Monday, November 18, 2013

Labor Day Visit, Part One

David moved back to the U.S. in July after living abroad in Colombia for the last two years. He arrived just in time for family festivities as my husband and I were married early in August. David was a the person who introduced Carlos and I (a story for a different post) so he was very involved with the wedding and gave a speech at our reception. With the wedding preparations, I was very busy and did not get to spend as much time with David as I would have liked.

As soon as things settled down, Carlos and I planned a trip to visit David in the Twin Cities. It worked out perfectly that we could visit over Labor Day weekend.We left Chicago on Friday afternoon and arrived early in the morning Saturday. Despite our middle of the night arrival, David insisted that he pick us up at the bus station. I was so excited for this weekend get-away. After a year of wedding planning, it was so nice to feel like I could just live again. I was very happy to spend time with David and excited to explore the Twin Cities.

We got a quick tour of David’s apartment upon arrival. He was living in an incredible historic mansion in Minneapolis. His room had a beautiful view of the downtown area and his love of history made him appreciate the place even more. He was excited to have us there and I was equally excited to be there.

David's House. His room is the one with four windows at the very top. Photo Credit: Luke Gibbs

We woke up Saturday morning and David fixed us breakfast. He made eggs, toast, and hashbrowns. I stood in the entry-way of the kitchen and watched him cook. He allowed me to keep him company but did not let me help. I’ll never forget that, the proud and excited way he prepared our meal. We all ate together and talked about what we wanted to do for the day. We had discussed different options but decided to rent bikes and explore around the lakes. David had a bike so Carlos and I just needed to rent them. There was a bike depot right near his apartment so we walked over and picked up our bikes there.

David led the way as we rode up and down the hills of Minneapolis. It wasn’t long before I needed a break. The rental bikes were super heavy and I was using every ounce of my energy to pedal those hills! David asked me if I would prefer to use his bike, he thought it would be lighter and an easier ride. I gladly accepted and we resumed our ride. He was right, with David’s bike I was able to move even faster than the boys.

We went down along the lakes and I rode ahead a little bit. Singing to myself quietly but listening to David and Carlos talk. It made me so happy to be there, sharing my brother with my husband and my husband with my brother. I felt proud and lucky. 

I remember riding and exclaiming, “this is the happiest I’ve felt in a long time!” David was surprised and said, “Anna, you just got married, shouldn’t that have been the happiest?” I said, “Yes, that was happy, but in a different way. This is a normal life kind of happy.” I couldn’t really explain it to him, or I was too embarrassed to be so honest, but really, I was feeling so excited that he was back in the US. I couldn't wait to be close again. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. My two best friends, were best friends. I couldn't wait for us to make many more memories together.

David was so fun to be around as he embraced life. He took advantage of opportunities to be active, experience new things, and have fun. He was a good influence on me.

We eventually parked our bikes along the lake and walked over to the beach. After only a moment of deliberation, we decided to go swimming. There was a floating island out in the middle of the lake and we swam out to it. The water was perfect after getting in and felt so refreshing after our ride. Growing up we did a lot of creek stomping and swimming in a nearby stream. We would hike up to the spring on our parent’s property. Some of these memories came back to me as we swam out to the island. I remember feeling young and happy to have this quality time with my brother and friend.

View of the island is off in the distance. 

We took turns jumping off the island and eventually just sat on the edge hanging our legs off the side. I was pretty in love with Minneapolis by this point and I told David and Carlos that I wanted to move there. We talked about this for a long time and eventually decided that maybe we could move in a year.

David and I talked about how nice it would be if all of our family lived close again. We’ve been spread out over the last few years and treasure our precious time together, usually once or twice a year. David and I talked with love for each of our siblings. I remember the feeling in my heart vividly. Sitting on that island, my feet hanging off the side into the water. Talking and laughing with David and Carlos. Feeling so blessed, like life was a dream.

Photo with David after we got out of the water. 

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