Surprise I’m Home!

May 30, 2010 at 7:41 pm 2 comments

.:{Surprise Visit to Colorado}:.

On May 5th I boarded a plane in Costa Rica bound for Denver, Colorado. I was coming home for a long weekend to surprise Ray for his graduation.

Now, although the idea of coming to states and seeing everyone sounds great, it definitely took some heavy-thinking beforehand. See, when my mom came and visited me, she had the brilliant idea that I should come back to the states to surprise Ray for his graduation. Although I really wanted to surprise him, my first reaction was to say no. I just felt like coming back to the states 3 months into my time in Costa Rica, with a month left to go, would be too much for my brain to handle. I thought that coming back to the states and being re-introduced to my old way of living, my family, Colorado, Ray and my friends, would take away from my experience abroad. I thought it would be too much to handle or maybe I wouldn’t want to come back.

But, after talking more about it with both my mom and my host mom in Costa Rica, I decided that surprising Ray would just be too awesome of an opportunity to pass up. (And actually the timing worked out perfectly, because for my Visa in Costa Rica, after 90 days in the country, I have to leave Costa Rica for 72 hours, and when I come back I have another 90 days. Well, I was hitting my 90 day limit, and had to leave anyway.) So, instead of exploring Panama like I originally planned, I headed back to Colorful Colorado.

Coming back was definitely a weird experience. I totally had the reverse culture-shock that everyone talks about. I mean everything was just…so…. easy, there was air-conditioning everywhere, everyone spoke english, time was something that mattered, there were fast-food places everywhere, people worried about material things like it was their job, and I could throw my toilet paper into the toilet instead of the trash!

Besides just feeling weird to be back in the states, the other strange thing was, that at the same time, it didn’t feel weird at all. It was like my brain did a 180 and flipped back into US mode. I felt like I had never been in Costa Rica, which was insane since it had been my life for the last 3 months. It definitely made me realize that during my last month in Costa Rica, I needed to truly live it up and enjoy every moment because when I came back for real, it would all just feel like a happy, sun-filled dream.

The first night back, only my immediate family knew I was in Colorado. I really wanted to surprise Ray, so I made sure not to tell his family or any of my friends just in case someone accidentally blurted it out. It worked like a charm. The next day, my parents and I headed to Boulder to meet Ray’s family at the graduation (of course his family only thought that my parents were coming rather than the 3 of us). As I drove us into campus, and we were stuck in campus traffic, who would happen to walk right next to my window and directly in front of my car, but RAY! What are the odds?? I frantically ducked, hoping he wouldn’t see me—luckily he didn’t. Whew! So, after the almost-run-in, we went into the graduation building and first surprised Ray’s family as they saw me walking down the stairs. Their reactions alone were amazing which made me even more excited to see Ray.

So, after surprising them, Ray’s dad called Ray to come over and see his “family and my parents” before heading down to the main area for graduation. Ray’s dad stood in front of me to block my seated self from Ray’s view. As luck would have it, he walked down the stairs to us at the perfect angle so that I would be blocked and just as he came up to his dad, I popped out, holding a present in my hands saying, “I brought a present for you” (the present of course being myself). His jaw dropped, and stayed like that for a good 30 seconds before he was able to say anything. It was such an awesome moment. We hugged and hugged as he kept saying that he couldn’t believe I was there, and I knew I had made the right decision to come back. I think we were both on Cloud 9 all weekend, not even being able to believe that we were with each other in-person, after 3 months of only talking via Skype. Definitely one of those unforgettable life moments. (To see his fantastic reaction, look at the pictures below)

Not only was it awesome to see Ray graduate, but I was also able to see all of my friends who live in Boulder and were either graduating or at the graduation party the next day. We developed a pretty solid group during our 4 years of college, and this was the last of the people that still had to graduate. Now, we are all going to be going our separate ways, and who knows if we will all ever be in the same place again. Being there to experience that and see everyone was again unforgettable.

After a whirl-wind of a weekend in Boulder, I came home for one night before I was supposed to leave for Costa Rica. That night was really hard as everything was hitting me all at once. I mean, I really hadn’t been home the whole time I was back, and had been so busy that I really couldn’t even take it all in. My brain was just overwhelmed by it all—leaving Costa Rica, coming back to the states, seeing Ray, being home. I had had no time to process it all, and just needed a day or two to figure out how I was feeling before coming back to CR. So, I actually ended up changing my ticket to stay in the states a couple more days, which was definitely needed, as I did finally feel ready to return after those couple of days.

Plus, I knew that I was lucky enough to be seeing Ray and Jen and her two friends from college only 5 days after, as they were coming to Costa Rica, and we were headed to Puerto Viejo for a week 🙂 Another amazing adventure.

The moment when Ray saw me—check out the jaw drop




Entry filed under: Colorado, Excitement, Family, Happiness, Surprise!. Tags: , , .

Mom Comes to Costa Rica The Key to Feeling Healthy and Happy

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dawn A Crawford  |  June 1, 2010 at 9:37 am

    soooo cute!!!!

  • 2. Caroline  |  June 8, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    LOVE it!!! I’m glad I finally got to see the picture you were talking about! Fantastic 🙂


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