Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Holidays Away from Home

I never knew how much holidays meant to me. I mean, I've always  had a penchant for cutesy holiday-themed treats, but this runs deeper than that. I miss the tradition of celebrating with friends and family. I miss the fireworks, the pumpkin carving, and the holiday lights. I miss the intoxicating smell of the Thanksgiving turkey cooking in the oven, sneaking a taste of prime rib before it's served on Christmas Day, and drinking green beer on St. Patty's Day. There's a strange void when these events vanish completely.

Gobble, gobble!
Today is Halloween and it's one of my favorite holidays. I've been surprised to see a few costumes pop up in stores here in South Africa, as well as special features like "Nightmare on Elm Street" showing on TV. I could certainly go buy a pumpkin at the grocery store, carve it, and display it on the doorstep, but it doesn't have the same impact when you're the only one celebrating!

Violence is never the answer. Not even for zombie nurses.
We have another big holiday coming up during our stay in South Africa: Thanksgiving. Jim and I are hoping to find a turkey (we haven't seen one yet!) and host a proper feast for our neighbors. We'll probably be making the stuffing and pumpkin pie from scratch, as I don't think they're going to be available in a box or pre-made. And the cranberries? I guess we'll have to improvise. They seem to be a New World thing!

The good news is that we'll be home for Christmas. That's right, we're coming back to Phoenix in December! As you can see from our travel map, it's going to be a long trek back across the Atlantic. We're breaking it up with a stopover in Europe (more time in Croatia!), and will arrive in Arizona at the beginning of December.

Have we decided to quit traveling? No, not yet. Our trip to Phoenix is only an extended visit. After the New Year, we want to change course and head south for a while. We've got an urge to flex our Spanglish muscles... and we miss tacos and hot sauce.

We are both very excited to be coming home to Arizona. It will be so wonderful to be surrounded by a comfy, familiar world again, full of awesome friends who we've missed hanging out with! So mark your calendars, and let us know when you're around. We can't wait to see you!