19 January 2016

When I Visit the USA Someday...

These are all the things I want to do:

- Teach my nephew some cool stuff. Because that's what aunts and uncles are supposed to do, and he's nowhere near as little as he used to be.

- Eat nachos al carbon at my favorite Mexican restaurant in Michigan.

- Eat at Papa John's. Preferably more than once.

-Get caught up on paperwork, renewing driver's licenses and all that fun stuff.

- See all of our Michigan and Texas family (and family in other states, too, if we could swing it)

- If we do make it to states other than TX and MI, I'd love to hang out in my aunt's glass art studio again.

- NOT see any snow.

-Walk through a supermarket and marvel at the foods available.

- Spend some time enjoying the peace and quiet of Bois Blanc Island in northern Michigan.

- Go swing dancing downtown in the city where Angel used to work.

- Visit our old college campus and find and say hi to the professors who haven't retired yet (a shockingly high number of our professors have retired since we graduated...shocking considered I graduated less than 4 years ago).

- Visit either Disney in Orlando or Disney in Anaheim. California might be more plausible since I could spin it as an opportunity for Angel to see his old hometown and his relatives. Unfortunately, I'm not related to anyone in Orlando. Seems like I ought to be, I have family everywhere else...

- Have a family barbecue outdoors on the farm or at the park.

- Visit with all our Michigan friends, from college and church and work.

- Eat one good steak. I'm not even a steak snob, honestly, Logan's is fine with me and I know that's not fine dining. Even one that's home-grilled would be great. We've pretty much given up beef since our move due to cost.

- Angel specifically requests getting a Strawberry Limeade at Sonic.

- Go canoeing at Lake Mineral Wells Park in Texas.

-See at least some location in the USA I've never seen before.

- Stock up on stuff like easily available art supplies and school textbooks and materials and delicious SweetTarts and blue haircolor to bring home with us in our suitcases.

- See our first home once more.

 And....that's why we simply won't go back, not for a long time anyway, because we'd eat far too much unhealthy food and spend far too much money on traveling and irresponsible fun if we were back in our own country. I won't even think about the terrible Ringgit to USD exchange rate at the moment, because it'll probably be totally different by the time we're planning a trip (at least that's what I tell myself). We've only been gone a year and a half, so we're not even close to due for a trip home. I love living here, but I think the USA is a great place to take a vacation! When we do go, we'll obviously have to go in summer or fall. No offense to Michiganders, but it's just not that great of a place to be in the winter! I would know...I spent too many winters there...

What would be the first things you would do if you returned to your passport country after a long time away?


  1. This is a great list! The "limeade at Sonic" really made me smile. Sometimes, it's just htose small things in life! Like super cheap frozen cappuccinos from a particular gas station. Hmm, I haven't really thought much on this topic before, but it's a good question! Maybe it'd be "go to a small American diner," because while I don't go to diners all that often, I do like them a lot. They always make me feel so-I don't know, "American," I guess. One time, my dad took me to an ancient drive-in/diner combo, and I felt like I had jumped back into the 1950s. It was great :)

  2. I moved to the US three months ago and have to go back to Australia in April for a wedding. I wish we didn't have to go back so soon, I think it is a waste to be honest and I would have preferred to visit places in/around the US than to go back home.

  3. Does Washington count as my passport country even though it's technically one state (and part of Canada) away from me? I can't get there except by flying so it has to count at least a little bit, right? ;) If yes...hike Snoqualmie Falls and Snow Lake, eat at Dick's Burgers and Ipanema and Ivar's, go to a Seahawks or Mariners game (depending on the season), walk around Green Lake a few times, goof around at Gasworks Park, kayak or canoe around the Arboretum, spend an afternoon at Pike Place, go to as many malls as possible, and of course visit friends and family I rarely get to see. My list could go on and on and on but I'll stop there.

  4. Oh my sister in law, and brother in law are in your swing dancing photo. They are both married to my husband's siblings. Small-small world...

    1. Ha! Well I guess G.R.O.S.S. is a pretty popular place to go on Tuesday nights! :)

  5. Great list Rachel! I would visit with family and enjoy some of my favorite coffee and food.

  6. You have some seriously great ideas in your list!!
    Karen |

  7. sounds like a very good plan!

  8. So I take it you're from Michigan? I've always been curious to see how healthy people in other countries eat compared to us!! I love all of this. A good steak sounds amazing right about now...

  9. Great list! Orlando over Anaheim for sure! Staying away from seeing snow is a tall order for Michigan

  10. This is such a fun list! I hope you do get to visit relatively soon!

  11. As a Texas girl I love this list! I hope you get to come back and visit sometime soon with your family!

  12. Out of curiosity, what is this Mexican eatry in Michigan you like so? Mexican town in Detroit has reallyyyy good Mexican food if you ever come to the Detroit area:)

    And I'm right there with ya sister on the snow...I am a Midwesterner who can DEFINITELY live without it ever again ;)

  13. I feel like you've covered all the bases with this list! I would absolutely miss Papa Johns! Hope you get to come back and visit with your family soon.

  14. Love this list. Being an auntie is the best :) It may not be soon that you visit but when you do, it sounds like it will be a blast!!

  15. I have a new respect for you Rachel to be a part of Texas! :) I hope that you are able to do EVERYTHING on your list when you get to come back and visit the USA!


  16. It's so interesting to hear what people want to do in the U.S. I live here in Colorado. I have never been to Malaysia, but I'd love to visit. I hope you get to do everything when you come here! I just got back last night from Disney World in Florida :) it's so amazing! I personally think its 1,000 times better than Disney Land in Cali. But they are both great!
    Danielle Greco -

  17. I'd love to go to America some day, I just happen to love unhealthy food and irresponsible fun haha. When on holiday, anyways. :P

    Christie's Take on Life. x

  18. If I were visiting the USA after some time away, I would probably eat all of my favorite foods, visit my friends and family. Go to my old church and visit some other places I use to waste away time.

  19. And, you'd do it all in a week's time! ;) But STEAK and SONIC, yes!

  20. This checklist is AWESOME!! come visit!!!

  21. I'd be like you, never come back for winter.


  22. I definitely agree with the "NOT see snow" statement, I'm only a fan of snow on Christmas Day (Just ONE DAY!). Also, I've never been to Sonic, but now I want to try a strawberry limeade.

  23. Aw, this is a lovely list with lovely photos--your nephew is too precious! This really makes me appreciate some of the familiar conveniences of the US. I'm sure I'll have quite a list of things to do when I return to the US if I study abroad.

    The "NOT see snow" made me laugh--I'm with you on that one! Your first home is beautiful--the grassy fields and expansive skies are so liberating.

    imperfect idealist

  24. Haha.. It's funny how so many of the things you mention as American luxuries are things we can find so much more easily here in KL than when we lived in Anchorage. We have laughed about that several times just in our first week or so here. In fact, we just found a Garret's Popcorn at the mall (maybe not a MI thing-- but Chicago!) and we were so excited! It's almost even more American than Western Europe. As for if we returned home, I think seeing family would be huge. I haven't lived within less than a day's drive of my parents for seven or eight years. It's hard! And now that I'm married, I would love to be able to see my in-laws more often too. As for food- Chickfila! I'm a Southern girl and I miss my sweet tea and chicken sandwiches ;)

  25. BUT the unhealthy food is so good and Angel is right about the Sonic limeades! SOOO good.

    Also, when I go to the grocery store it is a bit overwhelming with all of the food choices. I forgot there are 1.2 million cheese options and it is super hard to decide.

  26. hahaha, I feel ya on the non-snow part--I only like seeing snow if I'm specifically traveling somewhere in search of it (e.g. to snowboard/go sledding, etc.)! :P I like all the food goals you have, and I'd love to go swing dancing at some point too!

  27. I missed cherry limeades from Sonic something fierce when I lived in Hawaii! The one food place that actually made me feel at home there? Papa John's! Haha. Although, shortly before we left the island, we got a Texas franchise right down the street from our house: Wing Stop! Yumm!

    Hope you can swing a U.S. visit sometime in the semi-near future!


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