Days 194-200 Wednesday-Tuesday October 31- November 6, 2007 – Los Angeles & Las Vegas, USA
Our week in the United States proved to be incredibly chaotic and tiring. We arrived back in the U.S. on October 30th and quickly got our rental car at LAX without much problem. Excited to be behind the wheel again, I drove over to Jasmine’s mom’s house directly from the airport and we quickly settled in for the night.
One of the benefits for us of returning on the 30th was that Shawn Reece got the opportunity to celebrate Halloween with his cousins in California. Waking up on Wednesday morning, we had a lot of work to do in order to get ready to trick or treat that night. Before taking care of the Halloween business, we had breakfast with my two aunts and cousin and got to meet my cousin’s newly born baby daughter. She was adorable! After talking with my aunts for a couple of hours, we did manage to get all of the work done and on Hallows Eve Shawn Reece was dressed as a ninja with sword and all.
We almost suffered a bit of culture shock upon returning to the U.S. in that we had almost forgotten how developed it was. In Guatemala life is so different and three months in that developing nation had led us to adjust to the conditions there. It is neither good nor bad, but entering the United States might as well have been like visiting a completely different world.
At around 7pm Wednesday evening, we set out with a small gang of Shawn Reece’s cousins and a couple of Jasmine’s sisters on a mission to get as much candy as possible. After almost two hours of walking around house to house everyone was tired except for us. (All of that walking the past six months finally came in handy!) At that point, Shawn Reece looked in his bag of treats and felt satisfied with his take for the night, so we headed back to get some rest before driving over to Las Vegas on Thursday morning, November 1st.
We had to get to Vegas on Thursday to attend a family get together that night at my brother’s house. All of our local family and a couple of friends showed up for the party and we had a lot of fun. Visiting family can be very emotional and the combination of seeing everyone and traveling had begun to wear us down. During our three plus days in Vegas, it seemed that all we did was run errands and catch up with friends and family. Finally, on Sunday before heading back to Los Angeles I caught a Green Bay Packers game with my dad, brother and Terry a friend at The Rum Runner, a bar I used to frequent every game day. I truly miss watching American football on Sunday mornings. Listening to the games over the internet just doesn’t serve as an adequate substitute, but it will have to do!
Bright and early on Monday morning, we woke up and made the drive back to Jasmine’s family for another day and a half of visiting before heading out to the airport on Tuesday evening. Our flight left for Fiji exactly seven days after we arrived in the U.S. from Guatemala. By this time, not only were we exhausted, but a little frazzled and stressed out. We had thought that going home for a bit would be calm and relaxing, but it had the opposite effect and we felt tired. Even with that said, we wouldn’t have done it any other way, because family is so very important and seeing them was great!
As we dropped the rental car off, we had one last bit of uncertainty to deal with. None of us had ever been on such a long flight, so we were unsure as to how well we would handle it. I was particularly worried as sleeping on planes has always been a problem for me. Our week in the U.S. was SO NICE, but it was time to move westward so that we may actually one day complete a circle around the world. Upon arriving in the states we finished another chapter of our trip, but didn’t have much time to stop and reflect before we were headed to the South Pacific to begin another one. More on that next time!
The Coomer Family