We had a whirl-wind three weeks back in the States over the holidays — we stayed with my in-laws in Kentucky, plus my parents drove up from Missouri, and we drove to Indianapolis to see my grandma, aunts and uncles. We saw just about everyone, opened tons of gifts (Liam gets double for Christmas and his birthday), ate so much junk food (cookies and pies, plus all the fast food we’d been craving that we can’t get in Greece) and now we’re finally back home. On the plane ride over, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Athens being home. Almost one year in, and it still feels like a foreign country. It probably always will. But while the city still feels like a place we don’t quite belong, our house does feel like home. The kids missed their toys (Santa brought a bunch of new ones while we were away!) and we all missed sleeping in our own beds. I also missed our heated floors.
This was our first trip back home at Christmas time, and it will likely be our last. Thankfully we didn’t hit any bumps in our travel, but winter is a notoriously terribly time of year to fly. Add to that all of the extra luggage we had to bring for bulky winter clothes, then the two new suitcases we bought just to accommodate all the presents, and we still had to mail back a sizeable package of things that wouldn’t fit. Carrying coats and taking out all our new tablets through three sets of security screenings…yeah, I’m still not sure why it’s necessary to LEAVE the terminal and go back in if you’ve got an international layover in Chicago and Vienna. We also discovered there are no direct flights to the States from Athens in the winter, hence the two layovers both coming here last winter and going back this winter. We’ve got two more trips back to the States planned in the next three years, and both will be in the summer.