Let's see. What delicacies had my Mom, Dad, and sister whipped up in preparation for my arrival?
Chocolate pound cake
Yellow pound cake
Christmas cookies, hand rolled and cut in festive shapes, with icing & sprinkles!
Chocolate covered pretzels
Pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream! (the best!)
The list goes on, but I get lost in there somewhere... One bonus to having limited time in the States, was that my family was willing to cater pretty much every menu to my request... Yum!
We attended church where I saw some familiar faces, gave hugs, and startled a few with the news that I'm actually living in Taiwan now. Pay attention people! That's what Facebook is for...! Ha, just kidding. Seriously though, it is always a bit awkward when an old friend or friend of the family inquires "So, what are you up to these days?"... and my response is something like "Well, I recently accepted a new job and moved to Asia." Wow. Some people almost respond as if they're thinking "Are you serious?" It either dominates the conversation, or they just aren't sure what to say... so we did that for a bit...
After church, the husband, sister, & I went to visit a dear friend who is also the new parent for our dog Noah! (ie... I really wanted to visit my pooch!!!) Seriously though, we were anxious to visit Noah the Dog, but ever grateful to have such an awesome friend give Noah a loving and comfortable home now that I've moved to Taiwan. Noah was just as spry and energetic as ever. And he remembered us! Not that I honestly thought he wouldn't recognize me, but even still... it was so fantastic to see and pet him in person. Noah's new owner also has a second dog, and the two pooches played like they had known each other for years. As much as I love that dog, I am so pleased with his new home and glad that I didn't try to bring him to Taiwan through the customs and quarantine procedures. I know he wouldn't be the same, and his life in a small city apartment here wouldn't be the same either.
To top off my day of things only to be had in the USA, I paid a visit to my oldest and dearest girlfriend. We have known each other since the Girl Scout days... and scarily enough, she had actually stumbled upon some of those photos recently and shared them with me. Wow. It is always great to see her, and nice to talk to someone who gets me. I like that I don't really need to express to her exactly what it is I'm doing over seas, or why I'm doing it. I think she gets that it's just "like me." That's Lizzie for you! Here's hoping that she can visit me for her own taste of Asia at some point while I'm in Taipei!