Thursday, September 23, 2010

London day 8 ... California day 9

So Wednesday was the day to leave London and head back home.  It was 9 days of non-stop travel (well, 10 technically, if you count getting to LA a day early in preparation for the flight out)...and although I got to see some fantastic sights, met some fabulous people and enjoyed a lot of wonderful food...I have to admit that it was definitely time to come home.  I love to travel, but after a while there are things from the homefront you just driving your own car...on the right side of the road.  

Do you ever notice how much harder it can be to pack to leave?  It's a phenomenon that I've never understood.  For the travel out, you have to make sure everything is packed all nice and neat...find a way for it to not wrinkle in the suitcase.  This seems like it would be the more complicated part, right? I mean, when it comes time to go home, everything's been worn, so who cares how you stuff it in the bag.  So why...when you have the ability to stuff your suitcase any way you there just that just won't fit, no matter how well it all fit on the way out.  I don't get it...I just don't get it.

Meanwhile, the next time I need to fly, I’m going to figure out what type of sacrificial offering I need to make to the Airline Gods…because apparently I ticked someone off somewhere along the line. First it was the cramped seating with the crazy, cackling women behind me on the 20 hour flight to London. Then, on the 30 hour flight back, it was the closure of the Dulles airport and the 2 hour diversion into Newark that put me into DC within minutes of missing my flight to LA. Seriously...missed it by {--} that much.  Now, somehow, by the grace of the Airport Gods I was able to get on the absolutely last flight out of Dulles to LA; but that took a lot of smiling and batting of the eyelashes at the gate attendant. However, once back on an airplane, I ended up with one of the bumpiest flights ever. Sigh.  I finally set foot on solid California ground around 12:45am Thursday....which was 9am in London.  So let's see, 5+3-2, carry the 12....yup....I had been in an airport or on an airplane for 23 hours.  I'm telling you,  I don’t know if I need to offer up a live chicken or a bucket of the Colonel’s finest…but before I set foot on another airplane, I’m gonna have to figure out something.

So now that I'm back home, I went back through my photos and other blog postings to see if there was anything I missed or forgot to share with the group.  And what do you know...there are a few thoughts that I realize I never found a home for in the earlier postings.

For example, I learned on this trip that if someone says I’m “a few pounds light”…unfortunately they’re NOT referring to how well I fit into my jeans. Means I’ve shorted them money and they’d really like it if I’d pay up. Whoops.

So countries have their own embassies on foreign soil…y’know…the French Embassy, the Italian Embassy, the Australian Embassy…

Well, it turns out Texas really has been its own country this whole time after all, complete with…you got it…

Who knew???!!!

Next, I believe that Parisian women are among the most beautiful women anywhere. I swear…I don’t know how it is they do it, but they just have this aura about them that radiates elegance, chic and exquisiteness. These ladies could be walking around wearing garbage bags and they’d still look better than most. Now, if I could figure out how to put that essence into a pill form, I’d be rich.

It's been said that Americans don't like to drink British ale because they believe it's served too warm, or some weirdness like that.  Now I don't necessarily believe that to be true...but, I can see where Americans could be put off drinking in London for other reasons...

Personally, I found that I liked my Brains on tap better than in bottles.   Tasted smarter...less temporal.

And finally...

I don't care how much the French hate it, I don't care how overrated anyone may find it, I could go back year after year and still find myself in absolute awe of the Eiffel Tower.  Lit up at night, watching the sun rise against it or just sitting there staring at it from the park...there is just something I find so magical about it...if you haven't been, I hope you can find a way to get there someday. 

Actually...if you haven't been to London, or Paris...or to wherever that dream vacation spot you have in your mind is...truly try to find a way to get there as soon as you can.  Because whether it's the Eiffel Tower, a hundreds-year old cathedral, seeing a famous painting in an art museum or just sitting on a comfy seat at the corner pub while watching footy on the telly (I SO don't get tired of saying that), there are sights and experiences that--if you want them--are out there to be seen, felt and experienced.  And if you're lucky, you'll be able to find your favorites to go back and visit again.  But even if you only make it there once, you'll have those memories to carry with you always. 

Except for maybe those women behind me on the flight out.  Phew!  Gotta say that's one memory for the books I could DEFINITELY have done without!!

Au revoir!