Aura, Matt and me posing for the best picture ever. Obviously I just figured out how to use the self-timer on my camera.
Aura will surely not be pleased with this title, but it's true, and it's great. After all the hustle and bustle of traveling from Chicago to Arkansas, back to Chicago, and then ALL the way to Jackson, we ended up having a pretty great time visiting Aura and Co. The weather wasn't great, but it didn't rain as much as we'd expected, so we did get out some. We only had dinner with Garland one night (he was feeling pretty sick the rest of the time), but it was a delicious dinner, and he was generous enough to share his appetizer with me, AND he picked up the check. (Thanks, Garland! Much appreciated. I hope you're feeling much better at the moment.) Friday, Aura took us and her kids from work to the Granite Hot Springs, (it's a big man-made pool with water from the hot springs... kind of self-explanatory I guess) which was super hot and super fun.
Aura with Jonah and Isabelle in the hot springs.
The rest of our big plans for the weekend sort of got canceled out by weather, but I guess that just means it wasn't meant to be. Probably we would have been blown off the mountain if we'd gone up in the tram, or popped our raft if we'd gone in the river. Sometimes I just have a 6th sense about these things, you see. The highlight of Matt's trip was the super competitive kickball game in which he showed off his dazzling kicking skills, and ALMOST carried our team to victory (we lost, 19 to 3), following which he hurt his knee and limped around for the remainder of the trip. (On a side note, I'm wondering if that wasn't just a ploy to lay around and watch soccer... he seems perfectly fine now.) Anyway, It was great seeing the Jackson clan again, and I'm pretty thankful Aura guilted me into coming in the first place.
Our Greedy tournament. Christian (far left) beat me (finally) and Aura was very pleased with herself for beating us all by something like 6,000 points. She taped the score in the refrigerator.
No news coming in from India as of yet, which probably means we'll be delayed again. I'm having a little trouble getting prepped for this trip because I feel like it's never going to happen. I have yet to pack anything, although I still have one suitcase full of stuff I took to India last time... so I guess that means I'm halfway there. I'm going to do my best to get really excited and make the most of this trip if I can. I'll try to steer clear of the Debbie Downer remarks while I'm there... but remember, TRY would be the operative word in this scenario. I have been reading a lot in the India guidebook trying to map out a rough plan for when (or if) Mom comes to visit, and it sounds like everyone who visits has a sort of love hate relationship with the whole country. So see, I'm not alone! It looks like there are some pretty amazing places to visit there, if only we have enough time, money and patience to navigate our way to them. All of this is beside the point, however, if we never get to go back.
Christian and Aura. I know what you're thinking, and yes, those are in fact matching sweaters.
Anyway, that's about all my news. I went shopping yesterday and spent the rest of my Forever 21 gift card (if I haven't told you that story, then you won't understand what a huge accomplishment this is), and I bought some pretty swanky (and cheap!) jeans at the Gap. Also, Fayetteville, Arkansas made my latest installment of People Magazine, with a picture of Mariah Carrey singing at the Wal-Mart shareholders convention. I knew I should have gone! I have also just discovered the microwave in my room isn't working. How will I re-heat my lunch? Danielle is coming back through this area for the last time tonight before heading back to Thailand, which will probably take her through the end of the year. Bummer! I'm excited to see her tonight though, and we will meet again on the other side...(and by the other side, I mean Myanmar or elsewhere, not Heaven). Anyway, that's the news of the day. Probably nothing else of note will be happening, but if it does, you know I'll be on top of it.