This is the story of my 6 months of studying in Arizona in 2010 and subsequent travels in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The first days with Sis in Tucson

Wednesday passed sloooooowly, counting the hours till Hillary and I was going to pick my sister Helene up in the airport at 11 PM. I cleaned up, worked out, and tried to make time go faster - with no luck. When Nik asked if I wanted to go out for dinner I figured it would be nice to spend the waiting time with someone instead of going crazy at home!

So imagine my frustration when at 10.40 PM I got a message from Helene saying that she was stuck in Denver, Colorado, due to a delay from New York so she didn't catch her connecting flight to Tucson. AAAAARG! I texted some friends how unjust the world had been to me, and got a lot of messages back and Jesus coming down all saying the same thing: That it would be so much nicer to meet when Helene was rested instead of right after a 20 hour trip. Thinking back on my own trip and talking to an exhausted Helene on the phone, I realised they were probably right. And how nice it was to wake up the next morning to go pick her up with Hillary! :D

After 4 months, it was so amazing to get a big hug! We drove home and had lunch, and went down to the city to see the center. Not that there is much to see... I was going to the library, then went past the deserted train station, Hotel Congress and 4th Avenue. And will you believe it. IT STARTED RAINING! The day Helene arrived is the only day it has been raining in like 3 months. Not just a little shower, it rained steadily all day.

During the afternoon we took a nap, Helene to catch up with some lost sleep, and I because... I just like naps! ;) We went to dinner at Gentle Ben's with Hillary and Chris, walking there under an umbrella. Helene acted somewhat like a zombie, and we went home after a nice dinner to watch an episode of a TV-show (Bertelsen på Caminoen). On beforehand we had talked about watching a movie afterwards, but when the show ended, Helene just lied down and fell asleep instantly, without saying goodnight or anything. I don't know if she thought I wouldn't notice, but... Well, I couldn't blame her. :)

We managed to sleep (on and off) till around 7 AM Friday morning, had breakfast, and then went to the Health Sciences Library for a couple of meetings I had. Helene joined the first, then sat in the sun waiting for me till the second meeting was over. Afterwards we walked through campus enjoying the weather and the nice atmosphere. Jesus served us quesadillas for lunch, and then - guess what... We took a nap. :D Meeting Theo and Ziad and two of their friends from Lebanon on the Pinnacle Peak restaurant for dinner at 6, we had a great experience. The restaurant is located in a scenic setup looking like the old west, and is decorated with people's ties (see the picture!). We had a nice meal, including a birthday song and ice cream for me... Wonder why? Yeah me too, not celebrating my birthday till another 10 days! But anyway... The waiter announced to the whole restaurant that it was my birthday, and that I wanted nothing but a room full of strangers singing a birthday song for me. So they did.

We left the restaurant at 8 PM, just in time to see a gun show. Sitting under the stars and a terrace heather, it was really nice and fun! Then we went home, watched A Knights Tale (an all time favorite!) and then slept around midnight.

This morning, Saturday, we woke up around 7 again. Breakfast, then we made a list of groceries we needed, and on my and Jesus's bikes we went to Fry's for shopping. Back at noon we spent a little time in the little gym in La Aldea, and then enjoyed some of our many restaurant leftovers for lunch. At 3 PM we met Nik at the Arizona State Museum, located on the campus grounds. It turned out to be rather boring, but anyway a nice way of spending a lazy Saturday afternoon! Then a nap... of course.

It is so amazing to finally spend time with my little sister again. Though I haven't had the biggest case of missing home before, it is just so great to see each other again, and just enjoy that she is here and we both have holiday. We plan the days as we go, with no demands of high activity levels or any certain pace. It is just so fantastic to be together again! She suffers a bit from jetlag, but with the nap during the day she manages to stay up till 11 or 12 PM and relieve the jetlag a bit. She suffers from headache - I figure it might be because of the dry air and the higher pressure compared with Copenhagen (1017 and 1003 hPa). A neck massage helped a bit, and I am reminding her to drink a lot of water. Hopefully it will be better soon.

For the next couple of days... I have no idea. I'll let you know as we get there. : )

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