September 21st, 2009
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2009 was a crazy summer for me; I was on the move from July 15 to August 25. Because of my visa situation, I needed to get out of Switzerland for awhile until I could re-enter as a tourist again. I looked into spending the time in Konstanz, Germany, just over the border from Switzerland, but then decided that going back to the US would be the best solution. While it was a pain to have to leave and deal with this situation, it ended up being a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to spend time with lots of friends and family.
Summary: 6 weeks, 3 countries, 7 states, 14 flights, 2 roadtrips, 3 weddings
Details of each trip:
New York City
One night layover in NYC on my way from Zürich to Chautauqua. It had been a long time since I was in the “Big Apple” and it was good to be back. I stayed with Emily Grey and her then fiance (now husband), Jason. Emily and I got some good NY pizza for dinner then met up with Aaron Niedermayer for a drink…and more pizza. Did I mention that I like the pizza in New York?
Duke University (Durham, NC)
After leaving NYC, I spent one night with my family in Chautauqua before getting back on a plane for the third day in a row. This time I flew down to Durham, NC to visit my alma mater, Duke University with Emily Grey, Lindsay Derman, and Lesley Ledwell. They had already planned the trip and I joined them at the last minute when I a) found out I would be in the USA and b) found a cheap flight. We had a great time all weekend catching up, walking around campus admiring all the new buildings, and eating at all of our old favorite spots (including Cosmic Cantina and Cook Out).
On a side note, we stayed at the Washington Duke Inn, which was a first for me. It was nicer and more reasonably priced than I had expected. I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Duke.
The next weekend I drove from Chautauqua, NY to Morgantown, WV (~4 hours). I met Emily there for the wedding of one of her good friends from high school. I was just there for one night, but it was good to see Emily again, if only briefly.
The next (long) weekend, I drove back home to Elkhart with my parents. They had already been planning to go back so I tagged along. I spent most of the time working, but I also got to see my friend Matt and his little baby girl, as well as some other family friends. Apparently, I got back to Elkhart the day after my 10 year high school reunion…that nobody told me about. Oh well. Also, Obama was in Elkhart County while I was there (his fourth time this year), but that was a closed event so I didn’t get to go.
I spent most of July at our family’s cottage in Chautauqua Institution in Western New York. Chautauqua is a very unique and relaxing place; it was nice to be able to spend some more time there with my family again. I basically would spend all week working there then head off somewhere for the weekend (Duke, WV, Elkhart). All week I would eat good home cooked meals and then stop by the ampitheatre to see the entertainment for the night, which included several symphonies as well as a one-man theatre show from Jason Alexander (aka George Kostanza from Seinfeld). I also ran in the Chautauqua Old First Night Run.
To be continued…
Also, I will update with pictures as soon as they are posted online (soon).