Finding My Way Back Home

I grew up in Orlando, Florida, but Georgia has been my home for the past two and a half years. Throughout that time, I had not been back home at all, until recently.

Last month, I took a short trip to The City Beautiful and I’m so happy I did. I got to see so many family members, and a few old friends that I just showed up and surprised while they were at work. I also got lost multiple times driving around “my city.” There were so many new buildings, neighborhoods and shopping complexes. It’s amazing how much things can change in such a relatively short period of time.

After my plane landed and I picked up the rental, the first stop I made was to go see my dad. You know that mushy, sentimental feeling you get the first time you see a loved one after years of being apart? That’s how I felt. Oh, how I loved seeing that old man! He had quite a few more gray hairs than what I remember, but that was the only sign of aging I could see. He looked good and I was so happy to see him (can you tell I’m a daddy’s girl?).

I asked my dad to ride with me so we could chit chat a little on the way to see my mom (please don’t tell her that I went to see my dad before I saw her. I can’t handle another guilt trip!). Like most Haitian mothers, my mom doesn’t even try to hold her tongue when she’s speaking with her children. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight since the last time she saw me. The first thing she told me was that I don’t need to lose anymore weight and I should definitely do something with my hair. All I could do was smile and say “ok”. It’s funny how no matter how old you are, or what your title may be, when you’re around your parents, they only see you as their child.

Out of all the family and friends I have in Orlando, the one group that I miss the most is my nieces and nephews. They are by far my number one supporters! I got so many hugs and kisses. One of my nephews almost knocked me down the way he jumped on me when he saw me. It felt so good being around people that I know love me for real. I didn’t realize how much I missed everyone until I got to see them after so long. I can’t let another two and a half years pass by before I see them again.

After spending some time in Orlando, I went down to Miami for a day before flying back to Georgia. I love Miami so much! I have so many great childhood memories from taking road trips down south every summer. I love the water, the atmosphere, the pastel colored houses, and the heat doesn’t seem to bother me much. While I was there, a couple of friends and I decided to have lunch at Ivan’s Cookhouse. The funniest thing happened right after we were seated and waiting to place our orders. I was sitting facing the front door. The door opened and I looked up to see one of my nieces walking in. I was so pleasantly surprised! Neither one of us knew that the other would be in Miami that day. It made my heart smile to see my “baby” one last time before coming back to Georgia.

All in all, my trip back home was a success. I got to see my loved ones and fill up my love tank. I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to go back to visit, but I can promise you it’ll be sooner rather than later.

My oldest niece and I got to take a picture with Chef Ivan from Ivan’s Cookhouse. He is the winner of season 11 of the Food Network’s Chopped.

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