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Back home

July 26th, 2009

We returned home about 10:30 p.m. Saturday from Belgium, 24 hours after we woke up in Antwerp, and following two flights totaling 13 hours in the air.

The goodbyes were as difficult as I anticipated. They always are. 

On our way to the gate I bought some duty-free alcohol, which was allowed as a carry-on onto the airplane.  And it was a good thing that we had an unused suitcase (we had consolidated our stuff and so we nested two suitcases into one).  Even though the bottles were allowed, in their sealed packages, as liquid carry-on for the first flight across the Atlantic, we had to pack them in a suitcase at Dulles in  order to get past security for our second leg home. That nested suitcase came in mighty handy at the last moment.  (I don’t know what happens to travelers who don’t allow space for liquid  purchases if they have to change planes after Customs.)

At home, our loquacious Bichon, Willy, spent 30 minutes telling us about how two big strangers and a real tiny one, and their two dogs, had coincidentally invaded our home hours after we left for our RV trip through Europe, and that they had fled the house just hours before our return because they were headed off to their own vacation. Willy wasn’t complaining, I don’t think, but just confused as hell.

Home looked good. The house sitters went through a lot of Diet Cokes with lime, red wine and diet Snapple, based on the contents of our overflowing recycling bins.  There was also a gallon-size jar of mostly consumed Vlasic pickles still in the fridge. Dill.

The sitters probably don’t fully realize how much we appreciate their taking care of the place and the two dogs.

Sleeping in our own bed was a bit weird last night. I woke up once and was disoriented, thinking I was still in the Mobi. I headed for the toilet and collided with my night stand.

I woke up early and my mind started spinning with images. I was at the computer by 7:30, poring over pictures and wondering how I will edit them down to a manageable few thousand.

And after Jeanne woke up, we were on Skype, talking to Daughter and Fiance about the grand time we had.  Would we do it again? Yes.

We’ve still got more stories to tell, about the people we met, the sights we saw and our impressions of Europe. They are mostly very good but why don’t they like ice in their drinks?

Tomorrow, back to work at the newspaper.  Which reminds me to tell you later about the salt mines in Poland…

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