Eleven years ago, Justin and I met our freshman year in college. Who knew that one day we’d be part of the same family?
We took a trip for Justin’s graduation from Washington University in St. Louis. He received his Ph.D in Systems Science and Mathematics. We arrived a few days early, so we got precious one-on-one time with Justin before he moves to Singapore with Melissa.
Getting to St. Louis was quite an adventure— requiring the collaboration of some close friends. On Sunday, Forest drove us (all four of us!) and our luggage from Montreal to Norwich, Vermont. The two guys sat in the front seat. The three girls sat in the back seat. We stopped for lunch at a Mexican place in Montpelier. The little humans were surprisingly good for the whole trip.
Forest dropped us off at Lynn and Richard’s house in Norwich, then turned right back around and drove home to Canada. Now is that an amazing friend or what? We owe him BIG.
Lynn and Richard have a daughter named Eloise who was born just a few days after Leena. We got to swap new-parent stories. It was a full house. Richard’s younger sister was there to help with Eloise, because Lynn was starting back at work on Monday (so we got to be there to witness the transition). Lynn’s parents, who live nearby, came over. We had homemade pizzas and cake to celebrate Lynn’s mom’s birthday. The next morning, Richard made pancakes. Lynn got ready for work. We rented a car from nearby Lebanon Airport one-way to Manchester Airport in New Hampshire.
The flight had two legs: first to Baltimore, then to St. Louis. We got in around 9 p.m. and Justin was waiting for us by baggage claim. Sonya, in a tired voice, just kept saying “tubbie… tubbie… tubbie…” meaning she really wanted to take a bath because she felt dirty and wanted to be keen.
Several packages were waiting for us in St. Louis, including a special delivery from Linda, who worked with Drex back when he owned a start-up company called Advanced Reality.
Linda sent a blue toy that Sonya immediately started calling ehffunt and an adorable jungle sweater (there’s a purple minkey wearing a pink tutu!) for Leena.
My mom also sent a package with a few little items for Sonya, including eyegrrr and a booklet of stickers.
We went to the St. Louis Zoo. Here are Leena and Sonya contemplating the zebras in the distance.
Then we had a picnic in Forest Park. Sandwiches, apples, and chips. We talked about the essence of travel and Singapore and our dreams for the future.
Photo credits for the next few posts are shared with Justin, Melissa, Troy, and Ivy Ruths. Cameras were being passed around. Everyone pooled their pictures together in the end.
TO BE CONTINUED