World Travel with a Twist of Zen - Fields of Indulgence  
 
The next stop on our journey is taking me back to one of the first homes I had in the United States. It was hard to leave the great weather and beautiful adobe home in Santa Fe but also exciting to see my friends in Springfield. We drove 12 hours to Tulsa, OK, stopping in Oklahoma City for scrumptious tacos that took our bellies back to Austin!

Driving through Springfield, I was shocked at how different it looked to me yet how nothing had changed! This was one of my first real homes in the United States, and what a different town it is compared to NYC and Bulgarian cities. As we travel through the country without our own home now, I am realizing more and more how much home is with the people that you meet and connect with. 

My first job as a waitress was at a Chinese buffet, Jade East, so we had to make a stop there because who knows when we will return there. I remember thinking how weird Chinese food was. In Communist Bulgaria, we didn’t have any other culture foods or exposure, so the only thing I ate was the fried chicken, fries, and pickles for a long time :)! Jade East was the same, same people working there, even the food tasted exactly the same!
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At Gastropub
In contrast with the somewhat bland city landscape is the love and warmth with which I was greeted by my longtime friends. I haven’t seen them in at least 2 years but feels like we have been hanging out every day! We stayed with my maid of honor and high school friend Stefie! We had a delicious farm to table dinner with her crowd and also met up with my good friend Lisa who I have also known for about 13 years. Love you girls!

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We drank more than we have in the past month in this one weekend! We had  a bonfire at Stef’s sister’s (Jen) house for her birthday and then headed off to the North Fork river for a glorious day of floating down the river. It had rained all night and all morning and it seemed as if we were in an enchanted forest as the sun was peeking through the fluffy clouds! Black butterflies were everywhere and the rugrats and raccoons were out on the banks. It was so beautiful and luscious!

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At the Daily Pub
We are now at the Lake of the Ozarks relaxing and really enjoying the amazing home of Matt's (Jeff's college friend) grandma. We are cooking, doing laundry, and in a way made a new home already! :)
LIsa Cornelison
8/2/2011 10:19:11

I'm so blessed to have known you all these years, you are beautiful inside an out. I'm so happy that you have Jeff in your life, an that you are going on this experience with him. Can not wait to hear about your travels!!

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janep
8/2/2011 16:26:59

Let's see...eating, drinking, floating, Yogaing...sounds like a most perfect life.

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Karen McCollum
8/3/2011 03:19:15

Neda, I love this picture of you and Jeff at the Daily Pub! I'm so sorry I didn't get to say goodbye to you two when I was in Italy. I'm sure I'll see you guys again no matter where you settle. Warm hugs to you both. I'm glad you all like Santa Fe. Jeff and I stopped there on our way when we moved to California as 22 year old young pups...it is a magical place for us, too because we were starting our lives together. Please give Jeff a big hug and throw in a butt squeeze if you feel like it. :) Love, Karen

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Patricia X
8/3/2011 04:42:38

Hello friends! I'm in Bemidji now. The winds finally shifted out of the NW, blew the humidity away and left cooler weather. The air is sparkling. I read your blog and we (Carolyn, John and I) had a similar experience driving from Kansas City MO to Iowa. We drove in the early morning for miles through a thick fog and as we ascended the clouds, we were rewarded with the most luscious green we have seen in a long time. It was magical and inspiring of what the earth can provide. Love you guys. Pat

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