Just To Stay Awake

Came back to the States for the first time in a year today. Luckily (or maybe because we flew KLM on our own dime, not United) we had a smooth trip. Some random observations just to stay awake—and to use my smokin’ hot American internet connection, wheee!

Traveling is way, way easier without kids and pets. This goes without saying, but gosh darn it, it’s just so much fun to live it. Well, maybe not fun, exactly, but there are moments, kicking back with a glass of wine and watching an uninterrupted movie, for one, that are all the sweeter for knowing how very different the trip could be.

Every single time we come back to the U.S. the immigration and customs folks give us a big grin and say “welcome home” or “welcome back.” I just love this.

One of the first things I saw when I got into the airport was a water fountain with a poster hanging above it saying “Welcome to the U.S.” What a great way to greet people, with one of our all-time best innovations. Free drinking water! 

All the signs in the airport were bilingual English/Spanish. The two languages I actually speak and understand. Clearly, I am home.

People are lots of different colors here. It’s one of the first things you notice when you get off the plane. Kind of cool. And most of them are very friendly.

The weather is hot, but that just feels like July to me. The restaurants and grocery stores, however, are freakin’ freezing. Really, this is such as weird thing we do in this country. Surely, there is happy medium between never using air conditioning at all, and turning every public space into a walk-in fridge??

Already had some strip mall pad thai. Located right down the street from the strip mall Indian and Salvadoran places that will definitely be getting my business this week.

It feels very strange to have to drive everywhere.

Trader Joe’s is still incredibly crowded for no apparent reason. But OH MY GOD groceries are cheap! I forgot what it was like to fill a cart for $125. I bought a giant container of blueberries just because they were about 1/4 the price they would be in Vienna. I may have to open the fridge every now and then just to look at them.

We’ve had the TV on for about an hour in this battleground state and probably seen 20 political ads so far. But, at least they are better than AFN ads produced with Power Point. Ask me again at the end of the week.

And so to bed…

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