Friday Night/ The Journey Home/ Initial Photos
The last night IPJ students spent together (not to mention the morning after) was an emotional one, especially for me. I can still see them in my heads, not to mention Georgetown, as I sit at my computer and enjoy the wonderful California weather (Ari keeps going, "Oh, it's so hot," and I'm just enjoying it, after eight weeks of humidity).
I danced the night away, drinking a beer and hanging out with my friends. I miss them so much already that it's slightly scary. I enjoyed my last night, just having a good time and sitting out on the steps. Unfortunately for me, I didn't get to say goodbye to everyone I wanted to, but I said goodbye to a lot of people.
The next morning was super-crazy. Robert missed his flight, and didn't call me so I could say goodbye to him. Not happy about that, but I'm more likely to see him soon. I put Oren on a bus on Friday, and I couldn't have been sadder to see him go, but he, too, I will see very soon. Saying goodbye to Felicia, AJ, Mary Ellen, Radim, and everyone was hard for me. I've lived with them for eight weeks, and for the first time in two months, I wasn't waking up and knowing that I would see them sometime during the day.
But cleaning was tough. There was just so much shit to do. It was so difficult to deal with, but somehow, we got through it. Then came time for my shuttle. I ordered a Super Shuttle ahead of time, and it came a half an hour late. I was so upset, because I wanted to be at the airport early enough so I could relax and take some time off. Eventually, I decided to go in a cab with a fellow IPJer, and take that to the airport. It was the same exact price that it would have been if I went with the Super Shuttle.
I went into the airport on my own, but I wasn't there for long. A fellow TFAS person (he was in ICEPS) and Nikki Smith, future executive editor of the Daily Titan, were also there. Nikki came on as a standby, and it was a long five hours of watching cartoons and looking out the window. I was missing DC, but I honestly couldn't wait. Those five hours on the airplane felt like waking up from a two-month-long dream. And it really did feel like a dream. I can't believe I was there.
When Nikki and I got out of the terminal, I looked for Ari for... oh, about five seconds. And when I saw him, I was greeted by the most handsome man I had seen, complete in a suit (just the way I wanted him). I couldn't believe how happy I was to see him, to be near him. He just was amazing, and I couldn't believe how badly I missed this person, and how much I had been waiting for that moment for two months. And two months later, it was there. Pickles (the teddy bear) met his dad for the first time, after everyone at the airport pet him and thought he was just SO adorable (which he is), but I couldn't believe how lucky I was at that moment.
We went home and... um, my mom's going to read this, and she even commented that kissing is unsanitary, but oh well, you get the idea... but afterwards, we went to El Torito to have dinner. But the most important thing I learned on this trip? I think I'm allergic to alcohol. And the effect it has is that a very small amount can have the same effect on me as a very large amount. But we went home, and Ari did something very sweet: he requested a song on the radio for me. It was "Every time I close my eyes," by Babyface. It was so romantic, and it pretty much summed up everything I was feeling. I was so happy to be in his arms, and I was so sure that I wouldn't last the trip. Yet I did, and held my sweetheart so close to me.
The next morning, we woke up, got dressed, and headed up to Thousand Oaks. I had a chai tea from Coffee Bean for the first time in eight weeks, which was like pure heaven. There was no humidity, which felt incredible (no matter how many times Ari said it was so hot, I LOVED IT). And I came home, in a Georgetown t-shirt, to greet my mom, dad, sister, grandmother and dog, almost like a triumphant hero, yet with one of the most important people in my life next to me.
I realized why I said so many times that this was it for me. I remembered just looking at him, by the way he treated me and the way he just was. I got to say hello to everyone who I missed, but it was different having Ari by my side. It just felt right. And even though I would have loved for him to come out to DC, the fact is that this moment was just so sweet when it came it was unbelievable.
And yet... I miss Georgetown. It feels like a dream, a long and crazy dream that I woke up from. And yet it wasn't. It was real, and it was unbelievable. I love DC, and realize that it's just as much my city as it was my grandfather's. And I realized something... each of my family members had to experience a long separation from a person they were married to and/or in love with. My grandfather spent WWII in DC. My father spent three months in Houston. I spent two in DC myself. It almost seems like it comes full circle, life comes full circle. And I miss what I had, although I am happy to be back. Some of the people who entered my life will never be replaced, and I will love them always.
And on that note... here are some initial photos I got. Special thanks go to Lauren Smith, who gave me a link to the photos. I love them all, but I'm posting just a few for starters, with captions. Here goes!
Katie, AJ and Aubrey playing in the rain. I would join them a little bit after this picture was taken, and so would Lauren.
The Washington Nationals game... uh, I was pretty drunk that night, so thank goodness someone else was taking pictures.
A whole bunch of us in Aubrey's dorm, getting ready to go to Tequila Beach.
Katie, Danielle (Princess) and Josh in front of the White House.
Fourth of July fireworks!
Me, Tarryn, Katie and Aubrey on the Mall during fourth of July.
Resident smooth talker ER, with Aubrey and Katie.
More to come (eventually!)