The Skokie Sculpture Park Bike Path
I had a great time on the 4th of July. I rode around on my bike running errands first and then I enjoyed the parade with my friend Jess. It was 101 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity and I loved it. I knew that I would be heading back to really cold nights and almost constant cold hands in Cusco so I was soaking it up as much as I could. I was well equipped with my camelbak and my sunscreen, shorts and a tank so I was not complaining! The people in the parade were drenched and the Cavaliers, a marching band that plays in the parade every year, was in the Underarmour without their jackets and plumed hats because of the heat. They had a fire hydrant open in one of the parks along Central Street.
That evening I made my way over to see my friend Lynda in Chicago before heading to a BBQ at a high school friend's parents' place. I saw the fireworks with my good friend David and his girlfriend Anya before finishing my final night with a great conversation with my really good high school friend Chanel. It felt so great chatting with her. She is such an amazing and interesting woman. I am always intrigued by everything she is involved in. She is slowly making her way through her childhood room this summer and cleaning it out which can be quite emotional. I remember going through my room the last time packing everything up before I left for Peru. I have always been good and getting rid of things but it was still a bit emotional not knowing what the future had in store and leaving things behind and getting rid of things that brought about memories. Such is life though no? We can't hold on to everything or there won't be any space for anything new.
The McGaw YMCA being represented in the parade
Love this family!
On the way to the airport in Chicago I was in a bit of a daze and sleep deprived from my late conversation the night before but my dad was trying to tell me in his way that he was going to miss me a lot. It didn't really sink in until I got home and found an email that really explained it all. I am beyond grateful that both of my parents want to support me and see me happy even if I am far away. I am so lucky and yet I definitely have that bit of guilt for being so far away. My mother tells me not to feel guilty because I have to live my own life and it would be selfish of her to think that I was going to stay around just for her. Still, they are my parents and they have given me so much and now I am super far away. Thank goodness for the internet though AND skype!
I arrived in Lima at 11pm at night and made way to Marco's cousin's for the night before getting up super early to take my flight to Cusco. Unfortunately, Marco wasn't able to pick me up from the airport due to work but I made my way to the house and greeted Pepe with a big hug. I arranged all the things I got for Marco from the States on the table and when he got home I made sure to give him a big hug and a kiss. It felt so nice being in his arms again and smelling him. Long distance relationships have got to be awful. We only had 7 weeks of being away. I can only imagine what my co-worker has to go through being here for the year and her boyfriend in Iowa. Needless to say, I was a happy camper and so glad to be home. I immediately started work that afternoon and our final concert for violins was the next day. I didn't feel too bad in terms of altitude but I did get a nasty cold a week or so after being back. I am not a huge fan of being cold all the time again (except when being scorched by the insane sun here). I am happy to have my job and my bands and be getting into a healthy routine again of going to the gym and eating lots of quinoa. Life is good and I can't complain!