You can say what you want, but being reunited with a loved one that you’re dearly missing is one of the best feelings in the entire world! When Vanessa’s sister recently visited her over spring break, there was no doubt as to how, or rather “where”, they would be celebrating their reunion: With an almost mandatory trip to Miami Beach!
Since my last blog post, there’s been a lot happening. I have so much to tell you guys, I don’t even know where to start. Well, how about with the most important thing: After eight long months, I finally got to see my sister again! She visited me over spring break and we did lots of traveling. But let me start off by telling you a bit more about how it felt to see a loved one again after such a long time.
Naturally, I picked her up from the airport. I remember getting really nervous and excited at the same time. Even up until a few days before her arrival, I didn’t know how to feel about her visiting me. Because I knew that sooner or later I would have to say goodbye again. After eight months in the US I was already used to not having my family around. I just couldn’t stand the mere thought of having to say goodbye yet again. I know this might sound weird, but I told you that it was a strange feeling… A feeling I can’t even begin to describe!
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
When I finally spotted her at the gate, I couldn’t help but breaking into a huge smile. Luckily I could stop myself from crying, which I had been convinced would definitely happen, and gave her an extra big hug. On the way home we wouldn’t stop talking because obviously there was so much we had to catch up on. And then my sister was finally about to meet my host family. I started to get really nervous. After all, two “different worlds” were more or less about to collide! I was worried that my host family would not like her, or that my sister would not like them. But guess what, none of that happened.
CHAPTER ONE: WASHINGTON, D.C.
The next couple of days, I showed her around my neighborhood. We showed her a few typically American things, like froyo places, the mall or the insanely massive grocery stores. It felt good to show her my life at the other side of the world. It was a nice change from constantly having to send pictures or schedule a Facetime date. And I also felt kind of proud to be able to show her my second home – 3000 miles away from the home that we both grew up at.
CHAPTER TWO: MIAMI
We flew to Miami together. We got to spend four days in this awesome city. Spoiler alert – by far my favorite city! As soon as we landed we headed to the Bayside Marketplace to grab some lunch. And I can tell you, it was exactly like I had imagined it based on its name “Bayside”: There are lots of restaurants and places to shop at, right next to the water. You can spend hours and hours there – just like we did. We also signed up for a boat tour to take a look at all of the incredible and huge houses alongside Miami Beach.
On our second day we went to the beach, over on Ocean Drive to be more specific. I can highly recommend going there. Of course everyone immediately associated this place with the spring break party strip, but there’s so much more to it. During the day it is just so beautiful. It really does have one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. We even got a sunburn! Which we didn’t necessarily enjoy as such, but at least it was a nice sunny change compared to cold D.C., where you currently wouldn’t even be able to spot a sunbeam if you were looking for one. Still though: bring sunscreen.
CHAPTER THREE: KEY WEST
We had an early start the next morning since we had booked a bus tour to Key West. It was a four hour drive during which you get to cross so many bridges, and all you can think is: “Wow, the water is so pretty!” But to be honest, I’m not a big fan of Key West. First of all, it was really cloudy and windy that day and there’s nothing but restaurants and souvenir shops really. A classic tourist trap. And since we were on a budget, it was hard to do anything at all. But at least we got to go to the famous Southernmost Point. So at least we had that going for us. We also wen to the Wynwood Art district. There are so many amazing wall arts and cute cafés! I think this district is especially interesting for younger people like us.
CHAPTER FOUR: NYC
We flew back home that night. But we didn’t feel too sad about it: We pretty much spent the next day relaxing as we would have to leave for our next trip the following day. So Saturday morning, we hopped on a bus to New York City! We did loads of sightseeing and lots and lots of walking. Since it was my 6th time being in New York, I felt like a “pro” showing my sister all the things she only knew from movies or pictures. We only spent one night in NYC, but that was more than enough time for us to see everything we wanted to see: The Empire State Building, Times Square, Grand Central Station, Brooklyn Bridge, Dumbo and many more things. Basically all the things you must see in NYC! Sunday was our second and sadly last day. Not only was it a Sunday in the Big Apple, but it was Easter Sunday in the Big Apple! No Easter egg hunt for us this year, but just spending time with my sister on a day like this was great even so.
Now, after one week of traveling, I feel like I’m ready to get back to reality. Cause I’m not going to lie: The last few days were also quite stressful because I was trying to make everything perfect. I wanted to make sure that my sister would have a great time, but somehow I kept feeling like that wasn’t the case… But I’m sure a lot of au pairs feel that way when they have visitors. I’m currently enjoying the last days together with my sister before it is time to say goodbye again. But in the spirit of “the glass is always half full”: I know that I will get to see her again in only 4 months. Because you know what? This week marks unbelievable eight months that I’ve spent over here in the USA!