“I don’t think we’re in New Zealand anymore Toto.”

Yep, my exact thoughts.

As soon as we landed in LA, a rush of adrenaline hit. Yes, half of it was the jet lag and strong coffee combination, but the other half was just REAL.

Let me tell you our travel plans, just humor.

4 hour drive from Taupo to Auckland, wait 5 hours for our flight. Then 12 hour flight from Auckland to LA. Layover was suppose to be only 2 hours but then flight was delayed last minute. Left LA at 8pm and got into DFW at 1am. Construction on the highway so didn’t get to my parents house till 2am. Woke up at 7am (darn you body!!!), laundry, then drove another 3 1/2 hours to Austin. PHEW!!!!

Customs were probably the worst part, thankfully they did not take away our beloved marmite! ha!

But the highlight of it all was DEB!! Sweet, amazing, kind, loving, and GORGEOUS DEB!! The best layover present a gal could ask for. That and Trader Joes of course.

Thank you Deb for rescuing us from the LAX airport. And thank you for being YOU! We needed someone as special as you to ease us back into US society. Winking smile

photo 1

photo 2photo 4

Speaking of society, jet lag, and homecomings… Here’s a little clip of my first day back in the good old US of A!


And thank GOODNESS these treats were waiting for us when we arrived home. It was like a Christmas for the GF blogger. YAHOO!

Note: Home right now is a PO box. gotta love the nomad style.


ahhh, the brands I love!

So comforting. yes!

But the best thing… the very BEST thing… was REUNITING our CHILD.


So here’s to jet lag, to long layovers with friends, to reuniting with fur babies/friends/family, to old favorites, and to continuing this journey

American style.”


What’s your best homecoming memory?




The RACE recap by the Hubs is up. I think it sums it up just right.

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  1. I love the hat! I live in my hat like that all summer. Perfect for those days that you don’t shower. Not that I ever do that.

    Welcome home!!! You deserve some downtime – from blogging, from the computer, for cooking, all of it. Ugh…traveling sucks.

  2. Welcome home! That’s one tiring journey although it seems to have gone better than your way over there. Hope you can settle back in and get readjusted to being home, I’m sure it feels awkward now but will feel like you never left soon enough.

  3. that is SO funny! I was thinking… Where’s Lindsay? Our paths are usually crossing about now.
    then I thought – hmmm – I wonder if she’s coming home…
    Then – BAM! I saw your tweet.
    What a lovely reunion, with both the child and nomnom goodies – so lovely!
    Welcome back!

  4. Love that you guys are home in the US safely! I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to be away from your beautiful baby. I am sure she was too happy to see you :-)

    • MEG!!! Hi friend. Yes, it was hard to leave her. We wanted to take her but the quarantine was awful. She was well taken care of. How’s school going?

  5. Dang… you two were making it off fumes. Love the welcome home gifts. Yummy! Bet you can’t wait to time adjust and get a really good night sleep.

    Congrats on your husband’s race even though it wasn’t exactly as planned. Fuel for the rest of racing in 2012.

    And way cool of Deb. Awesome. Welcome home y’all! 😉

  6. Im glad y’all are home safely! I’m sure it’ll take a bit to get settled but don’t rush it. I love seeing you and hearing you :)
    Miss you!

  7. Oh your pup is gorgeous!

    Man, that trip sounds hideous… I hate travelling, all the WAITING…. argh,! Hope you get some rest soon…. mmmm what goodies to arrive home to too, heaven :)

    • we need to do a trade soon. I couldn’t find the vegemite in the tube in NZ before i left. Is it in Aussie land? if so, how about i ship you some US goodies for it??

  8. welcome back
    you were in LA!!! ha so so close to me…less than an hour….
    what a long trip this was….glad you made it home safe…bet your doggie was happy to see you guys!!!

  9. So glad you’re home. Not so glad you gave lots of laundry to do. Sorry about that. What fun treats to come home to though. :) Not exactly sure about the best homecoming, but the best “home” moment of everyday is sitting with my boys before bed cuddling and saying prayers. I treasure it every single time. Welcome back!!!!!

  10. I bet you have gained so much from your experience over there Lindsay. I’m glad your back, and back safely!

    • i think we both gained a lot from it. Physically and mentally. Thanks for supporting us the whole way. and thanks for putting up with LAST MINUTE COTTER. haha.

  11. Welcome back, Friend! So glad that you’ve had a wonderful trip and are back safely.

  12. Welcome home Cotter’s. I am very happily just getting to know you..so LA is home I take it? yes? Your baby is so beautiful.. her color is like carmelized sugar… doggies are the best! So glad you are home safe.

    My best homecoming was when my husband came home from Iraq after being gone on deployment… It still makes me cry to think about. Have a great day! virtual hug

    • actually, our home is austin TX.. for now at least. haha. who knows in a few months. We pick up and go all race season. LAX was just the layover.

      And what an amazing homecoming. truly a blessing to remember, yes!

  13. Welcome home! I know your pup missed you guys for sure! Gosh what travels to get home! So glad you both made it safe though!

    So fun you got to meet Deb! She is so beautiful and seems so cool, like a kick ass girl! I want to meet her one day and you of course!

    Get some rest this weekend for sure, you and the hubs deserve it!


  14. I lived in another country for 5 months.
    didnt drive there.
    got home.

    email me today?

    • i almost crashed yesterday. Well i drove the car on the wrong side of the road, oops! I blame lack of sleep. my body is all confused. Needs a meal in a mug!

  15. Well, I’ve never left the modern gluten free conveniences for that long, so I think my best homecoming is about the hugs from my nephew!

    Welcome Home Cotters!!

  16. Welcome back to TX… what a great way to start off your homecoming with a trip to Trader Joe’s! Rumor has it that they are opening some in TX next year.

  17. Aw, rest up girl! And I am all for incorporating the restfulness and ease of living from other countries into our hectic crazy American life. I for one would kill for a 30 hour week like they have in France. Other cultures definitely know how to relax and we have a lot to learn from them. Can’t wait to read more about your re-assimilation. :)

  18. welcome home! hope you adapt to the time change quickly!

  19. ahhhh puppy is SO cute. i bet she’s so happy to have you home!

  20. Welcome home! That kind of travel is always so exhausting. But it’s always great to return to the US of A! Pup is adorable!

  21. Welcome home!!

  22. Welcome back to the states! What a sweet welcome home present!

    Your baby looks exactly like one of my babies. Love chocolates! :)

  23. Welcome home! Hope you get some rest soon. And I know that sweet furbaby is so happy to see you guys too!!! Hope you brought some of that NZ simplicity back home with you. Maybe you can teach others 😉

  24. I love that you don’t say how long it’s been since you’ve washed the hair..just “however long”…
    I love you!

  25. Welcome home!!!
    Sounds like you guys had quite the travel experience to get back home…goodness! I give you credit. And all of that jet lag- thank goodness for coffee 😉
    Loved the video- & oh I would miss the wine too!! I hope you guys get all of your shipped goods soon. I’m still curious about marmite. Craig asked me about it the other day (he’s never had it either) just saw it on something. I know you said you either love it or hate…so I am very curious now :)

  26. I bet you missed your fur baby like crazy! I’m sure you were missed too… and probably greeted with cold-nose kisses. :)

    That travel sounds awful. I hope you two are catching up on sleep and rest – you deserve it!

  27. What a journey! That must have felt like forever. But you made it through and even got a some nice little treats at the end – I’ve never tried nuttzo, but I know love grown granola is something to look forward to! I’m glad you guys are doing well!

  28. Welcome home Lindsay!

  29. Glad you made it safely back!!! We should catch up when you’re settled!

  30. Aww welcome home Linds!! Your travels sound a little intense! Yay for being reunited with your pup and some awesome food hehe. Hope you guys can take your time easing back into life in the USA

  31. ahh welcome back my friend! WHAT a trip! you must still be reeling from it, so exhausting just reading it! And what a cutie pie pup, I am sure he loved having you home!!

  32. It must feel like suuuch culture shock being “home” again huh? Try to ease into it if you can, create some new routines, a new “normal” for home life, make it new and fresh even if it’s back on familiar territory, right? Take all that you learned in NZ and apply it here, you are such a new person from that experience!!

  33. I bet it feels so good to be home! And glad you made it back over here safely. :)

  34. Welcome home – what a cute, furry face to come home to! I love that moment of walking into the door and the puppies coming to greet us. :)

  35. SO SO SO glad you’re home!!!! (hugs)

  36. hey, at least you had a handsome travel companion, right?!
    Nice to read an update and hear that you are safe and sound. Your doggy must have been sooo excited to see you!!

    I have quite a few homecoming memories.. one after being away for 7.5 months and seeing my family again and the other after being away for over 4 months and my parents and sister waiting in the airport for me with a bag of Lindor chocolate.. that’s true love right?! :)

    • oh wow, i love those moments. Family knows you so well and you are so blessed to have them. I would have loved that Sabrina.

      less than 2 weeks till race day now, eh??

  37. Welcome home my friend! My favorite memory was when Tony came home from his trip around the world. I had both of the boys with me waiting in the line at the airport. I swear a hug never felt as good as that one did! Enjoy being home with your family and I hope you get back into the groove of things quickly. xoxo

    • oh my gosh, yes. those hugs are worth holding onto forever!

      as far as that groove, it’s gonna take a while. i don’t want to jump in where i left off. you know? too much!

  38. YAY! That is so awesome!

    Glad to have you back on the same continent

  39. glad y’all are home safe & sound. hope you can get on some sort of routine sleeping schedule, but just take it day to day! :) what a huge gift to come home to so many delicious & familiar treats. miss you. let’s talk soon whenever you feel like it! give me a ring. xo

    • my body is not wanting to sleep. ahh. oh well. And i can’t wait finally call you at a reasonable hour. haha. Been thinking about you, a lot!

  40. Welcome Home my love!!!!! Well…..to the U.S of A…not my home 😉

    I love that you can dive back into your trader joes!!

    I think you need some sleep….ahhhhhhh


  41. janae@hungryrunnergirl.com says:

    You are back with your child!!!! So glad you were able to travel safely. Your previous post was absolutely beautiful. I am so thrilled that you had such a great time and you were able to rediscover yourself and realize that you love yourself. You are incredible!

    I can’t imagine how great it was to see your pup! I would have bawled like a baby. I was gone from my guys for 2 weeks during my honeymoon and thought I was going to die! The reunion was crazy!
    And that’s so cool that Deb came to save you- I love her blog and she seems like an awesome gal!

    • well we went 1 year without her before when we lived in hawaii. It was too hard to quarantine her. SO SAD!! But gosh i miss that face. She was well taken care of, so it makes me feel better. and she had a black lab buddy to play with.

  43. oh i’m so glad you’re home safe and sound! hopefully you’re recovering from the jet lag and trials of travel … and enjoying your gf goodies!!! welcome back!

  44. welcome home! YAY for reuniting!

  45. you are so cute! your travel sched sounds seriously exhausting…im tired just watching you v-log.

    anyway…welcome home!!! i cant even imagine how overwhelming it would be to come back after so long away in the outback, free from instant everything.

    so sweet of deb to say hi and TJ-ify you. you should have just stayed in LA :)

  46. So so glad you made it home safely and I bet it was so good to see your pup. I miss my pup so much when I am gone. Good luck at readjusting and take your time getting back into the groove. Don’t push yourself too hard and eat plenty of good american food. You look too skinny my sweet friend!

    • oh i agree. Hence the not working out at all. the stress is gone, but the stomach issues are not. Long story but lets just say i have another “colon” procedure coming up to take care of it. Now there’s a homecoming for ya. haha!

  47. did sadie freak? and try to get as close to you as possible?!

  48. Welcome home – I can’t believe that you are back already! It feels like you were just leaving! Let me know when y’all are racing near me, and I’m going to make sure I can be there. I’m already practicing my spectating skills… =)

  49. Oh what a journey! I can’t imagine! How good did that shower feel?! I bet Sadie bursting with happiness to see her mom and dad!

    Welcome back Lindsay! To your next adventure!

  50. Wow, hope you feel welcomed home by all these wonderful comments! I had click over and see what you had to say. Love the videos! I’m so envious of your time in New Zealand, it’s on my bucket list. Will look forward to your husband’s post :)

  51. Bless you, the journey must have been absolutely exhausting.

    I actually quite like your hat!

    Welcome ‘home’ though – I’ve never really been away from the place I was born (region) for very long at all, so I don’t have any true homecoming memories. I can’t imagine the upheaval of moving to a completely new country.


    • it was but at least i got to see some beautiful friends on the way, ya know? And I think you need to venture out of that region. How about TX next?

  52. yay for being home! and love that pic of sadie :)

  53. Welcome home, friend! And as much as I love hearing from you…I agree with that whole staying unplugged thing. So necessary. Make time for it! :)

  54. Welcome Home Lindsay and Hubs :) Loving your pictures, and the hat.. .very cute!

  55. you got to meet DEB!!! how fun, so jealous. hopefully one day we get to hang with both of you!!

    glad you made it back without too much trouble. we need to send you some goodies :) been working on some new things.

  56. Awww so glad you guys are reunited! I’d be so sad to be away from Oreo that long!

  57. Welcome home! I love the TJ there to greet you – what is that nuttz thing? Hope you catch up on some sleep asap! FYI – your dog is gorgeous!!

    Favorite homecoming memory – my hubs (then boyfriend) and my first deployment reunion. All those soldiers coming off the buses, searching for him in the crowd, and practically tackling him on the tarmac! Oh, and maybe the deployment he came home early due to an injury. That’s how we got our son! (Ooops TMI!! LOL)

  58. Welcome home, Lindsay!! Whenever I’ve been abroad for an extended period of time, I swell with excitement when I go through customs. There’s something so exciting–and comforting– about being welcomed back to the place where everything feels so familiar. This has been quite a journey for you, and it’s been so much fun for me to follow!

    Glad you were able to see Deb and hit up TJ’s! And that’s quite a special package you had waiting for you–talk about a feast of delicious eats! But as you said, reuniting with your pup must have been the best feeling of all. <3

    I'm excited to see what the journey brings next! xoxo

  59. You always have all these thought inspiring questions and I sit here going.. uh………

    • well you deserve a thoughtless friday, so you’re off the hook. I hope all is well Nora. I know you have been MIA but you are supermom!!

  60. so glad you’re HOME! and what a nice welcome you got with all of the lovely goodies! must feel so good! enjoy my friend! :)

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