Hey guys,

Sorry for leaving you in limbo so long, and thanks to everyone who visits anyway :) To sum up the last 3 weeks, here is a basic bulleted list of things that have happened:

  • I turned 20 (on the 22nd)
  • Dave and I have been doing great – we went for a 15-mile hike the other day
  • I got my belly button pierced
  • I have been working at Papa G’s (the little Greek diner down the block from my house) as a waitress and making waaaay more money than I should (yay!)
  • My suitcase and traveler’s maps for Samoa came in the mail, and I sent out my confirmation materials and my deposit!  It should get there by Tuesday, since it’s a holiday weekend and FedEx can’t deliver to PO boxes.
  • I finally got a little bit of sun :)
  • I am down to 176 in my weight loss, yay!
  • My friend’s 18 year old sister had her baby, and gave her up for adoption :)  the new parents are so happy!

So yeah, its been a great few weeks!  Today was especially good – I went for my physical this morning and got all my paperwork filled out; one more ginormous step towards Samoa!  After that, I went to Big Rock forest preserve with my dad and the dogs.  They love to swim in the lake there; we probably spent a good hour and a half just throwing the ball out into the lake for them!  It was also beautiful out and I remembered to wear my strapless sun top so I got a little color on my back and shoulders.  A few high school guys drove out to go swimming while we were there, too, and I couldn’t help thinking about all my boys and the summer after my Junior year, swimming at in the same spot after school :)  It was a bit awkward trying to explain these stories to my dad though!  However I think he appreciated their hilarity; after all, I would imagine he did way worse at my age…..

Work was fine, and I made like a crap-ton of tips.  I’m starting to get a little creeped out by all the bus boys and chefs flirting with me though, however the strawberry heart-shaped pancakes were kinda cute.  I also am glad most of the other waitresses like me!  Stephanie told me how great of a waitress I am tonight, and Barb let me have the whole dining room after she went off the floor!  I think this job was a great decision, and I’m sooo lucky to have it.  Oh also, I think what I’m going to do about the whole “Christina, la chiquita muy bonita!” and “Christine, mi amour” thing is to bring Dave to breakfast on Saturday…that way they can all see my handsome, serious boyfriend and cower in fear….haha not really, but he is coming to see me on Saturday :)  It will be my first day hostessing instead of waitressing, so wish me luck!

After work, I picked up Dave and we went to hang out at Danny’s house, which was super fun, but getting a text from my dad at 2:34 am was super not fun, especially when it said Gilgamesh had gotten out somehow and might have eaten some mouse poison :(  He seems fine, and I have no idea if he ate any or not, but I’m going to try and keep a very close eye on him for a couple days.  I also feel TERRIBLE about waking my dad up, even though it wasn’t my fault, I feel responsible.  I hope he isn’t too mad at me, because I am so excited about him helping me find decent gear for my trip tomorrow.  We are planning to go to REI and Patagonia at least to look for culturally-appropriate outdoor clothes.

In Samoan cities and in some households, women must wear skirts knee-length or longer and tops or dresses that cover the shoulders.  I am finding it strange to think about being limited in what I can wear in public, and very difficult to work with these constraints as well as finding temperature-appropriate clothes.  Hopefully tomorrow I can find some things that will work, or at least get some ideas for later.  Next up in the Samoa-planning process: buy plane tickets.

So anyway, I hope you are all well, and I will update more often from now on, I promise!

Love and peace,