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health + home

everything else in life.

a month Stateside (everything up to the wedding!)

Caitlin Surakitbanharn

it had been 15 months since either of us had stepped foot in the good old US of A.  we boarded our (blissfully) nonstop flight from Tokyo to LAX, and we were ready for some mexican food, a wedding, family, and good times with friends!

the entire trip exceeded expectations in so many ways and i think we learned a lot on our month sojourn back to the States.  for example, we learned that the ones you least expect always blow you away!  we learned that sometimes, putting blind faith in something or someone actually works out!  we learned how WEIRD we've become while living here in the Far East!  we learned how much we appreciate peace and quiet! (but you only appreciate it after things are insane, right?)  we also realized how LOUD people are in the US, how enormous and heavy the food is, and we reconfirmed our love of mexican food (like every day).

the trip started out with a few days in San Diego.  we finally got to see the wedding venue (La Jolla Hilton Torrey Pines) and head up the monastery (Wat Metta) to talk to Ajaan Geoff.  we also visited the seals down at La Jolla Cove...

wedding venue!

such a beautiful place for a wedding!


giving alms to the monks. (i was heavily jet-lagged, don't judge).

and then with that - we were off to Indiana to visit family and check in at Purdue with the boss!  Indiana was a violent slap to the face.  snow, ice, cold weather, crazy wind...but we had a great time!  we saw my family, played with my dog, got trapped in a snowstorm, had a GREAT dinner with our boss/advisor, and saw some of our favorite people, complete with a family dinner at Bill's apartment, just like old times :-) 

Jao's birthday dinner at Three Floyds with an old friend!

snowglobe.


the Prius is covered in snow. oh no.

i for inappropriate

Ok ok, we were ready to get back to Cali...it was COLD in Indiana.  like -8 degrees Fahrenheit cold.  i for inappropriate.  we got back to Cali and it was a whirlwind of hair appointments, flower consultations with Na Lek, Jao's aunt and our florist! dress fittings, an aerial tour of SD with our DJ/pilot Duffy, visits to SpaceX (so bad ass!) and then up to San Luis Obispo to visit Cal Poly, Jao's undergrad, and go wine tasting with some friends! it was an AWESOME weekend trip up there!

flying with Duffy

headed to SpaceX

our valentine's day morning view in Pismo Beach.

grilled oysters.

eating a gluten free brownie at Cal Poly and loving it.

alum (aka OLD).

eating ribs at the SLO farmers market.

night out at the bars. Jen and I tried to dress like we're 21 again. dressing like a slut is cold.

pre-Bishop's peak hike breakfast.


made it to the top, loving life.

wine tasting in Paso Robles

self explanatory.

a few bottles in....

everyone loves to make fun of me because after living in Japan for over a year, i now bow at everyone.


living the dream.

after an amazing, amazing weekend in SLO at Cal Poly, we were back to San Diego and our families were flying in from everywhere!  it was a barrage of lunches, dinners, trips to the zoo, trips to the beach, and everything in between!

my family meeting Jao's family!

cousins, yo.

i will wear rompers until i die.

my dad and his wife, enjoying a nice day instead of snow.


at the San Diego zoo.  how awesome is my look? jeans, sneakers, purdue hat. no sunburn for this girl! i've really turned asian.


on the boat tour, really enjoying my Jamesons highball. (and using my scarf to shield my face from the sun).

cousins enjoying a nice sunny day.

i made it.

i love my step-dad the most.

getting ready for the rehearsal lunch!


Kunyai, Kunyai, mommy, and me!

the Thai family was all there!

family :-)

and up to that point, we were exhausted.  Jao and i checked into the hotel on Friday night (into our badass suite with a beautiful ocean view), and we were asleep at like 8 pm (married life!) and up early to start our very busy but EXTREMELY AWESOME wedding day!  the wedding and post-wedding week are up next, but that's good for now!  we closed that friday night off with watching the sun set...


up next, wedding day!