in the family
I never have been one to complain about family reunions. That's because my family is just too cool. There's no pinching of the cheeks or wet, smudgy lipstick kisses. There's mini golf, frisbee, hiking, a volleyball tournament (which the Brooks branch always wins, this year, thanks to my crushing serves), a hilarious talent show, more intense card games than you could imagine and late nights catching up on the previous four years. Sure there are issues, every family has issues. But when it comes down to it, we're all friends just as much as we are family. There were 80+ people at the 7th quadrennial Amend Family reunion - my dad's mom and her brothers and all of their families: four generations! Just check out the pictures and see how fun we are.

around the world
It's killing me. Everyone seems to be traveling the globe, or just finished traveling, or just about to say "bon voyage" and head out into the world. My parents just returned from New Zealand; Retka has landed in Manchester (and has a new look to her blog to suit her new British adventures); my cousin Devin just returned from a 6-month trek around Europe; I'm house-sitting for the Kennedy family as my friend Erin and her family visit her sister in Australia; my friend Jennifer just returned from studying in Italy; and my friend Sarah leaves in a week to study in London. Devin and I stayed up until 1 in the morning the first night of the family reunion, sharing our Europe pictures and talking about the feeling you get when entering a foreign city for the first time, the people you meet along the way and the adventures that stick with you forever. I miss that. That night, having heard Devin's stories and relived my own experience and while thinking about Megan on her flight at that moment, I got a little teary eyed. I'm a bit jealous; jealous of Megan's future adventures and of Devin's fresh memories. It's been more than a year since I tucked my passport into my bag and set out to lose myself in a new culture.

Maybe that's why I'm so excited about the move to Arizona. Phoenix is a new climate, a new culture (I might have to teach myself some Spanish, the second language there; "Vino rojo, por favor"), a new city full of people I don't know yet. Phoenix is potential: potential adventure, potential jobs. I may not need my passport, but it'll be a trip and I need that now.

So, here's to travel; to adventure in new places and new times; to a family that embraces each other and explorations around the world. And here's the to savings account I am going to set up exclusively for treks around the globe.

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