Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Willkommen to the USA

Hey blog readers. As I sit down to write this blog I am definitely feeling a bit jet lagged from my recent trip back home to the USA, but the trip was well worth it! I can't believe it's over, the week flew by faster than I ever thought it could. From the moment the German and I arrived  my wonderful parents made sure the trip was special and welcoming. We arrived from the airport to this banner my mom had made for us. It was a great way to start the trip! 

The weather was absolutely amazing and all of the trees were in full bloom. It was also the 100th celebration of the Cherry Blossom's in Washington, DC. Our neighborhood also had their Cherry Trees in Full Bloom and they were gorgeous! 

We flew in on Thursday afternoon and quickly to follow our landing was a big dinner with family and friends. I was super excited to see my friends Michelle and Amy and my Aunt and Uncle after such a long break! Friday morning we headed down to Charlottesville, VA for my friend Sarah's wedding. The wedding ceremony and reception was held at King's Family Winery and we couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather. 

I was a bridesmaid in the wedding and it was such an honor to be part of Sarah and John's special day! I was also excited for the German to experience an American wedding, and as expected he loved it!

The Bridal Party

View at the altar for the wedding ceremony

The wedding was also extra special because my parents were also attending. We all had such a great time cutting a rug together at the reception! 

Our busy schedule kept on rolling after the wedding. We headed back up to DC for the Bruce Springsteen Concert and then early Monday morning my parents drove us to the beach at Ocean City, MD. It was so great relaxing on the sand. Both the German and I felt that the beach was the best place to relax and get over our jet lag. We also loved riding the beach cruisers on the boardwalk!

After two days at the beach house we headed back to Vienna and it was time for me to show off my home town to the German. Downtown DC is about 10 miles from my house, so the German and I decided to do a bike tour of the city. Here are some of the highlights of the monuments we visited: 

The Lincoln Monument

I was excited to see the new Martin Luther King Jr. Monument. It recently opened this past year and was one of the German's favorites on the tour! 

View of the Washington Monument

We loved the World Ward II Memorial the best because of the water fountains. 

There was a section dedicated to other international countries including Germany. 

Other stops on the tour included the White House

and the Capital. I totally recommend touring DC on a bike! It makes it so easy to get around to all the monuments.

Friday was my 28th Birthday and to celebrate I decided to jump out of a plane. I know, it's not what most people would think to do, but it was something I had always wanted to try and what better day to do it. My brother, cousin Kyle, and best friend from VA Tech Adrian decided to join me. The German was bumbed because he was originally signed up to jump, but had knee surgery in January that prevented him from taking the leap with us. But he was more than willing to support and take pictures of our adventure!  

As I was loading into the plane the butterflies started setting in.  

Before I knew it we were 10,000 feet in the air and the door in front of me opened. I was the first to jump, and was over so fast! I was extremely happy to get to the ground safely.

 It was the most terrifying experience of my life, and while I am happy I did it I don't think I will be doing it again anytime soon. The other three in the group were ready to go again, but for now I think I will just support them from the Earth! 

 Adrian landed right after me, and I was still trying to catch my breath. I was pretty flustered for a few hours after the jump. Adrian's instructor decided they were doing a back flip from the plane. She is such a dare devil!

Everyone landed safely! 

After the jump I was ready to get back to Vienna because my parents were throwing me a birthday party. It was great to visit with friends who drove in from out of town for the party and all of my family! My mom prepared a feast of BBQ, grilled chicken, deviled eggs, seafood paella, bratwurst, pasta salad, and much more! I am still reminiscing about the food and how great it was! My parents worked so hard to get the house ready for the party and prepare the food, I can't thank them enough!

The Thorne's

The German and M; oh yea I also cut my hair for my birthday-6 inches gone!

 The German, Me and my Brother David

 We also had a great time hanging out with our close family friend, Donna. She was also such a help at the party! 

On Saturday, our last full day of the trip, I decided to take the German to one of my favorite spots about 15 minutes from my house. Great Falls  is a national park offering great hiking and views of the Potomac River. 

We couldn't have asked for nicer weather! 

The views are pretty amazing!

Sunday was Easter, and with an afternoon flight we decided to just spend the day relaxing after Church. Here is a picture of my family on Easter morning. 

 The German and Me

The trip was such a whirlwind! It's so hard to believe it's over, and I have so many great memories still occupying my mind. I can't wait to plan the next visit back home!  
 Until next time, I will see you on the internet.