We always kind of hoped this year of fun thing would never end, but we always kind of knew there’d come a day when that loosely-defined thing called “Reality” would come knocking on our door*. Well, Reality has come a-knocking, this time in the form of 5 AM wake ups and increasingly rainy and grey skies. Yes, you guessed it, yours truly is returning to his more formal role of daytime superhero/middle school science teacher, but this time it’s all about sustaining that positive attitude, balancing that daytime superheroing with afternoon exercise (staving off the blerch!) and evenings of fun. Yes, the Year of Fun becomes the Year of Balance tonight.
But enough of the mushy stuff. Here’s what we did over the summer!
1. We, over the course of two days back in June, went from Merzouga, Morocco to Madrid, Spain by riding camels, riding overnight busses, riding trains, catching an intercontinental ferry that we nearly missed, getting on more busses, then getting on more trains. But the fun didn’t stop here. No, we got up at 3 AM on the third day to catch a plane to Lisbon, Portugal. And you know what we did two days later? We got up at 5 AM to get on a plane that took us back to Madrid… (well, to be fair, then it took us to Chicago, and then to Seattle, but it did take us straight back to Madrid.) Lots of fun, lots of memories.
2. We then commenced Road Trip 2.0 in which we drove from Seattle to the midwest, nearly recreating our experience from one short year ago. If there’s one thing I’ve become more in tune with during this past year, it’s that there are a lot of beautiful places out there in our world, but some of the most beautiful sights in the entire world can be glimpsed right here in our very own United States of America. You should get a National Parks pass. Just do it and use it. You won’t regret it.
3. In the midwest we attended a wedding in Indianapolis that included a reception at Lucas Oil Stadium and a 13-person photography team, some of whom were controlling their own personal drones with cameras attached. (Not a bad Christmas present idea!! … wink, wink).
4. But the vast majority of our summer included helping my parents out on their newly-certified organic garlic farm just outside of Ann Arbor, MI, and this became one of our highlights of the year! We enjoyed our WWOOFing experience on Hawai’i, but our experience at my parents’ farm was much more of what we were hoping to experience as WWOOFers. Things like sanitary kitchen (and bathroom) experiences and a generally industrious spirit were much appreciated compared to the lack thereof which we ran into in Hawai’i. On the garlic farm we did it all, even including tractor-driving and marketing!
5. Meanwhile, both Anna and I were job-hunting back in Michigan in an effort to move there on account of the difference in relative proximity to our parents and families. Suffice it to say that we both brought our A-game, and even made it to some final rounds of interviews, but no job offers came. I can think of at least two moms out there who think those interview teams made a huge mistake.
6. In the end, though, here we find ourselves back in Seattle, and you know school is supposed to be starting because the rain has started. We’re very excited to get started here again and apply the things we’ve learned on our year of fun to our everyday lives (like the Year of Balance mentioned above). And speaking of things we’ve learned, one thing I definitely learned was that while all our cultures around the globe are certainly different, we all share a lot in common that is often overlooked. We all laugh, we all cry, we all like to connect with each other. So it’s with this in mind that I would like to share with you all something that has stuck with me since my own middle school years that likely planted some seeds in my mind that eventually grew into my own enthusiasm for our Year of Fun idea back when that’s all it was. I give you all a classic Animaniacs clip entitled Schnitzelbank!
Thanks for coming along on the Year of Fun, everybody! What a long, strange (at times) journey it’s been! So glad to have had you along for the ride with us!
Team Awesome, signing out.
* When I say “our door”, what I really mean is our friends Dan and Gina’s door, because even though we’ve been back in Seattle for two weeks and school starts in eleven hours, we’re still occupying their extra room and don’t have a front door to call our own yet.