Mom & Ralph, Dad & Dani, Stan & Nelly, Mark & Jacqueline, Brett & Teresa, Brad & Crystal, Grandma, Uncle Red, Justin, Hunter, Stephanie, Brandon, Taylor, Gabbie, Izzie, Jake, Uncle Don & Julie, Aunt Donna & Myron, Karen & Jim, Tom, Debra & Scott, Mark, Era & Pat, Tom, Caitlyn & David, Pattie, Mike & Sue, Nicole & John, Nancy & Bob, Rosemary & Charlie & Chuck, Lucy, Mike & Marika, Stuart & Harold, Cecelia, Nancy, Janet, Pat, The Super Club Gang, Uncle Jack, Craig & Gretchen, Jeff, Belle, Brian & Jen, Carm, Justine, Skye, Dave & Beth (especially since they are awaiting their new arrival), Deb & Jen & Casey, Carol & Jen & Julie & Leah, Jay, Lucy & Anne, Anu, Sandy, all our other friends and family, getting to see Ingrid, the lake, the Shaker market (especially seeing the farmers, bakers and honey-makers and the time spent with Karen on Saturdays), Coit Market, poker with Mike and his crew, reading to and visiting with Harold, my Viking range, my orchids, our artwork, Fire, thrift stores, NPR, Girl's Night, my washer and dryer (European ones just aren't the same), getting to see the new Greenhouse Tavern, Lolita, Huntington Park, my bike.
All of that is not to say that I am home-sick or would want to trade this time in Europe for being home but it is funny how I miss folks that I don't see regularly all the more because we are away.
Of course I miss my parents but I really miss my nieces and nephews. Shortly before Steve and I left on this trip, I had an experience with my nieces and nephews that will stay with me forever. My niece, Taylor, had a volleyball tournament on the far east side of Cleveland. Instead of my brother Brett, Teresa and the kids staying at our house (they live in Columbus)they decided to stay at a hotel that was half-way between where we live and where the tournament was. This way they didn't have as much driving back and forth to do and the kids could have the fun of the hotel pool and all. One of the nights Taylor's younger siblings: Gabbie, Izzie and Jake were going to spend the night with me and Steve at our house. I went to the hotel to pick them up. My brother Brad was there with Justin, Hunter, Stephanie and Brandon. The whole fam-damily was hanging out in the atrium of the hotel visiting and having fun. It was happy hour and the place was full of folks having a good time. When I walked in Gabbie, Izzie, Jake, Justin and Hunter all raced towards me with huge smiles and endless hugs and kisses (Taylor and Stephanie were off doing there own "older" girl things, I like to think they would have been just as happy to see me :)). They were literally jumping into my arms as fast as I could pick them up one at a time. I just about melted. After we hugged and giggled and kissed and I was able to take a seat, the woman who I sat next to said "Those kids certainly love you". I said "they sure do and it makes me one lucky Auntie". That's for sure!