Back in the US!

Big Ben tower in London


If all goes well, by the end of the day, my family will be back at home in Colorado. After 21 days, seven countries, and eight times of having to pay to use the bathroom, I’m really glad to be back in the US. I wrote this mini-post early yesterday in the dark from our hotel room in New York. It seems like I should have been up hours ago, although it’s still very early. Gotta love jet lag! Because I can’t yet hold a coherent thought, I’ll share a few pictures from our trip and hopefully be back to normal next week.

Most Exciting Moment

I would love to say the most exciting moment during our vacation was watching Tom Watson play his last British open or seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night, but honestly, it was finding out the night before we were supposed to leave Europe that our early morning flight had been cancelled. After almost four hours of phone calls and speaking to agents at the airport, we did make it home. It ended up working in our favor because the original flight left Amsterdam, connecting through Vienna, before going to NYC. Instead, we got booked on a direct flight. It saved tons of time, although I had about 14 heart attacks until we had boarding passes in hand!

park day in London
Kensington Gardens, London

Things I Missed Most From Home

I loved just about every part of our trip, including being out of our comfort zone. Although stressful, I believe learning new ways to go about life makes us grow as humans. However, there were a few things I did miss.

  • Plentiful, free, public bathrooms-I have established a new appreciation for McDonalds. I still hate their food for the most part, but having a known place to hit the restroom and score free wifi is a huge bonus in my book.
  • Iced tea– Being from the South, I probably drink a gallon of iced tea every two weeks. 21 days with no iced tea was hard. One of the first things I did upon arrival was hit McDonald’s for an iced tea. I guess the golden arches are growing on me!
  • My closet-I am really tired of living out of a suitcase. I was very organized in the beginning and had all the varieties of clothing sorted into plastic bags. Toward the end, it all fell apart when I left my underwear bag in Amsterdam. I had to buy new undies and socks to make it home. Ouch!
  • Washer and dryer-Although, we did have one apartment style room in London that had a washer/dryer, for the rest of the trip, we had no easy access to laundry facilities. We did scope out a “lavarie” or laundromat in Paris. I felt very worldy sitting there with the Parisians waiting on clothes to dry. Our confusion while trying to figure out the instructions in French probably gave it away that we weren’t really local.
    British Open in Scotland
    St. Andrews, Scotland
  • Privacy– I love my family, but spending almost a month with them, 24/7, sometimes in very tiny hotel rooms, really gives family togetherness a new meaning.

Things I Will Miss About Traveling

While it’s always good to be home, I also miss a few things about traveling.

  • Public transportation– I haven’t driven a car in over three weeks, and I love it. If I could hop on a train, bus, subway, or walk to everywhere without having to drive, that would be awesome. I am proud that we only took one taxi the whole time we were away. The rest of our getting around was by foot or public transit.
  • The excitement– I will certainly miss waking up to a new adventure every day. Sometimes life can throw its own adventures your way. At least when traveling, you expect new and exciting things. I’ll miss that a little as we get back into our routine. Although, I am kind of looking forward to routine a bit as well.

Evening in ParisWhat is the longest you’ve ever been away from home? Ever had a flight cancelled at the last minute?

canals in Amsterdam
One of the many canals in Amsterdam



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  1. Sounds like an awesome trip! A co-worker also just got home from a month-long trip to Europe (4 countries for them) and it sounds like such a fun trip to take. I have never been to Europe but would like to go one of these days. The longest I have been gone is about 10 days during a mission trip to Juarez. I met and got to know my wife on that trip, so obviously it was a great trip!

  2. Welcome back, Kim! It sounds like an amazing trip! The longest we’ve been away from home was around the 20 day mark too when we went on our Disney Cruise. I was sad when the trip ended but it also felt really good to sleep in my own bed too. I forget about paying for bathrooms, which seems like such a strange thing to us.

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