Re-entering America.

We got back to the States on Monday and although in many ways I wish I could have stayed in Finland longer, I’m also incredibly thrilled to be back. Look: I’m wearing a t-shirt! That’s a welcome change. We missed a big chunk of fall so in a way it’s nice to be able to experience it after all.

My teammate Lauren was kind enough to let me join her at her brother’s house in Marblehead, Massachusetts on Monday night. He has three adorable kids and we enjoyed hanging out with them. Their house was right on the water, so I fell asleep in a big bed, with a room all to myself for the first time in weeks, listening to the waves outside. It was an amazing place to wake up on Tuesday morning, too. I snapped this shot of the morning sun off their front porch.

After the kids left for school and Skip and his wife left for work, we took a walk down to the beach. It was covered in beautiful smooth round stones, and chips of seashells. I even found a nice piece of seaglass. The tide was coming in and as we searched for our favorite rocks and shells, we would get splashed by the waves advancing ever-farther up the shore. Every time I go to the ocean, I realize that I love it. I just don’t get to spend much time on the water, but at some point in my life, I’m going to.

Then we went in to Boston to the Museum of Fine Art. We figured that we had been in the middle of nowhere and a little bit of culture would do us good. They had just opened the Art of the Americas wing, which was amazing. It was huge! We didn’t even make it through half the exhibit. Among the things we saw were a great collection of early American furniture; a gallery called “Arts of the New Nation” which included two huuuuuuuge George Washington paintings including “The Passage of the Delaware”; several recreated rooms from old houses, so that you felt like you were right there; some amazing pieces from New Spain, including intriguing objects from the Catholic churches; and the one that I think was me personal favorite, “Salon: Americans on the Grand Tour.” This gallery was literally crammed with paintings, placed like puzzle pieces on the walls. I could have spent so long in there looking at them, particularly the landscapes. I wish we could have stayed longer because there were so many things to see.

Now I’m in Virginia, visiting my father’s family. But that’s another story. My first 24 hours back in the States in Marblehead and Boston were absolutely amazing and I’m really grateful to Lauren and her family for putting me up.

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