After several months of planning and a well-kept secret, Adam and I managed to surprise Blake and Victoria at Blake's graduation AND my parents on Saturday night. Whew! Success!!!
We left Beijing at 6:55 Wednesday morning (after staying up all night and taking Nyquil on the flight to sleep!) and arrived in Chicago at 6:00am Wednesday morning. Gaining an hour of your life ain't too shabby :) We then flew to Boston for Blake's graduation; Adam managed to get on an earlier flight and shocked Blake, and I joined them later in the afternoon, just in time to catch Amy Poeler's speech (what a welcome back to America!). We had a wonderful time in Boston with Adam's family; it was a great way to re-introduce ourselves to home.
We had originally intended to take the Megabus from Boston to NY on Friday morning, but then learned that they had a one-suitcase limit. Um, no thank you. (4 50-lb suitcases, 2 large duffels, 2 backpacks, and 2 suit bags might be slightly conspicuous...). So instead, we drove into the city and really enjoyed the lack of highway traffic, lush greenery, radio selections, and everything else we didn't realize we missed. It was great (though slightly hectic) to be back home in New York. Our apartment is gorgeous and massive by NY standards and we love the location. So we had lunch at my favorite restaurant, were denied converting currency at the bank (who knew there was a time cut-off for foreign money??), and met movers at my old apartment to move furniture. Then Cathy, Jennifer, and Ben arrived and we met for dinner.
On Saturday morning, our friend Mike came over (!!!) and he, Adam, and Cathy picked up our rented U-haul to move out of the storage unit. They are beasts--got it all out in one go! We moved in and helped Mike move out of his place, while Cathy and Jen stayed back to unpack boxes--they were incredibly helpful. Later, we organized and enjoyed delicious H&H bagels. Welcome home!
I left in the afternoon to come home and surprise my parents--they had no idea I was back in the states; I actually received an email from my mom that afternoon that said "1 more week!" Haha. My parents friends (and my pseudo-parents) Melissa and Steve picked me up from the airport and dropped me off at home, to an empty house. While being with Lucy was clearly wonderful, by 10pm, I was tired of waiting and called in the big guns--Courtney. She called my mom and said "It's too late for you to be out to dinner; go home already!!" For some reason, they listened and were home 30 minutes later. They walked in and FREAKED OUT. It was awesome and definitely worth the secret-keeping.
We will post about our packing up and leaving Beijing experiences in the coming days, amidst unpacking, job-searching, friend-seeing, food-enjoying, etc. Can't wait to see everyone!