Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chicago to Indy

I got into Chicago in the early morning after a long flight. Aside from my usual Chicago stuff, I checked out two cooking schools and the University of Illinois that first day. The cooking schools seemed great, but I left UI feeling unsure about my choice of the school. Everything I liked about their program was being reduced or eliminated. There were two more cooking schools the next day (and one that I wasn't able to see) and then a haircut and "hand detailing" (read manicure) before Alissa and Mom met up with me in the evening. The following day, the three of us enjoyed the city together and then headed back to Fort Wayne.

Aside from seeing family and friends, there were two major events in the Fort before heading out: I ran a triathlon and took the GRE. I was happy with the results on both. I finished the triathlon (a sprint tri, meaning 400 meters swimming, 20 kilometers biking, and 5 kilometers running. That's a quarter mile, 12.4 miles, and 3.1 miles for those of you that are metrically impaired) in just over an hour and twenty minutes. The GRE was only 4 days later, and I did well on that too. I got a 650 on the verbal portion (the 92nd percentile) and a 750 on the quantitative (84th percentile). I'll find out my writing score in a week or so, but I felt very good about that portion of the test, so I'm expecting good things.

Every time I go back to Fort Wayne, I regain a little of my affection for it. I liken it to moving out of your parents' house: while you're there, you hate it, but after you're gone, you're always happy to go back. Our careers will probably keep Hye Sook and I from ever living there, but it's a nice place to visit, and there are certainly worse places I could have ended up. In a perfect world, I'd be able to spend my summers back home. We'll see.

Of course, the best thing about being back is spending time with my family. I genuinely enjoy their company, and I can honestly say that I think I'd be friends with all of them even if they weren't related to me. Mom is a sweetheart and a wonderful woman. She's definitely my mom, but she's also one of my best friends. Alissa is fun to be around and seems to be really growing up. Danielle is more like me than I ever realized. And Dad and I's relationship has come a long way since my high school days. I hate to be living far away from them, but there's so much I want to do in my life that I just can't do in Fort Wayne.

The only down side of being in Fort Wayne is being away from Hye Sook. I've been video chatting with her every other day and emailing all the time, but it's just not the same. The distance seems even farther now that I'm away from my family too. As I write this, however, it's just 4 more days until I pick her up at the airport in Phoenix. I think I can make it.

I left Fort Wayne on July 17th bound for Indy to see Toby, Heather, and their new baby, Rachel. I always forget how easy being around Toby is. While we're very different people, we have enough in common that there's never a break in conversation. I always get dumber around him (in a silly, good way), but I also get funnier.

On the 18th, I spend the day with Mom, Dad, and Toby's family. Then in the afternoon, I boarded a bus for Austin, Texas, and the next leg of my journey.



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