Made it Back to New Zealand

December 3, 2016

We made it back to New Zealand..! After settling in, overcoming the jet lag, and finally catching the cold I have been avoiding for over a week, we’re back. This past month has been nothing short of incredible. I am so honored for the opportunity to say that we have literally flown around the world. I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who was part of this trip and who made it so special.

Starting in Hong Kong was a treat. So much character and life buzzing through those streets. I could easily spend a couple years living there. It was incredible. Amsterdam was amazing too and special thanks to Emma for flying from Greece to surprise me. Besides the obvious, my favorite part of Amsterdam was the beautiful arciteture. Paris stole my heart (and taste buds) while London was as iconic as I ever imagined. There is such history in England; It was incredible. Sheffield was a real fun place to visit and see where Andy went to college and meet some of his #mates. However, nothing could prepare me for visiting his loving family in his quaint hometown of Ticton/Beverley. I want to extend a special thank you to his father, mother L Suzanne Millar and sister Claire. Thank you so much for welcoming me with open arms.. it meant the world to me 🙂 It was so nice to see where Andy grew up. He came from such a loving family and I can see where he gets his good traits. Thanks again for being such incredible and enthusiastic tour guides.. From Beverley to our day trip in York, I appreciate everything you all did for us while in England.. and if that wasn’t enough, you took us all the way up to Scotland! I had such a nice time seeing the culture up there and meeting Andy’s extended family. They’re a fun group of people and I can’t wait to visit one day again! Thank you all again for making my time in the UK so special.

After Scotland, Manchester was a unique place in a sense it had a mixture of modern yet the old style England I had previously seen. I think Manchester is the place I could see myself living if I ever ended up in England (::awaits the banter from people who don’t live in Manchester::) haha – Oh, and backtracking a little, it was nice to see you too George(IE) while in York. All in all, Europe was everything I had expected and more. It was a great introduction to this part of the world and I can’t wait to explore it further.

As for the States.. I still really can not describe in words how it felt. I have never been so overwhelmed with love in my entire life. It is crazy to think that only a year and a half ago I was trembling in my pants to utter the words “I’m gay” to everyone and now I have returned home with someone I love deeply only to be welcomed with open arms by everyone. I could cry thinking about it. Thank you everyone for accepting the person I have always been. It is nice to finally close the door on that difficult yet rewarding time in my life. The way I can describe my time home is summed up by immense love being thrown at my direction in every turn I made. I can’t describe the feeling.. it is something that will live in me forever. Starting in NYC with our escapades with Alley, Catherine and Chelsea.. how much fun was that? You three mean the world to me and thanks for making our time there so incredible. NYC has always been and always will be one of my favorites. Special shout out to RaeRae who couldn’t make it in the end but I want her to know she was still there with us in our hearts. After exploring NYC (and walking over 25 miles) we flew due West to the colorful Colorado. Our time in Colorado was indescribable. Time after time, whenever I return I am reminded by what a unique, loving group of friends we have. I remember when I landed the hardest part was deciding who to contact first because I love everyone there the same. It is like having 40 best friends.. Thank you all for welcoming Andy with open arms and making our time there unforgettable. Andy has since said too that the meal at Arcana was potentially the best meal he has ever had. Thanks to everyone who was able to make it that night in Boulder. If that wasn’t enough.. the following day of Friendsgiving was the icing on the cake. To see all of those shining faces in the same room is a feeling I can not explain.. and the best part is that everyone felt the same way. We all were so happy to be reunited. We are such a lucky group of people to have been in each others lives for over a decade and still have undying love for each other. No matter the time or distance apart, you all will always be my number one (along with my Texas family haha). Thanks to the countless offers of a place to crash while we were there. I think I would have to stay for weeks to stay one night with each person who extended their home to us. Thank you again – we felt the love and its still radiates.

When I thought that Hong Kong, Europe, NYC and Colorado were enough.. I returned to my hometown of Dallas, TX. First off.. my family.. Thank you all for having my back and being such a great support group. I owe everything to you guys, from my amazing childhood to my now. My mother Debbie has a heart of gold and shows her love for me in every action. My father Hector is right there with her, loving me and bending over backwards to make sure I am happy and comfortable. Thank you guys so much. My Mima and Papa (Ray Fran) are the same as well. Mima, you are as goofy as ever. 🙂Thanks to Papa for putting up with her silly antics while remaining the calm and collected one in the family. We all love you both deeply which I know you already know. Special thanks too my aunt Sherri and cousins Kyle and Katlyn who have always been so prevalent in my life and for being more like brothers and sisters rather than cousins. Thanks to Art and Tina Yvette who made it to Six Flags even though roller coasters aren’t your favorite. As for my Texas friends, you guys have known me the longest; either since highschool or as far back as elementary. I am not going to tag my friends because just like in Colorado, it would take hours to do so. Just know I feel the love from each one of you and all that I hope if that you feel it in return. It was so good to see each and every one of you.

While I was at home my family threw me a welcome home party where faces appeared from all different periods of my childhood. Again, a loss for words with the amount of love I felt coming out of one room. Thanks to EVERYONE who came out to see me and to welcome Andy to Texas. That was such an incredible day and I can not express enough gratitude to everyone who came to visit. Thanks to my mom who spend countless hours and nights preparing the perfect welcoming home party. I know you spilled your heart and soul into making this a special day for me. Thank you, it was a complete success.

After Dallas we spent one night in Austin. Here I got to see my grandpa who I haven’t been able to see in quite some time. He is as adorable as ever and he was so excited to show us his new truck. I love you grandpa and promise never to take any wooden nickels.. Thanks to Lizzy who met up with us for dinner. I miss you tons. Austin would not be complete if it weren’t for spending the night with Megan, Connor and Aiden. You three mean the world to me.. not to mention little baby Georgia who I have not met yet but who is constantly on my mind and who I already love with all of my heart. May she continue to grow and remain strong.. I can’t wait to meet her one day 🙂 She’s perfect.

Last but not least, I want to publicly thank Andy for being such a positive addition in my life since the day I met him. I had so much FUN with you this trip.. you’re my best friend here and I am thankful for each and everyday I am able to be by your side.

Anyway’s, I think that is it.. sorry (not sorry) for being such a softie but I had to get it out there what an incredible experience this past month has been. Although I am sad it is over.. I have to remember something my second mom Anne told me as a child.. She told me that it is better to leave a place when you’re not ready.. that way you always have fond memories of your time there. This continuously comes up in my life. Although I was not ready for any part of this trip to end, I am glad I left when I wasn’t ready because the memories and longing to return remain bright in my heart.

Thanks to everyone in my life. I appreciate you and love you more than words.. Until next time..

(Photo taken in front of the Louvre Museum in Paris)

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