We are now in Mallorca, Spain – an island in the Mediterranean which has an airport that is the 3rd largest in Spain, David read recently. We have an incredible apartment – well, a fine two bedroom, two bathroom apartment with a small kitchen – and an amazing view of the Mediterranean Sea and the pool in the complex. The apartment was recommended by friends from KAUST who have actually stayed here in previous years. We are pleased! David’s teaching program began yesterday, so we had a day to adjust, get groceries, enjoy the pool and beach, jump from the rocks into the aqua sea, and catch up on sleep!
We had a wonderful visit to the United States. We flew first to Minneapolis to catch a shuttle to Carleton College in order to attend David’s 30 college reunion. When we arrived in the dark and pouring rain, Hayden’s first comment was, “How come there isn’t a wall around this college?” A testament, I guess, to living in a perpetually walled compound in Saudi Arabia.
We flew to Traverse City to visit David’s parents in Interlochen, Michigan, and to celebrate his father’s significant birthday in September by going to Mackinac Island for one night at the Iriquois Hotel right by the water. David’s folks took David and me there eighteen years ago when we were first engaged and I first met them. We biked around the island on its 8.2 mile loop and explored the fort on the island.
At the last minute I decided it was possible to attend my 25th reunion at Principia College. Hayden encouraged me, after seeing the large 25th reunion group at David’s reunion, so I flew to St. Louis where my parents met me at the airport – also in town for my mom’s 50th reunion from the same college. At first none of my friends or classmates were there, and I felt for awhile like a kid at my parents’ event, but eventually friends of mine who now live in St. Louis arrived, and I was able to connect with several people I knew in college. At David’s reunion, we ran in a 5k Fun Run, and I ran in one at Principia too – though I got lost and ran less than the 5k loop. Others got lost and ran more than 5k, so I guess it all averaged out okay.
On Sunday, I got up early, caught a shuttle back to the airport in St. Louis, flew to Chicago, and then on to Traverse City, where David, Logan, David’s sister and her husband picked me up. We went home to the Interlochen house, ate lunch, packed, did a quick load of laundry, returned to the airport (this time with David and Logan) and flew back to Chicago a mere five hours after I had been there! Hayden avoided this flight because he’s staying in Interlochen to attend the Summer Arts Camp for three weeks where he will focus on creative writing, sports, classical guitar, and ceramics – amid ice cream, ultimate Frisbee games, and cabin fun.
After arriving in Chicago for the second time in one day, we ate a quick salad, and caught our flight to Munich and then on to Palma, Mallorca! It was an incredibly long day, with the added flight from St. Louis, but all went smoothly and our bags, much to our delight, actually showed up as well. Isn’t that truly amazing? You hand over your bags to a stranger in an airport and then many hours later, they tumble down a conveyor belt in the very airport in which you have just arrived, continents away from the departure city. No one told us in the Palma airport that if the bags originated from an airport outside of the European Union, they would arrive on a separate belt than everyone else’s, but David wandered around and found them, going around and around. We were eternally grateful as we really needed showers, clean clothes, and some teeth brushing!
Thanks for reading! Cheers - and hasta la vista! Jennifer