I was lucky enough to return to Boston (my hometown) for 10 days during the Thanksgiving holiday. It was special trip in that only I returned – as the kids were in school and it’s not celebrated here in Dublin.
To start the trip off, one of my best friends, E, who moved to Florida not that long after we left the US, came up and spent 3 nights.
After visiting a few stores, including Trader Joes – LOVE LOVE – we headed over for lunch at Friendly’s. While no one in their right mind would want to eat a grilled cheese sandwich on sour dough bread and have a Reecees Pieces Sundae but that is all I wanted. Hard to explain the strange American food cravings you miss when abroad. This place is special for us as when we both lived in Boston, we’d go here often with the kids and also, before we moved away I took Soren there for a special ice cream sundae treat and we split the biggest one they had. We drove up to Plum Island and then walked around Newburyport – another favorite village which I will one day live – I think it’s the only village in Massachusetts in which I really want to live.
Traveling alone, she and I shared a hotel room for two nights in Salem, NH as we can be close to Windham, NH home to three other great friends, N, J and E.
That Thursday night, we had a dinner and drinks in the Margaritas restaurant in the lobby so it was perfect and everyone who was invited from the Boston area made the trip up. We had a lot of laughs and yummy drinks. Sadly though, my nachos sucked! Four years of trying Nachos outside of the US has made me come to realize no matter who well the menu copy sounds, they will suck!
The next morning, we did short visit over to our friend N’s house which was beautiful, huge and decorated so nicely. E, J, N & I spent the day up at the Merrimack Valley Outlets – NO SALES tax and a lot of great stores. I picked up a few things for the kids but had my suitcase weight not be a factor, I would have got a bit more. As N had a birthday part to attend and needed to leave at 2:30 pm, we opted to stay at the outlets and eat lunch there so we settled for Qdoba – yep more Mexican. Only this time, it upset my stomach so that evening, I didn’t venture outside the hotel room. We went over to J’s house, where we got to see her father and three children day,
Finally the last day of our trip, we didn’t have any plans. We thought about walking around Boston for the day but instead, as it was a sunny but chilly day, we headed up towards the coast of NH starting in Hampton to Rye, Portsmouth, Wells, Ogunquit, Kittery and Kennbunkport.
Our final destination was Kennebunkport, Maine for lunch. The photos will say it all but it’s such a cute town, which I would love to live – or in that area. The only negative is that it is pro-bush, pro-republican as Bush Sr. has their family compound here. Nevertheless, it was great. Lobster rolls and bloody mary for lunch, salted caramel chocolate fudge chunk and the company of a great friend – was a great time.
After a lovely day out, it was back to Logan airport to say goodbye to E and head on to my parents house for the rest of my time in Boston. More about that part of the trip later …
I will add that while I had an enjoyable time, I left more confused about whether or not I would want to move back to Boston any time soon. Part of me feels, sure I could return, the other part of me says I’m not yet ready.
Many people think repatriating is harder to deal with than moving overseas in the first place. I’m not sure… I think many problems occur when one assumes that moving back to somewhere physically familiar – the culture, language and environment will be easy. However, life changes and while for us it’s has already been 4 years living away from the States, our home has changed, our friends and family have changed too.
People who have never lived overseas tend to not understand the new outlook on life and I know it’s not possible to expect us to pick up our lives where we left off 4+ years ago.
It was nice that some friends came from Boston for vacations and it would be even better if my parents could come visit! Truthfully, I want to return with the kids this summer for a family vacation. I think it would be a big eye opener if we want to return or not. Part of me says I could return tomorrow other parts say no way.
Jobs, schools, where to live – so much to consider!