REVIEW PART III (Dec. 30-Jan. 10):

Under the Fulbright program I'm only allowed to be out of the country for 14 days. I really think that I should have been allowed a month after the awful time I had trying to leave Russia. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, but I did have a pretty fantastic time.
I was too busy to take many pictures, and most of the things that I did (while extremely fun for me) would not be very interesting to most of you, so I'm not going to write much about them.

Essentially, while I only had a few days, I did as much traveling as possible. First I stopped in Chicago for a couple of days, which is conveniently where Brian was for the holidays. I got some much needed food, rest, and company, and then I went on to Arizona to have late Christmas, actual New Year's, and early birthday celebrations with my parents. Unfortunately, Arizona was COLD, but that's ok because I really didn't go outside very often. Mostly I just enjoyed sleeping, watching movies, and eating lots of American food that I had missed. I was sad to leave when the time came, but not too bad since my vacation wasn't over yet.

From there I went to Minnesota to see Brian at his school for some much-needed catching up time. Unfortunately I spend most of my time these days in Russia, which is much too far away. Aside from the excellent company, it was nice to just be on a college campus again. Last year I mostly just wanted out, but colleges really do have a special atmosphere that you come to really miss when you leave. Plus Carleton has goldfish crackers in the cafeteria, which is awesome.

Sadly, my real departure date came much too quickly. Due to some vehicle snafus we had to scramble to get me to the airport on time, which didn't leave much time for thinking about the gravity of the situation. That was probably best, since no one likes long, drawn out, sniffly goodbyes. Once we got to the airport I only had 20 minutes, which is definitely the closest that I've ever gotten to the airport. The irony is that after pleading and begging my way in front of nearly everyone in the check-in and security lines, I got to my gate and found out that my flight was delayed by an hour and 40 minutes. I then awkwardly waited and hoped that no one that I had cut in front of saw me.

Vacation was wonderful...but much much too short!


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Good news: no more required disclaimer!
Bad news: I'm really lazy about posting when I'm not in Russia