Friday, February 21, 2014

Where in the World is Shannon San Diego?

My brother always asks me this when I call him, since half the time when we call or Skype I'm in some random different place. I sorta like the nickname!

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that Fionn and I arrived in America safe and sound a few days ago. The trip to America was...well...interesting!

 We took the Patriot Express back to America (for all my non-military readers, that's the chartered flight the military makes us take when moving to/from Europe) which was a pretty sucky experience. The bus to Ramstein picked us up just after midnight and we spent the painfully long bus ride trying to sleep in uncomfortable bus seats while soldiers snored, babies cried, some crazy girl cussed loudly on the phone, and moms shushed whining kids. I barely slept and felt like a zombie by the time we arrived at the airport. By the time we were in the line to check into our flight, it seemed like every single kid was having an exhausted meltdown at the same time. Throw in cranky parents, over a dozen yowling dogs and cats in carriers, and then cram us all into an old, rickety looking airplane with a 1990s-style communal overhead TV playing only kids' movies, Fionn looked at me more than once to say, "Maybe we should have shelled out the money and paid for our own flight..."

But hey, the plane ride was free so that sort of made up for it. Sorta.

Hello, Greenland!

We survived the flight (and even managed to sleep a little bit) and arrived in the States. It was surreal for both of us being back in our own country after so long. As we rushed to catch our connecting flight, we got a call from my mom saying she wouldn't be able to pick us up in Atlanta because a giant ice storm was moving through the South. They were predicting 5-8 inches of snow and up to an inch of ice in some places, and Atlanta was expected to grind to a halt after the storm hit in a few hours. We'd be stuck there til the ice melted, up to three days later.

Totally NOT what you want to hear when you're jetlagged, exhausted, and really ready to see your parents who you haven't seen in over a year. Kudos to Fionn for being awesome and comforting me when I started to cry from exhaustion, frustration, and disappointment in front of airport strangers. Not my best moment, but sometimes you're just gonna have a meltdown.

My mom booked us a hotel in Atlanta and Fionn and I spent three days riding out the storm. It was intense. The day of the storm we decided to venture out to find food, and found all of Atlanta covered in ice. Everything was closed, the busy major highways were eerily quiet, and the few cars we did see stopped to ask if we needed help.

We weren't too worried since we had all of our Bavarian snow gear with us, and despite a few near-spills on the icy sidewalks we were otherwise ok. It was pretty crazy seeing Atlanta like this!

Three days later, the ice melted and the roads were clear enough for my parents to come get us. I can't tell you how happy we were to finally get home!!

Just to make things even weirder, a few days after the snowstorm we had a minor earthquake and the temperatures got up to the mid 70s?! Seriously weird, America. Some kind of "welcome back" this is!

Weird weather and tectonic anomalies aside, it has been great being back and we've loved relaxing at my parents house and all the good food and puppy cuddles that includes.

While we're here my parents made sure we got our fill of Americana, like giant peach water towers and a meet and greet with South Carolina's Governor...Ah, the places we find ourselves! 

I am recovering from a nasty cold and preparing for our move to Georgia, so for the next few days I've got some Berlin posts from our trip there a few weeks ago. I found some great eateries you CAN'T miss and found some great ways to save money while visiting Germany's capital. You ready? :)

Oh, and if you have any suggestions for things I have to do now that I'm Stateside, I'm all ears! 


  1. Oh my gosh, I can't believe that Atlanta was covered in ice. I thought it never snowed there! Anyway, nice that you are finally home. I miss the US a lot. :)

    1. The ironic part was that when we left Germany the weather was sunny with no snow...head for Atlanta and we find ourselves in Icepocolypse! Crazy!

  2. Will you eat 8 boxes of Thin Mints for me? Thanks :)

  3. Yes, please have some good Mexican food for me. :-)

  4. I loved 'where in the world is Carmen Sandiago'! :D
    Sounds like a really stressful journey, especially after a stressful packing-up process! Glad you got there safely though, and I loved seeing all the icy pictures on Instagram!

    1. After a while it was so crazy I couldn't help but laugh. And in the middle of my airport meltdown someone walked by playing that Christian song, "You'll Overcome It" on their phone and I stopped crying and started laughing. God has a sense of humor ;)

  5. I cannot believe you arrived in Atlanta during THAT storm! What are the odds?! The whole time I was see the pics on instagram, my heart went out to you :)

    1. haha it was pretty crazy! The ice was so pretty though. Well, except when we walked around in it and my bangs froze to my forehead. Not so pretty then haha