I was surprised at how fast my time at home flew; before I realized how much time had passed, New Years Eve had arrived and it was time for a mini-road trip with one of my best friends from college—Emily! She had asked me to be her date to a college friend’s New Years Eve wedding, and I gladly agreed. Emily and I had gone on a mission trip to Mexico with the Lions Club a few years ago, where we met Elyse. I haven’t really seen Elyse since, but her and Emily have kept in touch and Emily was planning on driving to Fort Wayne, Indiana for Elyse’s wedding. I was more than willing to go on a road trip with Emily and celebrate our way into the New Year together, so it was a no-brainer decision for me. Fort Wayne is about three hours from my home in Ohio, so with only one quick pitstop for some Starbucks, we made excellent time getting there. We had rented a hotel room for the night, and had an hour before the wedding to get pretty. And then we were off to see Elyse get married! Somedays it shocks me that we’re all old enough to be getting married and having babies… when did that happen?
The wedding was beautifully done, and the bride was stunning. I think it was the fastest marriage ceremony I’ve ever attended—it was over in 10 minutes! And then the rest of the evening was spent companionably with Emily, catching up on life, eating yummy food, and drinking champagne (and also sparkling grape juice when I picked up the wrong glasses).
There was a dance floor and lots of country music being played (I’m avoiding crinkling my nose in disdain, seeing as I’m a firm believer in the music being to the bride and groom’s taste with no comment from the peanut gallery), but there was a shortage of gentlemen and very few couples on the floor. So Emily and I stayed till 11:30, and then headed back to our hotel room so we could see the ball drop on T.V. and do the countdown to 2012. We drove through McDonalds on our way back to the hotel, and took funny pictures with our noise-makers as we waited for the food. I think our crazy antics worried the woman at the drive-thru, because she told us to drive safely as we left. Here are one of the pictures in question—maybe we do look a little crazy ; )
We made it back to our hotel room and got the T.V. turned on just in time—it was 11:58 and the ball was just about to start dropping. We counted down with the people on T.V., and when we hit 12:00 we blew our noisemakers and welcomed 2012. I had a great night with Emily, and I’m glad we could start 2012 together!
The next morning we drove down to Taylor University, our alma mater where we met 5 years ago. We got coffee at our old Starbucks haunt and drove through campus, marveling at how much its changed just since our own graduations. They’ve added a pool, started construction on a huge addition to our science center, and restyled our old dormitory (for any former Bergwallers reading this, every room is now a 3 man! There are no more doubles!). It was a nice trip down memory lane, but I was surprised at how different it felt to be back on campus, only 2 years after my own graduation. How the time flies!
Our next stop was Olive Garden, where we met our dear friend Kristin, who I formerly called Rietzy-Poo, but who is now married and no longer a Rietz. I’m going to have to come up with a new nickname ; ) I haven’t seen Kristin in years, and it so great to see her and exchange news. She’s married now and I got to hear about her life and job in Indianapolis, and also eat yummy Italian food at the same time. The time went by too fast, and soon enough Emily and I had to get back on the road in order to beat a snow storm heading for Ohio. But here’s a picture I got of us at lunch—yay for time spent with wonderful college friends 🙂
If the time flew by getting to Indiana, it really dragged on the return trip back to Ohio! Emily was a trooper though, and got us home safe despite inclement weather. My Dad had one of my favorite home-cooked meals ready when we got there (Chicken and Rice Soup!), and I spent a wonderful evening cuddling my dog and vegging out on the couch. My time at home was rapidly coming to an end, and I tried to hold onto each passing minute and not think about how soon it would be over.
The next day was my last day home, mostly spent packing and running errands. My Mom came down with a terrible stomach flu, and we were concerned about whether our early departure for South Carolina the next morning was still possible. We did everything we could to pack and get ready for the trip, hoping she would recover in time. She still wasn’t well by dinner time, so Dad and I had to get something on our own to eat, and he surprised me by suggesting sushi. We went to my favorite restaurant and I checked another thing off my list to do at home—eat sushi : ) When we got home Mom was a little better, and I still had a ton of packing to do. Lucky for me, Justin, my best friend from high school, came over to help and keep me company. He was honestly more of a distraction than a help, but I’m glad my last night in Ohio was spent with him : ) Here’s some pictures of us cuddling Sophie—its still undetermined who she loves more, me or him. But I definitely love her more than he does ; )
Tuesday morning came too soon, and Mom was feeling well enough to hit the road. So we finished all the last-minute packing and loaded Dad’s truck up like we were leaving for a month rather than just a week ; ) The snow storm from the night before was almost finished, giving us a very white start to 2012. Maybe Santa Clause didn’t get the message, but isn’t it supposed to be a white Christmas? I quickly said goodbye to my cat and my puppies, and snapped a last picture of home, covered in snow. Goodbye Ohio, see you next Christmas when I’m home for good! : )
Read onto the next blog post to hear about our road trip, our visit to the beautiful Biltmore, and Heath’s graduation into the Marine Corps!