Back in the States

Whoa. I can’t believe we were in the US for two weeks, because we rushed through it so quickly.
NYC!!!

Times Square


World Trade Center Site

Almost got my Mom this card

Jacob’s first time, my second. You’ve got to love this city. We stayed in Queens at a YMCA. Jacob could play basketball just by walking out the front door. We were in Asiatown with an amazing grocery store with a million things you’ve never seen before imported from Asia, and excellent Japanese restaurants.

We went to go visit my college roommates Lana and Andrea. I had never seen Andrea’s William or Lana’s Dallin. They were born within a couple weeks of each other.

Lana and Andrea are the kind of friends for me that know my worst habits, weirdest traits, and still are always there for me no matter what! It was great to see them again—I don’t think I’d seen Lana since my wedding, and Andrea since we decided to up and move to Missouri.

Lana and Andrea are both married to future heroes. Well, future healers of sorts, which to me is like being a hero. Lana’s married to Scott, who will heal people’s teeth. Andrea’s married to Jordon, who will heal people’s bodies. They’re both in school. Unfortunately Scott couldn’t make it up but he lent his family for a couple of days which was very nice.

Andrea’s grandma from Bolivia was there. She only spoke Spanish, but you could tell what a sweetheart she was by her soft voice and cooing over her great grandson.

William is a little sweetie, with huge eyes and looong eyelashes. He is really good at playing and focusing on his own activity. He seemed to take a real liking to Jacob, and played with him right away without being shy.

Dallin is a little guy with a sudden, huge smile that equals his sudden, loud yells :) He is snuggly and cheerful.

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Jared, who is 3, I have met a couple of times now. He and I enjoyed going on the round and around, where we pretended he was a fireman. He is a sharp, adventurous fellow. And he called Jacob “Jacob the Basher” after his friend from church who hits a lot. He seemed to like Jacob despite the nickname though and wanted to ride the airplane with him.

Crazy to be around kids again. But fun!

I was really looking forward to Andrea’s cooking and I wasn’t disappointed. Together, we all made grilled salmon, asparagus, and pineapple. And I was introduced to Pinera. Great stuff!

KELLER, TEXAS!!!
My mom and dad have sure been busy arranging flights for us. We really appreciate all of their help. When we arrived Dad took us on a tour of his workplace. He has a lot of pride in what he does. He’s been working for American Airlines almost as long as he’s been married to Mom.
It’s been so strange to be home after all the places we’ve been. I get really bad allergies at home. Here is the supposed culprit:

Mellie has allergies herself, however, and crawls around on her belly to itch herself. This is why she wears a dress. Maybe we have allergies to another source altogether, who knows?

Jack had the flu, unfortunately. So he was pretty much zonked the whole time we were there. He is such a super busy guy. He’s in early morning seminary, choir, and marching band. He just made All-Region choir which as a freshman is very exciting.
We bought the Sony ebook reader and returned it the next day because the software is not compatible with most computers. Yet we have greatly reduced our load and are traveling much more lightly even though we are still carrying around heavy books.
We went to Olive Garden (instead of The Spaghetti House which got vetoed). The unlimited salad and breadsticks were definitely missed while we were abroad.

We went to the Texas State Fair. Randomly, I ran into my friend Kendall, who lives in Utah, but has a sister in Dallas. We were on the Vienna study abroad together. She was fun to have around because she would mother us while away from home. She always had medicine for sick people, etc.

We went to the Keller Homecoming Parade! Jacob says he has never seen so much candy at the parade. We each had our own way of getting candy. Jacob encouraged me quietly from the sidelines: “Look, Sue. A Tootsie Roll. Go get it!” He didn’t want to chase after it being such a big guy among kids and all. But he would hold his hands out beseechingly and people would literally walk out of the parade and give him a whole handful. One little girl was very aggressive in her candy acquiring. She had enough candy for Halloween. I thought her mom was a little defensive. “She won’t eat it all,” she told us. “She’s going to share it with the rest of the family. Probably she’ll only get 1 or 2 pieces.”

We went to The Mikado, which is an operetta written by Simon and Garfunkel. No, by Gilbert and Sullivan. I think BYU did it a few years back. I was surprised by the quality of the voices, costumes, and make up. It’s just a little home theater, started by a BYU graduate.But, it was almost 3 hours long. That is a long time to hold my attention.
Biggest culture shock:
Definitely the amount of water in the toilets. America has at least 4 times the amount of water than any other country we’ve been. I ask you, is it really necessary? I vote for some water conservation. New York was the worst. It was filled three quarters of the way. When you flushed it splashed angrily up and got the seat all wet.
It’s strange to have been with friends and family for the last month or so, and to return to going to a strange land…my first time in the Southern Hemisphere and for both of us the first time to South America. Buenos Aires! Anyone ever been?
Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 361 awesome articles for us.

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