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Life in the States Seems to be Agreeing with US

I have started to write this blog a couple of times.  The ‘we are home,’ or ‘end of the adventure,’ ‘wisdom from afar,’ blog but it just hasn’t been working.  Too much pressure to be prophetic.  Yet, the blog has been such a part of my life for the last two years.  I am not ready to let it go.  We are now in Idaho.  I started this little bit almost three weeks ago when I was trying to figure it all out.

I am sitting here in my folks kitchen the rain has been coming down for about two days now and I am home.  The dogs are wandering around not quite sure what to do with themselves.  I can actually relate a little.  We left Mendoza almost two weeks ago. This blog is a bit odd to write because it is not only a return to the states but also the end of our two years abroad.  So how do you put all that into words when you can’t even figure out what emotions are playing through your head.  Here is my go at that.

Aerobics in the ParkOur last week in Mendoza was great, minus Todd being under the weather, not full blown sick, but he was not doing well.  He used all his energy to enjoy the last days of our trip.  By keeping ourselves busy the two weeks prior we were actually able to enjoy that time without the anxious excitement and nerves that kept creeping upon each of us.

That’s as far as I got.  I don’t know how to put into words those first couple days of being back in the states.  Odd is the first one.  It’s always the little things you notice; the amount of stuff at the grocery store, the size of the cars, pedestrians having the right of way, green grass, fewer buses, bikers, and walkers.  While other things seem to fall right back into place and feel just right.  For instance, being back at my folks house.  Things are still in the same place and that is comforting. Maura Graduates Although, the knife drawer swapped with the hot pads still throws me off three years later.  So, I guess I am trying to say that Todd and I are good.  We didn’t burst into flames from over stimulation or shock from being stateside.  Basically, we fell into old comforting patterns.

Thursday Night at Cafe al DenteOur time in KC went by so quickly.  I feel like I didn’t even sleep, but it was worth it.  We partied with the clan, Maura graduated from highschool, I jumped out of an airplane with the my momma and sisters, Todd ventured to Vegas and Beloit, we hit Al Dente for the Thursday night tradition, I passed my, motorcycle class, and then we were off. From there we packed up the minivan and headed west.  First stop, Edwards, CO, where Dale and Jeanne  literally just moved into their new house the day we arrived.  It was perfect timing.  We put our hands to work and helped them get things organized.  Even though there was a lot of work, we managed to play.  Teva Game Bouldering MadnessThe highlight being the Teva Games in Vail.  These were outdoor events like kayaking, bouldering, mountain biking, etc.  I have never been to a bouldering competition before.  Even though I am into bouldering I always had the impression that they would be pretty dry and anticlimatic.  Well, I was totally wrong.  After watching the pre-lims and the finals I was hoarse from all the yelling.  Who knew you could almost lose your voice watching people boulder.  It was incredible!

Teva Game After our quick visit with the Mosiers, we headed north to Victor, ID, our summer home.  Derek and Lisa were nice enough to invite these two homeless nomads into their home for the summer.  We gladly obliged this request.  You can’t pass up a summer in the mountains.  We just passed our first week here and if it is a prediction of what the rest of the summer holds, I think we are set for a great time.

Homemade pizza night, live music at the Knotty, an awesome showing by all of us at the Teton Dam 10k, and too many hours of futbol and snacks wrapped up the first week.  And the highlight, morel hunting.  I had always heard of mushroom hunters, read about them, been frightened of the false mushroom that can lead to death. etc.  So when Lisa started talking about the hunt I was a bit skeptical.  Luckily, an ice cream bar later and I was ready to go.  After browsing the internet to figure out exactly what morels looked like, and their evil twins the false morels, we were on our way.Teton Dam 10k

We started out not knowing what to expect.  So, I wondered off the path looking around dead logs, at the base of trees, basically scanning the ground for I wasn’t really sure.  It felt like I hadn’t blinked in ages when Lisa screeched with excitement at our first morel.  Wow, we actually found one.  In total, we found 8 beautifully weird looking morels.  I can now count myself as one of the thousands of people who go out each year to hunt these prized wonders of the culinary world.

Once home, we laid them out on the counter, keenly looking over the brain like bodies.  After we finely examined our bounty it was time to indulge.  We didn’t go wondering about in the woods to give our mushrooms an anatomy test, we went for their scrumptious flavor.  A quick sauté with some butter and salt and pepper and we were licking our lips and patting ourselves on the backs.

Morels, beautiful MorelsAnd that was only week one.  Today, back to reality as I continue my job hunt.  Todd is working hard in his new office and we are already planning our first dinner party. Life back in the states seems to be agreeing with us.

Sunday Fun Day

It is Sunday afternoon in Mendoza.  We finally managed to skip town yesterday for a bit of climbing.  Enough waiting about for the cable guy.  We had had enough. So, determined to leave town we set the alarm for 6:45am.  Now, we have been setting an alarm a couple days a week just to rouse ourselves at a normal time.  These attempts have all failed, but like I said, we were determined to leave town.  So,  our trusty alarm went off at the correct time and we groggily stumbled about the apartment getting things ready for our day trip.  A quick walk to the bus station, a 2 hour bus ride, and we were there.

We considered this more off an expedition mission then anything else, so the fact that we actually got some climbing in was a bonus.  Didn’t know if we would be hiking a couple km to the climbing spot, where to get off the bus, what the routes but more importantly surrounding areas would hold, etc.  Luckily, we found the right spot: just over the little bridge, down the dirt road, and past the thorn bushes.  The thorn bushes were a bit of a problem but nothing we couldn’t handle.  I have wanted to purchase a machete basically the entire time we have been in Latin America and now, I have a reason to buy one.

It has been a while since we climbed, so the start was on the rough side.  But quick draw by quick draw we made our way to the top and managed to finally set up a top rope.  We climbed what at first seemed impossible, but was now proving to be easier and a lot of fun.  The major difference between climbing indoor and outdoor is the ability to see the route.  Indoor you have colored tape marking your path, but outdoor you are looking at an unmarked rock face trying to figure out the route.  For me, this is much harder.  We managed to have some fun and get some good climbing in before the sun became a problem.  It is hard to climb when you are looking directly up into the sun.  And its hot here, really, really hot.  I could see the heat coming off the rock as I was belaying Todd.  So we called it a day, packed up, and grabbed a beer while we waited for the bus.  And of course with the beer, we immediately started playing back the entire day.  Good times!

We crashed last night after a quick bite of delivery pizza.  Best pizza so far in Mendoza, arugula and all.  This morning I woke up tight and tired.  My body was revolting from the climbing but after a cup of coffee I managed to make it to aerobics in the park. It was awesome!  Me and women of all ages, the men just seemed to watch, doing aerobics under the blazing sun listening to super loud Latino beats.  It was great.   And of course, my favorite song, “One, Two, Three, Four, Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro.  You know I want you, you know I need you…” was played.  This is the first song I heard in Mexico City and it has followed us south during this journey.  It just makes me smile every time it comes on.  So, my work out woke me up, perked me up, and I am ready for a great Sunday.

Todd is off making copies of articles.  His new favorite activity. And checking to see if the laundromat is open.  We desperately need to get some things washed.  Other then that, we may be attending our first authentic Argentine asado aka bbq or going to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie.  Either way, I feel great today.