So far 2012 was my favorite year to date, but it kind of ended with a little bit of a thud for me, so naturally the thought of fleeing the country for a couple glorious weeks was well received. And what better distraction than 2 weeks stateside with family, friendzies, puppies, beach and lots and lots of cheese. Nothing that I can think of.
Breathable air, a handsome black man displayed under the “Welcome to the United States of America” sign, and a fat screaming black woman ushering American Airlines passengers to their connections were the first three WELCOME BACK TO AMERICA’s that I got. Then came Mama Schaeff surprising me from behind at the curb, the puppy kisses from Presley, the “Why did you leave me?” ‘I’m mad at you’ stares from Cilla, and the jumping around the car hugs with sista!! Only to be followed up with the greatest welcome home surprise party ever! Not only was there Porto’s and mimosas, but there was Wawa, Brianne, Kendra, MayMay, Jeanelly, Joel, Justin and the whole fambam. Ahhhhh it felt good to be back in the greatest country in the world!!!
Seeing as this was my first time back in the states in nearly 1.5 years, I was totally eager to see what super weird Korean things I was gonna carry back with me. To my surprise, I don’t think there were too too many. My stomach definitely shrunk and I could only eat about half the portion that I could before making kimchi a daily staple in my life. Jacquie told me I talk way more with my hands, but I also talked like a freakin Italian before I left anyways, but I guess it became a little more dramatic. But I like dramatic, so hmpf! The big thing for me was the shoes in the house thing. I obviously don’t care about wearing shoes in the house while I’m home, but since living in these parts I keep an almost completely Korean household with regards to outer footwear on my precious floors. Except for when I forget something and my shoes are already on. Then I wear my shoes in the house. Screw crawling across the floor, no time for that. I’m walking. Swiffer that shit later. However, when I arrived at my surprise party, the first thing I did (after hugging everyone that was there and complimenting them all on their great boots), was say how I needed to take my boots off because it felt weird to walk inside with my shoes on. Here I am sitting with May May wearing her boots, and me wearing my jazzy socks, and my suitcase throwing up beside me.
The whole time that I was home I was constantly moving, with the exception of my first Sunday home where I slept straight through the night and day until 5:30pm. Heyo jet lag! I’ll take a quick lil wander through the highlights of my trip and all of the beautiful faces I saw and glutinous cuisine I stuffed my face with.
The first thing I did after resting my peepers from a day of travel, was head up to Santa Barbara for some Mexican food and a night out with the Fab 4 and sista! It was May’s little sister’s 21st birthday, so the alumni came back to show her how it’s done (or tried to). In the end, we realized that in our old age we just can’t hang quite like we used to.
Kamikazi shots at Sandbar. Where’s the Cassie song?
Jonesy and sista also sang their own interpretation of Rihanna’s “Diamond.” Give your ears a treat, will you?
Sista and I had a wondrous dinner at Lala’s in Weho with the two handsome brothas Dicecca, followed by Koreanizing Michael Claudio and showing them my Korean hangul (alphabet) skills. They were easily impressed with my enhanced Asian genes.
The next day (a bit delayed), came the cream of the fatass crop. I finally stepped foot into an In N Out establishment, and it was even better than it tastes in my dreams.
Moving onto other excruciatingly delicious things, let me introduce you to the latest pledge to the FRAT house, the gorgeous lil Georgia Jeanne!
And another gorgeous human modeling his new PSY socks. ❤ Chizzy!
The next day, Jessie and I helped MayMay celebrate her 29th birthday over heaping bowls of Pho Tai. All things very nom. I was so happy when the little Vietnamese workers remembered me and asked where I’ve been! They were quite shocked when I told them I lived in Korea now, but very happy when I told them I’d visited their country on my travels.
Then came Friday, MLK weekend, and the arrival of some of the best friends on the planet!!! Bret, Kayla, Jeanette and Priya all flew in from San Jose and NYC for my birthday weekend, and I must say, that was the best gift I could ever ask for! The weekend was one of the best I’ve had in a really long time. Absence definitely made the heart grow fonder, and it was so unbelievable to know that even though almost 2 years had gone by since we’d all seen each other, we just picked up right where we left off. It’s so lovely to get older and know that your friends are still so close to your heart no matter all the distance or time between.
My birthday party was on Saturday January 19th at Bodega in Santa Monica, and I could not have asked for a better turn out! People that I honestly thought were not going to show, showed up, even if only for a quick hug and a smooch on the cheek. I originally didn’t even want to come home for a visit (sorry), but everyone really made it 150% worth it, and I’m so glad I came 🙂 So, here’s a gander at some of my fave moments as I rang in the last year of my 20s.
Perhaps the favorite, most unexpected of the night was this wonderful guy. Twas so amazing to see Nicholas.
Brotha was VERY excited to see Nick, and of course talk the sports.
Siblings Schaeff and one Ho-el.
The Agoura+ shot. We finally got it good, then Brotha did that!
TAYLOR LAUTNER CAME! JK. But my favorite New Zealander and vulgar conversationalist came. I freakin love you, Alavi!
Baller & Whore, but he doesn’t call me that anymore because I am a lady. BFFFFFFFFFFFFF4lyfe ❤
The 1, the only, the FAB 4.
My beauties clappin somethin out.
YES.YES.YES. Happiness embodied.
SBeezy in the Heezy!!!
Good girl’s gotta get down wit the gangsta! Love our T$!
Bromance and a princess of mine. My favorite part of this photo is Rami wearing Bretty’s sweater. True LOVE.
The ladies of LALA who made my 20s the most unforgettable ❤
Salmon pants and a sassy Asian. Can’t ask for more!
My favorite intern ever!!!!!!!! And also just one of my favorite human beings ever.
I can always count on this pretty lady to show up to a coming or going party. God bless our crazy ex-bosses dysfunctional relationship because we had the chance to meet each other ❤
Here was a nice little cherry on top, minus the poor lighting. I love all you guys!
The next day was my actual birthday. The day began as LA as you can get. Cruising down Wilshire Blvd. in Danni’s Audi convertible, getting green smoothies, rubbing elbows with one Sofia Vergara, and then popping off to an afternoon of brunching, bouncing around a baby Georgiecakes, and planting our butts in the warm Venice beach sand. It was by far the best most beautiful birthday I have ever had. Thanks guys 🙂
Sorry Fran and Nick, we are stealing your child. Meet Mr. & Mrs. Schaeffenchiz and our baby girl Laverne.
What a beautiful lesbian family you guys make.
Awkward poses with baby props.
Ok, real mom and her real baby.
My trip revolved around lots of important people’s birthdays, and on Tuesday was Mama Schaeff’s birthday! Jacquie and I took her out for a nomtastic dinner, and this is the video I took of her enjoying her chocolate cake and strawberry a little more than anticipated!
On my last day in the land of LA, sista and I went to visit our cousin Danny and his dazzling girlfriend, Nicole, at their boutique, Clover, in Silverlake (cloversilverlake.com). It was sooo nice to see them and see what they have done to the store. If you live in the area you definitely have to go! We caught up on life, travels, work, family and also took many unflattering photos along the way. Here’s the cutest one, where we cut out Danny’s 10 chins.
When it really clicked that I was going back to Korea it was a little bittersweet. I think the two weeks was the perfect amount of time to be home, because by the end I was definitely ready to return and pop off to somewhere in the orient. My last night was a little weird, but I think that’s because it was setting in for everyone that I was leaving again for who knows how long. As I packed up my 62 lb bag, Cilla laid at the edge of the bed just staring at me, like she knew I was leaving and she was prepared to be mad at me for another year 😦 I definitely miss those babyloves maybe more than anything ❤
My flight was the next morning bright and early, and I was pissed because my mom didn’t come to the airport with me. She knows very well!!!! So this time I left back to Korea with tears AGAIN. Drastically (DRASTICALLY) less than the first time, but tears nonetheless. Jacquie was sick, so she got a get out of jail free card, so I was off to the airport with Papa and Brotha Schaeff. I of course had my standard airport anxiety, on top of a stupidly heavy load of luggage that my dad was shlepping around for me. I always get bitchy when I’m stressed, so I felt a bit bad for how I was acting right before I left. Nonetheless, here is the last known photo of father, daughter and son before I escaped to the Orient yet again.
All in all, a trip home was so necessary. I really needed to get out of Korea and see the faces of the ones I love so much at home, and get a little perspective, because some things over here hit the fan before I left. So, to everyone who made my trip home unbelievable, many many many times one million thank yous!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
Last but not least, there were of course those things that popped out to me as either things I felt differently about or did differently since returning home. Perhaps the biggest that I noticed was something more than just things I say or do. Obviously most people in the world do not chose to go live in a country other than their own at their own accord, or travel the world for more than a few weeks at a time. So, already that is a huge thing that has set me apart from the people that I associate with home. While everyone at home will always be that part of me that no one else will ever be able to fully know, let me put this bluntly, I almost felt like I didn’t entirely belong anymore. It’s not as bad as it sounds. I just think that I have wanted to live abroad for SO DAMN LONG, and now that it’s finally happened and been in motion, and I’ve been surrounded by others who have picked up and moved their lives across the globe as well, this side of me that never got the chance to completely flourish has finally found its way out and found others who are passionate about the same thing in the same capacity. It was most apparent to me during times when catching up about relationships and jobs, and times when everyone would ask me where I’ve been, and where I’m going next. It’s like people were fascinated with what I’ve seen and where I’ve gone, but at the same time wondering when I’d be back in the states and what did I plan to do once this “vacation” was over. I couldn’t even put a pin on what the emotion was that I was feeling the whole time until a friend who had lived abroad some years ago, asked me how it felt to be home. I couldn’t really explain it, and then she said the words “you don’t feel like you fit in anymore, do you?” Ding ding. Life’s funny.
So yea, sorry to end on a weird note. I’m sure I will be back home by the end of the year, but only for a minute 😉 Being home felt amazing, but being abroad and traveling the world feels more amazing to me. Life is just crazy and I feel like everything is happening so fast these days. But if there’s one thing I am so freakin thankful for, it’s all of you fine folks that I will always call home 🙂
LOVE YOU ALLLLLLZ (and come visit me) ❤