05 December 2013

we're leaving on a jet plane - soon!

Folks, it's official! Michael and I have purchased one-way tickets from Chicago, Illinois to Mwanza, Tanzania, leaving on January 3rd! We can't believe we are less than one month away from departing the U.S. of A.

look, we all have something to be proud of!

hillside in mwanza, tanzania

For those interested, we're trying a new airline, Qatar Airways, to get over there. (Here's to being adventurers!) We'll go directly from Chicago to Doha, Qatar, where we'll layover for about 7 hours. From there, we'll head to Nairobi, Kenya and finally, to Mwanza, Tanzania. And yes, we know many of you think we'll be living in a region similar to the Serengheti, but we actually land on a paved runway in Mwanza. Huzzah!

look, they're so welcoming!

Some stats about our trip:

Flight Time on Planes: 21 hours, 40 minutes

Total Travel Time: 30 hours, 30 minutes

Not too shabby, we say! Compared to the time it took us to get to New Zealand this past spring (41 hours of total travel time!), this will be a breeze. (Fingers crossed!)

hoping this isn't us after our flight to tanzania!

Since November, when Michael posted a bit about our life here in Ossining, we have been keeping busy! We were overjoyed when two of our good friends from our life in Dallas randomly declared they were coming to see us, based on some cheap fares to NYC. Over a short duration of 48 hours, we caught up on how life has been over the last two months and reminisced about our five years in Dallas together. We also managed to fit in a scotch tasting (courtesy of MacAllan), a walk along the High-Line, and visits to the 9/11 Memorial and Central Park.

rooftop bar in nyc!

Recommended: The Rooftop Bar at the Dream Hotel in Mid-town, Shake Shack (NB: Only Approved by Ashley, Michael Was a Hater), Eataly, Prince Street Kitchen

Not-So-Much Recommended: St. Patrick's Cathedral (Due to waaaay too many tourists and the fact that it's currently under construction...)

We also had a nice, long break for Thanksgiving, which we split between visiting Michael's relatives and spending time in Manhattan. On Thanksgiving morning, we drove from Ossining out to Wainscott, New York, to spend time with Michael's aunt and uncle, who we hadn't seen since our wedding in 2010! Michael's uncle also happens to be a fantastic cook so we ate our weight's worth in turkey, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, and pie. Couldn't have asked for better meals!

kind of how we felt on thanksgiving.

On Friday evening, we ventured into Manhattan for a lovely stay at an apartment in Mid-town, which was graciously lent to us by a dear friend who was out of town. Another huzzah! Over the weekend, we visited more dear friends in Brooklyn, after walking the Brooklyn Bridge, and walked along 5th Avenue to admire the Christmas lights and newly-decorated shop windows. It was a great weekend for me and Michael, spent sleeping in and catching up with each other after eight weeks of living in community!

on the brooklyn bridge!

classic - central park.

Recommended: Prime Meats in Brooklyn (Thank you, Laughlin's!)

Not-So-Much Recommended: Church of the Blessed Sacrament (We tried Mass here, but it wasn't awesome. I would try a different one next time.)

We anticipate the next two weeks will be a blur! We are having a mini-reunion this weekend in Brooklyn with five of our dearest friends from the college years - more merriment to ensue! The following Friday, our parental units fly into LaGuardia to attend our closing ceremonies for our Orientation Program. And by December 15th, we are leaving on a jet plane to start our Midwest Tour, seeing family and friends in Minnesota and Illinois before we depart! Yowzas! So much is happening, but we couldn't be happier.

this is how we feel!


  1. Don't worry, the airport has undergone some renovations and it's a bit more updated than that picture makes it out to be. You'll even get on a mini bus to take you the couple yards from the plane to the building! Enjoy the rest of your time in the states and safari njema! We're excited to greet you guys and Kristle on this side!

  2. Asante Katie! We can't wait to finally meet you and Chris in person!


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