I'd been planning this since mid-November, but hadn't said anything since I wanted to surprise my parents, but I'm back in the States. Flew up Thursday through Houston and entered through the collosal immigration center at George H. W. Bush airport. My entry interview:
Immigration Officer: Good Morning.
IO: (Takes passport.) What countries did go to?
Me: Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Peru.
IO: What was the purpose of your trip?
IO: Did you go on a cruise?
Me: Um, no?
IO: What were you, just tooling around all over the place?
IO: What's your job?
Me: I'm a teacher.
IO: (Hesitates.) OK. (Returns passport.) Uh, welcome home.
Kerri picked me up at the Columbus Airport and drove me to Mount Vernon. My folks were very surprised. Mom couldn't stop squeeling "Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!" Dad said my she hadn't been so excited since they found out they're going to be grandparents.
The plan is to completely overload myself on America by driving to New York and DC after Christmas and then make my way back to San Francisco. Already noticing funny things, like I got to Mount Vernon, and realized I'd driven the whole way without buckling up--got used to riding in taxis that didn't have seatbelts. And I've already dropped my toilet paper in the waste basket instead of the toilet! Little things to adjust to...