Back home

So here I am, all refreshed and rested after 15 hours of sleep the night before yesterday :), but still not very happy about leaving J and Sacramento :(

Sunday we spent all day packing boxes and cleaning out the apartment, since Jon will be moving to LA in a week already. I also had to pack my suitcases and run some more last-minute errands. In the evening, we went out to dinner with Aaron and Maria. I got to pick the place and I decided that I needed one more yummy Caesar salad at Mimi’s Café and it was delicious :)
I cleaned the kitchen in our apartment when we got home [all the fun stuff like scrubbing the oven and stove etc.] and then J and I lay down for a little while and of course fell asleep. I woke up again at 1:45 a.m. and had to force myself to get up and finish packing my suitcase. We went back to bed at 3:30 a.m. and our alarm rang at 7:00 a.m. :( just great!

I got up, took a shower, Maria came over at 8 a.m. to say goodbye (before she went to work) and then I went to the post office to give them our change of address forms and mail out the first package for my spouse visa! OMG. I hope I did everything right and things will move along quickly.

We left for San Francisco at 10:30 a.m. and had a bite to eat for lunch and then it was time to say goodbye again. Ah, how I hate these times at the airport :(  but I kept telling myself that it’s going to be for the last time!
I made sure they took out my I-94 at the check-in and when I got to the gate, I checked out again at one of these self-check out counters [that Kim told me about from Chicago]. Honestly, I am not sure if they had been there when I left San Francisco in November, but I swear I didn’t see them and I didn’t use them at all, although a security lady told me that they are mandatory and that you can get into trouble on your next entry [oh well, maybe that’s why I was pulled out upon my arrival in Minneapolis?!]
I must say that I think for being mandatory, these check-out counters are not very “visible” and if I hadn’t heard about them before, I would probably have ignored them completely. If they are mandatory, why don’t they have these check-out counters right at the gate where you have to pass them or otherwise can’t get on the plane??
Anyway, I have my check-out receipt and made sure twice that INS knows that I left the country as I promised.

The flight was long, but I like British Airways :) I traveled in a Boeing [big!] and every passenger had their own TV screen in the rear of the seat in front of them. That was very cool because you could chose between 6 movies and decide which one you wanted to watch. Also, I had an aisle seat in the middle row and the other three seats were empty :) unfortunately, I always end up with very rude people, because when realizing that nobody else would occupy these seats anymore, a man switched from his seat to the other aisle seat at the end of my row and -believe it or not- pretty soon lay down to sleep on all three seats next to me. I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t say anything, because I didn’t really feel like sleeping at that point anyways, but when he got up to use the lavatory, I put stuff on the seat next to me to make sure I have some more space.
I watched “Pride & Prejudice”, “The wedding crashers” and also finished the book that I was reading [The Kite runner], but couldn’t really sleep much.

We got to London on time and I had about 2,5 hours until my connecting flight and then I arrived in Düsseldorf at 3:30 p.m. My Mom picked me up at the airport and when we came home my sister and my aunt were waiting for us and we had some tea and talked for a little while.
Then my Dad came home and was very happy to see me :) and we had dinner together [bread and cold cuts :)]. Afterwards I called J real quick to let him know that I made it home safe [and it was so weird to talk on the phone again – how I hate going from 100 to 0 in a few hours].
I went to bed at 9:30 p.m. – that was how long I could force myself to stay up – and then slept 15 hours nonstop.

In the afternoon, my sister had arranged a meeting at one of the restaurants we were looking at for the wedding in May, which means I was thrown right into the middle of organization ;) My parents, Nina and I went there at 4 p.m., we were shown the room for  family celebrations and then sat down with the owner to talk about the food for a buffet. I  still want to look at some more places and get other cost estimates for the wedding.

I spent all last night looking at different places online and sending out  inquiries. My sleeping rhythm is totally messed up again, as I stayed up till 2 a.m., talked to Jon and then slept till 11 a.m. this morning. That’s jet leg for you.

Friday and Saturday, my sister is planning  take me gown-shopping, ha, this is so surreal ;) but I am sure it’s going to be fun!