from the road

Day 23: A Chambana Fourth of July

Kayla loves the Fourth of July, especially the fireworks, so staying at her house ensured that we would have a memorable holiday.

After we went on a morning walk together, Kayla and I visited my most favorite place on earth: Meijer. No journey to the Midwest would be complete without a trip to this delightful box store. (I kid, I kid! Though I am legitimately sad that we might end up somewhere that doesn’t have an Aldi.)

Kayla @ Meijer

The afternoon was spent making macaroni and cheese and pound cake. Darby helped us clean up.

Darby licking batterAnd we dried our eyes out while engaging in an intenseĀ Dr. Mario battle.

playing Dr. MarioDo you like butter and sugar? Yes? Good, then make this pound cake.

Amanda's cheese poundcake

Then cut it up and turn it into a patriotic trifle!

red white and blue trifle

I haven’t been in a kitchen much since we left on WVT, so I really enjoyed cooking with Kayla today!

Kayla & Mica with trifle

She showed me how to grill corn (rub it with butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, wrap in foil, grill). This is my new favorite way to eat corn!

goofing off with corn


Meanwhile, Harrison and Darby were sent on an important errand. We said “Get some ice.” And, boy, did they deliver or what? As Darby says, it’s like “a human torso of ice.”

Husbands with iceAll this preparation was for a good reason. Jin, Joey, and Jenna came over for an Independence day cookout!

Cookout collage

The guys were verrrrry excited to launch bottle rockets in the street.

Joey launching rocket.

Eventually, we were able to tear them away from their toys in time (Actually, with plenty to spare) to go watch the fireworks.

Fireworks watching collage


I’ve been reflecting some on our experience here.

I don’t think we’ll rush back to visit Champaign-Urbana anytime soon because most of our friends are the only thing anchoring us here. So many of them are moving on to new and exciting things right now: Jenna is going to grad school in D.C. Kayla and Darby are moving to Texas and becoming parents. Amy is starting a professor position in Florida, and Ryan is headed to William & Mary. And those that are staying in the area? They’re only here for a little while longer before they go off on a new adventure.

We’re excited for all of you–those moving and those staying! We’ll come visit wherever you end up and hope that we will move somewhere that you want to visit us, too!

Happy Fourth of July from Wedding Victory Tour!

from the road

Days 21 & 22: To Chambana!

It has been a month and a half since we left Champaign-Urbana, and here we are, back again! I feel like we’ve been gone for a much longer time because so many things have happened since we left.

We are staying with our two good friends, Kayla and Darby. I was glad we could arrive in time yesterday to celebrate Darby’s 28th birthday at Crane Alley. Happy birthday (belatedly!), Darby! And good luck on your defense next week!

Darby with birthday glasses

And we got to see Cassandra/”Crosado” before she left town for the weekend. (Not great lighting in this picture, but our natural beauty shines through. Yes?)

Kayla, Cass, Mica



We’re only here for a few days, so we have to pack in the visiting. This morning, I ran with Aileen! I’ve been run-walking on this trip, so this was the first actual run that I’ve done in over a month. I’ve really missed having someone to run with; the miles went by so quickly even though it was raining!

Aileen & Mica


I haven’t seen Jin yet, but I’m trying to get her to come to Kayla’s Fourth of July cookout tomorrow!

Mica & Jin texts

And this evening, it was off for tasty Korean dinner with the Classics department! I’m sure Harrison will look for a new poker group wherever we end up, but they won’t be as cool as this one. And I will, for sure, miss my weekly coffee dates with Dan.

Classics department at B Won


Tomorrow is the fourth, so I’ll be spending it with Kayla prepping for the party and making a patriotic dessert. And also, I’ll be asking her a million and one questions about babies because SHE’S GOING TO HAVE ONE!!!!!