Let’s get in our Tardis and jaunt on back to the week of June 20-28, when…too nerdy.
A month ago, I spent a week back in the states…too boring.
#MURICA. JUNE 20-28. (THAT’LL DO PIG, THAT’LL DO)
So I got to go to my various homes and here is that story.
**For best experience, play song**
I hopped in a plane at TAE with a dream and no cardigans, off to Seoul for 9 hours. How did I fill those 9 hours? GREAT QUESTION, YOU DIDN’T ASK! There is a jjimjilbang (Korean spa) in the bottom floor of the airport and I went down there to explore and paid less than $10 to sleep for 5 hours and soak in the hot/cool baths. If you remember my previous naked jjimjilbang horror story from last summer, don’t worry: this was nothing like that. I mean, there was nakedness, but no emotional/physical scarring. Just blissful sleep on a hardwood floor and solo soaking. I didn’t see another soul near me the whole time. Incheon Airport earns my vote for best.airport.ever.
I then slept fitfully through about 11 hours of flight until I landed in God’s glorious green Promised Land: Western Washington via Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. I squealed as I hugged my mom and two sisters and we (almost) all went on a mutual pee break before starting the drive back to Chez Bai(ley).
Upon arrival at the Nest, I discovered my dad, our dogs, and my Nana’s homemade Raspberry Pie. And although my body didn’t know what time or day it was, my stomach started hyperventilating at the thought of real, Washington raspberries (I left last year before raspberry season and it almost killed me [y’all know my blood was almost exclusively Diet Coke, raspberries and David’s Original Salted Sunflower Seeds before Korealand]).
I spent 4 sleepy, blissful days with my family at home: going on a lunch with my Dad at Boundary Bay Brewery and exploring a farmer’s market after which my dad proceeded to disobey me and keep snitching the artisanal whole wheat sourdough bread we got for dinner. Belated Mother’s Day (and early Brianna birthday) pedicures lady-times, steaks and lasagna and just lazy, jet-lagged, 4am happy-for-a-Keurig moments with the people I love and who put up with me living far, far away.
**view from the end of our driveway**
THEN THERE WAS YOU, ARKANSAS.
From SEA>PHX with Brianna then PHX>LIT solo, then I was back in the land of Sonics, sweet tea and hogs fans. I was wearing shorts (I know. I flew in shorts. I wear shorts now, thank you boxing) and a tshirt and just felt like everything in life was clicking back into place as I hugged Michael, was gifted a nice, cool can of Diet Coke and we headed to the place where I cried, sweated and loved: The Apple Store.
And there you all were.
The cool tones of the heavy tables, the immediate straightening of iPads that my fingers couldn’t stop caressing, the dulcet tones of indie-pop and cobalt tshirts. Oh, yes, and the people. My husband, the Bearded One, rustled out of his perch of power; the now ear-pierced Trace, my host and stylist; Abs, who although he had promised me his voice would startle me when I returned TOTALLY STILL STARTLED ME; and Lisa and Rampage and Everett (update: still smells like I imagine Jake Ryan smelled outside the church with Molly Ringwald) and Jonathan and Patrick and and and and all of you. God, everyone. Even if I didn’t like you, my heart was so happy to see you. Even if I met you that day, I was so, so happy. I forget how a place becomes a home. And while Arkansas is gracious and accepting, the people that work at that Apple Store are in a special class of magic. Thank you guys for molding me, loving me, and most of all, for missing me. I only teared up once. Or twice. Counting is irrelevant.
Look at these gorgeous people. Such family. Much love. We Ross shopped, Birks shopped, strange-drag-white trash-awesome-shopped, we ate (Chipotle, Damgoode Pies, Shipley’s Donuts, Whole Hog)…and I just cannot say enough about these people. I am most myself around them. I want to be better and aim higher and laugh more and make them laugh. I don’t really feel worthy of them all missing me, but then again, that’s what I think a friend-family is. They have seen me cry and grow and fail and win and cry again and hopefully there is a time where we will all be in the same place again together and continue doing that.
OK, no more sad sad, onto Tulsa!
There’s truly no better way to start off a road trip than with Shipley’s Donuts. In fact, I just called Ruth Bader-Ginsberg and we stamped that into law. You’re welcome.
Michael and I began the drive to Tulsa and talked and laughed and I cried and we listened to music and it was strange, doing it again a year later, in the same car and same drive and just a better life place. For both of us.
We wanted to swing by the revamped Woodland Hills store, so I alerted the local paps and got this reply, which is hands-down “Why I Love Jeff Smith 101.”
After more hugs and intros and people I also love, I hugged Michael goodbye again in Tulsa and strutted into the Mayo Hotel as the very classy doorman (bellhop?) let me weep a little on the marble floor and 9-floor-long elevator ride behind my huge sunglasses.
Thus began 36-hours of wedding: rapid 20-minute change into dress, new birks, some semblance of make-up and jump into a huge truck to the rehearsal dinner.
Then the next day, I got to sleep in a little and go do mini-boxing workout (already out of shape from 1 week of non-jump roping…) with Dad as the other Bailey ladies had to go and sit for their hair/makeup preps. I spent the morning sweating, then drinking fantastically strong coffee, going on a long walk around downtown Tulsa with my Dad and talking about life. I’m really glad I had no data on my phone this trip; it really made me want to wring every drop out of being with my family for such a short time. And being able to just SIT and watch dogs in fountains and drink water and talk with my Dad was priceless.
We then hoofed it back to the hotel as I showered and started my relatively simple get-ready process, watching Alien on my laptop as I curled my hair, my Dad yelling out plot points from the other room. I snuggled on my dress and off all 5 of us went to the trolley. YES, TROLLEY! to the church.
The beautiful thing about being family and yet not in the wedding party was a) not buying a dress, b) not doing that all-morning in a suite getting ready thing, and c) relaxing, having no job.
Oh, everyone has to take pictures? Haha, not us!
Then we laughed, we danced, we sang, we ate, we danced some more and Jordan and Luke were married. I shoved everything into my suitcases…which surprisingly had a lot of room left HAHA WAIT FOR THAT IN THAILAND HAHAHAHAHA…and slept for 3 hours before going to start the next leg of the journey: TUL>DFW>ICN (no spa this time)>BKK.
Thank you beyond measure to my families in Washington, Little Rock, and Tulsa. You lighten my soul and I will be back in two shakes of my two sizes smaller butt.