Its Time to Come Home
Home... All of us have a place that we call home. No matter where we are from there is some place in the world that is our home. For Linz and I and the kids, this month, we were finally able to come home after three years of living overseas.
For me there are a few locations around my "growing up" home that are iconic and that are truly when I think of when people ask me where I am from and where home is. The above picture of the Blue Mountains is one of those images.
When I think of my wife's home I think of Salem Pond and my Father in Law's house. I thought it was so much fun to finally come home and let me kids see their Grandpa Goble and his house. The home where mom grew up.
I think this month we have slept on airplanes, couches, floors, beds, air-mattresses. We have stayed at 6 different houses, 5 different hotels. Flown over 11,000 miles this month and driven over 3,000 miles.
Needless to say - we are tired. It has been a crazy month with things going on everywhere. We wanted to do more and see more people. But we had to keep reminding ourself that "we aren't moving back to Japan." We were/are excited to be in the US. It is so different being here, in so many different ways. We are excited for the new adventure...
Last Days in Okinawa
We started the month with 7 days in Okinawa. From July 1 - July 7. Almost every day of the last two weeks in Okinawa rained. Rained so much that we couldn't go outside. A typhoon hit in the late two weeks. Then another hit the week after we left. Luckily for us the typhoon did not interfere with our travel itinerary.
We did go to a dinosaur park with some friends and had a great time. It rained on us a little that day, but we survived.
There was one or two nights that the clouds did break and we ran as fast as we could to the beach to enjoy the night. On July 4th at sunset, we spent it at the beach. The kids played in the sand and we watched as the sun went down. It was my last sunset in Okinawa. Truly a sad night. I've loved so many things about Okinawa. It is an island that I will never ever forget. No one who lives there, ever leaves the same person.
I put the three kids together to get one last Okinawa sunset picture... A picture to always keep in my heart!
Adjusting to America
When our flight day finally came we woke up at 4:45 AM. Drove to the airport. Checked in all 9 bags. We carried on about 9 others. We made the 24 hours continual traveling extravaganza and made it to my sisters house to sleep in America. The trip didn't go nearly as bad as we had thought. The kids all slept. Mom and Dad didn't sleep.
For the first 3 nights our kids went to bad at 8 PM and woke up at midnight wide awake. They wanted to play and eat and watch TV... everything but go back to sleep. So... We stayed up with them until about 4 AM when they finally fell back asleep until noon. Linz and had to take turns sleeping intermittently. We basically were zombies for the first 4 days.
Once we got over the initial awfulness of not sleeping, the days we spent in Utah were so packed full of family and friends that we hardly had time to breathe. We loved seeing people and hanging out with people we haven't seen in three years. We did many of the normal everyday things we didn't get a chance to do in Okinawa. Things like jumping in the tramp with cousins. Playing with the cat for hours. Riding bikes and cars. Eating watermelon on the back porch. We sent multiple days at the pool trying to avoid the summer heat.
We also watched parades, went boating at Lake Powell, Four Wheeling, Shot BB guns, Fishing, ate snow cones. There was so many things and so many people that we saw and did in 20 days. It was crazy! We loved it!
Linz and I were able to go on some fun dates while we were there. We went to the temple twice. Had an overnight in Moab in celebration for our 11th anniversary coming up on August 4th!
I have gone out multiple times in multiple locations to take photos at sunrise or sunset. I have a lot of undeveloped photos that I would love to share. Here are a few so far...
This photo was take just behind my brother in law's house. I went up here one morning and took some photos and then headed back home. It really was within five minutes. I views of the city are pretty awesome also.
Mt. Timpanogos Temple
We visited multiple LDS temples while in Utah. Oh how much we missed being close. I always feel like people that live in Utah never understand what it is like to NOT have a temple in their midst. They take for granted its beauty and power. Now that I have lived away from one I will never underestimate the power you get from going inside a temple of God.
Provo City Center Temple
The photo of this antelope was taken 20 miles from my home. I went out to take some sunrise photos and found this guy sitting right off the road enjoying his breakfast. I jumped out and approached him thinking I was going to scare him. But he didn't mind my company.
I think my highlight of the whole trip was when my wife and I hiked to delicate arch. It is truly an amazing place!!! Beautiful beyond compare. So many people come to enjoy the sunset and take a photo under the arch. I swear people travel from all across the world just for that one photo. Then you have crazy photographer like me that don't want anyone in the photos. In the end, I don't really care because if they traveled from China to come to Arches for one a once in a lifetime vacation - why shouldn't they take their one photo under the arch.
We did finally make it to our next place. We are living in Hanford CA. Working in Lemoore CA. People say that there is nothing to do. But I just don't believe them... We will see if we can find some great things to do here. Let our next adventure begin!!!