Hello from Iran! I'm one week into my first tour of the season and it's going pretty well. I have a small group (only six people) and they're all first-time travelers to Iran. The local guide is a woman I've worked with before and she's becoming a very dear friend of mine. I wish we could see each other more often, but we're averaging twice a year now and that's more often than I get to see some of my family and oldest friends, so I guess we're doing all right.
It feels like I've been traveling for ages. Last month I had my trip back to Seattle, which was brilliant. I didn't overextend myself by trying to do too much and because of that, the trip proved to be very rewarding. On my last night in town, I had a pub night where I invited all my local friends to drop in at their leisure and have a good laugh with me. Quite a few people dropped by, including three former neighbors of mine whom I hadn't seen since I left Seattle. We had a great time together, and it was so nice to see all these people I know from different circles interacting at the same table. It was sad to leave, but I'm getting better about it. Of course I still long for my old friends and even certain aspects of my old life at times, but I feel a bit more adjusted than I did last year at this time. Long may this continue.
From Seattle I flew to Phoenix with my mom to attend the wedding of a family friend. The most exciting thing about this portion of my travels is that my husband got to join me for it! He flew into Phoenix the day after we arrived so we could all attend the wedding together and then have our belated honeymoon road trip across Arizona and over to New Mexico. We had a great time at the wedding, but I had to laugh at what a cold weather girl I've become; even though the event took place in the sweatbox that is Phoenix, I was still surprised to arrive at the venue and discover that the ceremony would take place outside. When I pictured the event in my mind beforehand, it was always indoors. It turns out that my husband had pictured it the same way, so we had a good laugh about that.
The day after the wedding, our honeymoon began. We took the long road up towards Flagstaff in our rented Hyundai and hit Sedona right before sunset. For the record, sunset is the perfect time to be in Sedona. I've been there before, but it was even better this time. When I get home later this month and can have access to Flickr again (it's blocked by the government here), I'll post a few pictures.
The next few days were a whirlwind of open road, country radio stations, roadside motels and quality time with my wonderful husband. I only wish the trip were longer, but I wouldn't change anything else. When it came time to fly out of Albuquerque, I felt like we'd really had our honeymoon and done a damn fine job of it. As soon as time and resources allow, we want to go back and pick up the trip where we left off, heading further east this time. Someday.
When I say it feels like I've been traveling for ages, I really mean it and here's why; when we got back to Glasgow, I had one full day at home before I had to go right back to the airport and fly to Iran. Yikes! And it's not like I could just take the same suitcase with me; because of the dress code here and the fact that this is a work trip, I had to completely repack my suitcase and start fresh. But somehow or another, I managed to pull it together and here I am...in a desert town called Kerman in southeast Iran. I'm glad this portion of my travels is going well, but I'll be so glad to be home again. One thing I'm really looking forward to is to get started on my big summer sewing project: duvet covers for the boys. I bought some great fabric in Seattle for this task (which the boys haven't seen - it's a surprise) and I'm going to make them both patchwork duvet covers for their beds for the start of the new school year. I can't wait to sit down at my machine and get started.
But until then, I hope all is well with you. Thanks to those of you who found me through my feature in the paper. I see that it's now online, so if you want to read an interesting article on "non-traditional mothering situations" and learn a little more about my story, click on this link. However, I must say that I was misquoted in the last paragraph about Step-Mothers' Day. I told the interviewer that we observe American Mother's Day (which is in May) for me and leave British Mothering Sunday (in March) to their own mum. That seems to work well for us. Otherwise, I felt well represented by the article. Take care and I'll post again as soon as I can.