After almost a month in the US, we arrived back home to sunny skies and 80-degree weather about two weeks ago. Now that we’ve been back a while I’ve decided that visiting Nebraska in the winter is a lot like childbirth–painful at the moment you’re experiencing it, but after some time has passes you tend to forget that and just hold on the good memories.
Here are some of the highlights of our December visit to the US:
When we left Arusha the weather was in the 80s so we boarded our first plane wearing shorts and sandals. We had warmer clothes and shoes in our carry-on bags and the plan was for Mom to meet us in Baltimore and she would have warm coats for us. Though things didn’t quite go according to plan…
Our flight to London was canceled because of snow so we got rerouted through Amsterdam. During our 10-hour layover there, it started snowing there, too. This was the first time Max and Elly had ever seen snow close-up. The only snow they had seen previously was on the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
The snow in Amsterdam delayed our departure which made us miss our connection in New York. So we were rebooked on a flight the next morning which meant we had to sleep in the airport because it was too cold for us to go outside to get to a hotel (remember, we had no warm coats at this time because Mom was in Baltimore with them).
Once we finally arrived in Baltimore and got our warm coats from Mom, there were a few light snow flurries through the night that left behind just enough snow for Max and Elly to get their first feel of it.
Those first few days were bitterly cold so we took refuge at the National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center.
As the week progressed we got more snow in Baltimore and Max and Elly got to throw their first snowballs…and I was the lucky target!
After a week of fun in Baltimore, we were on a plane again to Nebraska, where there was more snow waiting for us. It was practically impossible for the kids to resist playing in the snow any time we went outside.
We spent a lot of time with family in Nebraska. On Christmas Eve we attended the candlelight service at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Wayne and Santa managed to find us at Grandma’s house.
Max got his first LEGOs and Elly added to her already significant Barbie collection.
After Christmas, we went back to Omaha to meet up with some twin friends who drove from Kansas to visit us for a couple of days. It was so cold out we stayed in to take advantage of the hotel pool and pizza delivery but managed to venture out one day to the Omaha Children’s Museum.
One more special visit in Omaha was with Max and Elly’s godparents Wendy and Kelvin. (Mommy got to enjoy a Girls’ Day Out with Wendy, too!)
Our international flights were out of Baltimore so we flew back there for one night and were supposed to fly out early the next afternoon through New York and then on to London. But wouldn’t you know it, snow foiled our plans again! Our flights into and out of New York were canceled but, fortunately, we were able to get a direct flight from Baltimore to London. That meant we had a little extra time in Baltimore so the kids enjoyed one more dip in the pool before bundling up for the last time to make the drive to the airport.
After two long flights, we reached Nairobi to discover one of our bags didn’t make the connection in London. But we were so happy to be reunited with Daddy that we didn’t mind! We spent that night in Nairobi and then next day drove back to Arusha.
The very next morning Kakasii left on safari and the three of us slept and slept and slept.
The following morning Max and Elly had a 9 am appointment at the Jaffery Academy to take their entrance exams. We took a few more days for them to get over their jet lag and on that Thursday they started school.
It was a great trip and we are grateful for all the people we got to see, especially since the weather was so incredibly cold during most of our visit. The good news is that the school holiday schedule at the Jaffery Academy means we can come to visit Nebraska in the summertime! So look for our return in July 2019!