Summer To Do List

One of the great things about living in a foreign country is that all of the things that used to be "normal" in your home country become super-exciting.  Every time I go back to the states to visit my family, I have a mile long to do list.  Usually I never get to half of it (or it's not nearly as good as I remember it being), but I still get really, really excited to eat, see and do the things that used to be so normal.  Here's what's on my ever-growing to do list this summer!

Subway.  There is Subway in both Japan and the UAE.  The bread in Japan is AWFUL, and they have such a limited menu which doesn't include my favorite, the Italian BMT.  In the UAE, pork is a no-no (unless it comes from the special pork shops) and beef ham/ beef salami are nothing like the real thing, so my sandwich is a total let down.

Taco Bell.  This is a newish one on the list as Taco Bell has never really done it for me.  There used to be a Taco Bell at the food court in one of the malls in Dubai, and I got some in a moment of weakness.  It was good.  Go figure, that branch closed, and I haven't had Taco Bell in about 2 years, so I'm ready for some more!

Five Guys.  I love a good burger, and am very excited that there is a Five Guys just down the road from my parents new house.  Yay!

New Orleans.  No, that's not a restaurant you haven't heard of.  I just need to eat multiple things in that town, so it's all one category!  Beignets and café au lait at Café du Monde, a shrimp po boy from Acme Oyster Bar, a muffuletta from Central Grocery...(drooling...)


Target.  Need I say more?

Ulta.  My sister-in-law took my mom and I into an Ulta for the first time about a year or so ago.  I hear mom is slightly obsessed, and let's just say it's probably a good thing I don't live close to one!

Hobby Lobby (or any other craft store).  The wanna-be crafter/Pinterest addict in me wants to buy and make everything, but I know I will talk myself out of it all.  It's still fun to window shop though!

World Market.  Such a good wine selection and lots of funky things you don't need but just have to have.  I guarantee that I will see stock-standard Japanese/middle eastern food things and get super-excited about them, even though they are the most normal thing in the world to me now.

Grocery stores.  Yes, I would like to come along for every shopping trip!  It's amazing how many new things have been brought out since I left the US in 2007.  Now, a trip to Publix or Winn Dixie is like going to a foreign food shop.

Harass the kitties.  I am SO EXCITED to see my parents' cats.  I miss having a cat so much and cannot wait til Bryn and I can have our own.

Go out in public in a tank top and shorts (and not get stared at).  Given the cultural dress-code here I think that's pretty self explanatory.

Sit by the pool & go to the beach.   Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think my parents would have a swimming pool in their backyard (to be honest I don't think they did either).  Well, they do and I intend to make very good use of it!  I'm also very much looking forward to spending some time on the beach.  Bring on the sunshine!!

Take pictures, lots of pictures.  I'm crossing my fingers for a new toy for my birthday (a dslr) and am really excited to practice my photography skills.

Brewery Tours.  We've promised to take Bryn to the Abita Brewery, and I'm excited to go back.  There's another brewery on the way there that we want to visit as well.  Beer and summer go hand in hand, right?

Wash AND dry my clothes.  As much as I've accepted that I really don't need a dryer and have come to terms with hanging things out to dry, there is just something so satisfying about having clean, dry soft clothes in a matter of hours.

Well, that's a start, but the list is growing!  Luckily we have about six weeks to work our way through my list.  We're off in two weeks and both SO excited.

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