Scott will join us later along the way. We are flying out of one airport here in England, transferring in Newark, NJ, and then flying to St. Louis where we will stay with my parents. Then, Scott will join us in St. Louis for a few days, and then we pile everything into a car, drive for about 5 hours to see his parents in Indiana, and then we will drive north to a suburb of Chicago to see Crosby's great grandmother, where all of our family members will reconvene for the weekend for Crosby's baptism. Crosby, Scott & I will then fly out of Chicago's O'Hare airport to return back to England, via a London airport on the return end.
Tired already from reading that itinerary? I am, and I haven't even started packing for the trip yet!
Our trip back to the US is actually somewhat central compared to most. I was recently talking to another expat here in England who is heading back to the US with her family - they start out on the east coast, then go south, and then end up in the midwest so they can see everyone, before flying back to England. Another expat friend is back in the US right now with her family, she has three stops on her trip, with two internal flights. I guess we are lucky that we can drive in between our stops? While it is great to go home, the stakes are now higher since Crosby is involved and everyone wants to have time with her and we want her to be able to spend time with to everyone too. We know a short weekend trip back in to Chicago only is no longer going to be the case, as we may have done in the past. Plus, we have tenants living in our home, and neither of our immediate families are in Chicago. Perhaps if our families were both in the same city and we had previously lived in that same city, we would not face such internal travel, but I cannot imagine many expats are lucky enough to have all of those things aligned.
For such a long (and costly now since it's x 3) flight, I think I am always going to want to make the most of our time back in our home country, however I have a feeling it is always going to feel like a marathon US trip whenever we decide to go home....and I already feel like for such a long trip back home, we are still not getting to see everyone we would like to be able to see and visit all of the places we would like....