they had come to Sturgeon Bay to see us, but this would be an opportunity to stay with my dad at his home, visit my grandmother at her home, and to meet a few more of the Hurley side. In order to do this we flew into Minneapolis airport, then rented a car to drive back east to Bruce, WI. The drive was nice, but Aya got her first taste of northern Wisconsin when we were approaching Bruce. DEER! Everywhere there were deer. We must have seen 8 separately within 30 minutes. When Aya asked if there were other large animals I said no, then uh... yes. Bears, wolves perhaps, but lots and lots of deer.
We did a lot of fun stuff while we were there like going to The Miner theater in Bruce to see Planet of the Apes, visiting a historical village, but generally just getting to hang out. I even had time to brew a batch of beer with my dad and I got to meet my step brother and sister AND their kids for the first time. Overall it was a good trip and we kind of wished we had more time with them, but hopefully next summer we will be back.
From there we moved on to Washington DC and eventually back to Sturgeon Bay spending our last days having squirt gun fights with my nephews, watching their soccer games, and playing tetris with all the stuff we were trying to get into our luggage. Its odd to see my brother's kids getting bigger all the time and it makes me a little bit sad too because I would like to be a bigger part of their lives. The boys certainly could use more people around to be role models and I'm sure my mom and brother could use some extra relief. Yet here I am, taking off again to a new post half a world away.
I'm excited to get to Beijing, mostly because of the great job that I have waiting but also because of being back in China. Love it or hate it, there is something about China that makes it an adventure. So now I will take the first step out the door and start a new one.