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My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:
Honeymooners & Hoosiers

A few weeks ago, I got an email from a dear friend and former college roommate of mine, Genii. We lived together from 2003-2004 while we studied abroad at the University of Leeds in the UK. Despite our incredibly different backgrounds (she is Chinese), beliefs, and a minor language barrier, we became fast friends.

Genii and Me Genii continued her studies in the UK long after I returned to the States, and we were able to catch up again when Brian and I visited there in 2006. When we moved to the UK again in 2008, we had the opportunity to visit with Genii on several occasions while she completed her Master’s degree in Fashion Merchandising or Fashion Marketing or something impressive like that.

Clearly, Genii’s keen fashion sense did not rub off on me. 

Genii and Me

Hey, Katy. Wilma Flinstone called. She wants her necklace back.”

Shortly after we established ourselves in the UK, Genii moved back to her native China and took a job in Shanghai. Since then our contact has been minimal. People in China are not allowed to access Facebook, Instagram, and most (if not all) other social media sites. Most of our emails never seem to make it through government censorship. I guess I should stop trying to stage a coup d’état over email (KIDDING, y’all).

Believe it or not, even this silly, little blog is banned in China. Which makes sense because access to mommy blogs is pretty high on the list of ways to completely corrupt a nation.

How to Completely Corrupt a Nation:

Step 1: Money

Step 2: Sex

Step 3: Politics

Step 4: Drugs

Step 5: Facebook

Step 6: Mommy blogs

See? Give a woman a recipe or a potty training tip, and she can derail an entire regime. 

That’s what I always say.

As much as I dislike the idea of communism (I’ve never actually lived in a communist country, so I can’t speak from experience), I appreciate the conversations I have had with Genii throughout the years. We are both very opinionated women with strong political and sociological views. In some ways our views differ. In some ways they are the same. But never have we demonized or idealized either situation. We simply learned from each others’ experiences.

This one friendship has given me a greater education than an entire year in a university classroom.

Now that you have all this background, you can imagine how surprised I was to finally get an email from Genii at the end of March. I learned through a mutual friend that she recently married a man she met while we were in school together in Leeds (though they never dated until she returned to China). In her email Genii said that she planned to come to New York and Chicago with her husband, William. She asked if there was a place nearby where we could meet.

Since it was quite a haul for us to get to NYC or Chicago with the kids (not to mention expensive), I suggested that we meet at my in-law’s place in Crawfordsville, Indiana. And since she lives in Shanghai, the largest city in China, and visited two of the largest cities in our country, it was so much fun to watch Genii and William experience an all-American, family gathering — Indiana style.

Family gathering in Indiana

I didn’t know until they arrived this past Friday that they were actually on their honeymoon. Their HONEYMOON. In Crawfordsville.

Honeymooners & Hoosiers

One day, William will have this conversation with his grandchildren:

“Grandpa, is it true that you took Grandma to Crawfordsville, Indiana on your honeymoon and ate Arni’s Pizza with a bunch of Grandma’s crazy friend’s in-laws?”

“Yes, children. It’s true. And your Grandma swears that Arni’s Pizza was better than Chicago deep dish. It was worth enduring that crazy woman and her in-laws for such delicious pizza.”

In addition to the pizza, Genii and William both seemed to enjoy the cleanliness and beauty of the Indiana countryside. They were especially intrigued by the unshelled walnuts they found and wanted to taste them. I suggested we take some back to the house where we could find a nutcracker in a kitchen drawer.

William opted for a more primitive solution. 

Honeymooners and Hoosiers

I just love this moment between newlyweds on their honeymoon. The moment where the loving husband smashes a walnut between two rocks in order to provide a snack for his bride while she laughs at his monkey impersonation.

Can’t you just smell the romance? 

[Actually, those are cow pies you can smell.]

Seriously, I feel bad that these two drove 3 hours from Chicago to spend less than 24 hours with us ON THEIR HONEYMOON. And when I asked Genii how William felt about it all she said this:

Honeymooners and Hoosiers

“He asked me if we really need to do this. He asked, ‘Is she really a good friend?’ And I said, ‘Yes. We HAVE to do this.’”

Honeymooners and Hoosiers

I’m so glad they did. 

Did you visit friends and/or family on your honeymoon?

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Comments to "Honeymooners & Hoosiers"

  1. Laurie

    April 24, 2014

    What a sweet story!

    We didn’t visit family on our honeymoon, but my mother can curl your hair with stories about her in-laws coming with them on their honeymoon to Niagara Falls in 1949!!!

  2. Amy

    April 24, 2014

    We actually planned our honeymoon to be in the location of a friends’ wedding that was going on the following weekend. It’s super fun to tell people that we hung out with our pastor on our honeymoon (who traveled to do the wedding!).
    Amy recently posted…Easter and Birthday CelebrationsMy Profile

    • Katy in a Corner

      April 24, 2014

      Hey, there’s nothing wrong with multi-tasking. Killing two birds and stuff like that. Plus, I’m sure your friends greatly appreciated it.

  3. Jane

    April 24, 2014

    In one blog post, I’ve been educated, made to laugh out loud, and teared up (that she considers your friendship that special). Such a cool story, and that picture of him cracking a nut while she laughs, and your comment about it, was the best!!!
    Jane recently posted…Who is God?My Profile

  4. Arielle

    April 24, 2014

    We got married in Montana and drove to Canada to fly to England to stay for a few days with a family my husband had met ONE time at church in Montana. Here’s the kicker: the father was not actually going to be home during our travel dates, and he neglected to mention to his adult daughter that crazy Americans were coming to stay. Picture this:
    US: (bedraggled American tourists jet-lagged from a full day of travel knock on the door) Um, is Dudley here? He said we could stay…
    FRIEND’S DAUGHTER: Who are you?

    She was incredibly gracious and we ended up having a lovely time getting to know her!

  5. Christy B

    April 24, 2014

    Oh…such a happy story! ! Thank you. I appreciate your blog so much.

  6. Lisa

    April 24, 2014

    We didn’t visit any friends, but we did have an adjoining room with my parents on our wedding night

  7. Genii

    April 26, 2014

    I ACTUALLY can be on your blog. I cannot believe it when William found it out. I looked terrible before (although I don’t think I realised it). Thanks for keeping those funny and silly pictures and showed them to William. I think we skipped many years of memories and now it is like a new start. All the past just happened to make us meet again for all the happy ending. I Do think life is a miracle and has been planned in some ways.

    We both THANK you and Brian for always having me at some points! And William likes this experience, that is important, so we can do it again next time.

    Also, we have given your link to Maggi’s friend, who does film and video tapes for documentary. If you need, we can ask her permission to give you her number for contact. Please let me know.

  8. Pingback: Made in China (and an Apology to the Chinese Government) | (Nobody Puts) Katy in a Corner

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