Albania, Europe, Expat life, Family Travel, Utah

6 Silly Things I Miss About The U.S.

Let me say first, that we love it here, and I’ll do a follow up post on the things here that I prefer, but for today, indulge me in my silly reverie.

1. Yoga freaking pants

Yoga pants are the unsung hero in American women’s lives. Actually working out? They are there for you. Pregnant? They got you. Just had a baby? They hold you gently like a hug and don’t squeeze too tightly. Running kids to school? They’ll make sure you look like you might, maybe, possibly be headed to the gym after (no one needs to know). I’m not sure which runway the moms here have to walk after school drop off, but I’m pretty it’s not one at the gym.

You do not wear yoga pants outside of your house in Eastern Europe. I haven’t even done it and I can feel the looks of shame giving me anxiety. I did once leave the house with a messy bun, no makeup and ripped jeans, and that was bad enough.

2. Taco seasoning

I never gave taco seasoning a whole lot of thought. I mean, yes, I bought it in bulk at Costco. And made a batch of turkey burger doused in it every Sunday to start my week. But it was just always there for me, in so many varieties, ready to delight my taste buds and brain any time I wanted. I took it for granted. I’m sorry for that. Oh, how I miss you taco seasoning.

3. Hulu

What I wouldn’t give for Hulu! We were smack dab in the middle of watching Lost. Like right when it starts to get really weird and really good! After the harrowing battle of getting kids to sleep, battered and bruised, that was our reward every night. So simple. Touch the little green icon on our iPad and like magic, Lost would whisk us away. Oh, I miss Hulu.

4. Gas stations

Yeah, hear me out. My little sister will love this one. She’s made fun of me for years for my gas station love. I don’t care. I freaking love them. We went on a little road trip last weekend. You can read about it here. What do you do when you leave on a road trip? You buy snacks and a Diet Coke from the fountain, with tons of pebble ice and lime.. I can feel it burn my throat as I write this. That first sip….I’m not crying. It’s fine. Everything is fine.

You have some friendly banter with, Buck the gregarious clerk, who shares a tad too much about his personal life, but who also knows your kids’ names and asks how your daughter’s skating competition went…. Ah, good times.

Also, the bathrooms! It was always fine to use them. No cold, angry stares included.

They have gas stations here. Know what they’re for? Getting gas. I knew that fountain drinks were out once we touched ground in Europe, but snacks and at least a luke-warm Coke Zero from the sorta cold fridge? No, not that either. But if you’d like, you can sit down in a fancyish cafe attached to the gas station, and drink coffee and water for hours like the locals. No. I wouldn’t like. Because I’m American, so I want to grab my stuff and hop back in the car, blast my music and leave. Oh, gas stations…..

5. Any food. Any time.

I know berries aren’t in season for Fall, but feeding my kids berries all year long eases my mom guilt, okay? It’s all they like, and watching William’s face and hands get stained with blueberry juice made me pat myself on the back and forget about all the other mom fails I’d had that day. So now what am I going to use? Eggplant? Red peppers? Somehow I don’t think that is going to work.

6. Pumpkin spiced everything!

Sure, we make fun of how out of hand the pumpkin spice craze gets in the States, but the reason it gets so crazy is because it’s so good. Bring me all the the pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin candles, pumpkin spiced oatmeal, pumpkin cheerios…I’d even settle for pumpkin toothpaste at this point.

I hope my parents have learned to pack light, because I’ve got lots of things they’re going to need to smuggle in their suitcases when they come visit.

❤️ Melissa

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  1. Nannettte Minchey

    September 21, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    Taco Seasoning
    1/4 cup instant minced onion
    2 T salt
    2 T chili powder
    1 T cornstarch
    1 T crushed dried red pepper
    1 T instant minced garlic
    1 1/2 t dried oregano
    1 T ground cumin

  2. Amoya Knudson

    November 12, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    I damn near died reading this because I can feel your pain. I miss all of this and so much more. I love it here too but still… I want to wear my yoga pants while sipping my pumpkin spiced latte! lol

    1. admin

      November 12, 2018 at 6:11 pm

      OMG, pumpkin spice lattes IN yoga pants?! Heaven.

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