Friday, November 5, 2010

The Homestay

After a longer than anticipated homecoming to stick around for some unplanned meetings at work, it’s safe to assume I overshot the generally accepted period of time where the novelty of that homecoming remains interesting for others (or even myself, for that matter). Lost were the days of the exciting reactions of family, friends, and acquaintances (my person favorite was the drycleaner exclaiming to the Wife after our nine month absence, “You…you came back! We lost so much money!” OK, so maybe we overuse the drycleaner) and found was the general sense that I was living the life of a guest in my own house

Our house, for all intents and purposes at this point, would barely qualify as a two-star hotel. While still appointed tastefully (I like to think our style resembles what Pottery Barn would look like if it went to war with Asia), the lack of internet and cable turned the residence into a large, boring place to sleep. Thankfully, during our planned week in the fictional greater Chicagoland area, we spent little time there as the days we worked (a nice little way to extend the homestay) and the nights were spent catching up with friends. Regardless, there’s still something a little odd about “living” in your house when you’re doing so out a suitcase and the normal accoutrements are all packed away. Bottom line, by the time the car picked me up take me to work on Wednesday (in the spirit of full disclosure, this was the only day I was driven to work while in the U.S. and only because I went straight to the airport from the office), I was officially ready to return to my adopted home.

The homestay was a highly orchestrated set of weekend activities, dinners, and travel. In fact, the only item the original plan didn’t hit on the homestay bucket list was a trip to Kinnick Stadium to see my beloved Iowa Hawkeyes in person. Luckily, the unplanned additional week for work included a weekend that just happened to include a home date. Even more luckily, I have a mother that comes up with brilliant ideas like, “we should go over to Iowa City and find tickets for the game.” Even more luckily than that, she has friends that get sick and aren’t able to use 50-yard line tickets. Needless to say, what was originally planned as a recovery weekend in India quickly became one of the highlights of the trip: an unplanned and all too rare mother/son weekend with those 50-yard line tickets, a 7-hour tailgate, and a perfect fall day.

In addition to the weekend with The Mother (Mom, that’s a one-time penalty for claiming my use of “The Wife” for Lindsay is disrespectful), the trip was a bit of a whirlwind. Starting with and a round of golf with Lindsay’s Dad shortly after landing on October 7th and ending with a drink at the airport with our friend Sarah Fielding (who’s been kind enough to ditch her husband and three kids for a few days to visit us in India), there simply wasn’t much downtime. I’m not going to bore anyone with the laundry list of detailed activities, but to make a very long story short, let’s just say I ate a lot of my favorite foods, drank most of my favorite beers, saw great friends and family, and was one-half of the greatest cornhole team I’ve ever seen, including an unprecedented five-hour run at a beach house with the wife and seventeen of our closest friends.

Needless to say, I wouldn’t change a minute of the trip, but I’m glad to be back home in India.

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