Saturday, August 23, 2008

Random Thoughts Upon Return of a Marathon Trip

Three days after returning home from our marathon trip to the U.S., I am now finally unpacking. Or, should I say, I've started unpacking but now I'm procrastinating while I post this entry. Statistics, photographs and even video will be coming soon, but in the meantime, here's some random thoughts about our trip:

• Our trip can easily be charted by the plastic bags in our luggage. We've got bags from Safeway (supermarket in Lake Tahoe, California), Kennywood (amusement park in Pittsburgh), the Crayola Factory (Easton, Pa.), Target (ubiquitous American chain, though we went to the one in Warrington, Pa.), Best Buy (where we bought our Flip Video in New Jersey), the Gap (in Doylestown, Pa., where we stocked up on school clothes) and Pirate's Cove, N.C., (where we bought T-Shirts at Hurricane Mo's). Just to make things interesting, I still have a few random plastic bags in there from previous trips: one from Pret a Manger, the British sandwich chain, and another from Difendi La Natura from Italy.

• Anecdotally, it seems as though Obama might have the edge: I saw about 25 "Obama for President" lawn signs during our four weeks in the U.S., to only one I saw for John McCain. However, as a friend pointed out, we literally flew over Fly-Over-Territory (everything between the East and West coasts), so it's possible that there's many more signs for the presumptive Republican nominee there.

• British Airways is still our favourite airline to fly when we have to go back to the U.S. Southwest is our favourite domestic carrier, even WITH the two-and-a-half hour delay we had to endure in Pittsburgh.

• Friends are friends, no matter how long it's been since you've seen them, and old habits die hard. I was sitting with my university roommate and her husband, and it seemed like no time had elapsed since the time I was living with her and he was her boyfriend who visited. The only difference was the six children sleeping upstairs who belonged to us.

• The flaws in your house are much more apparent when you return from a month away. I really need to get the holes fixed in our front hallway and bathroom. We REALLY need to paint the hallway-- how did so many fingerprints get up there?

• I very much enjoyed seeing the Olympics in two different countries. In the U.S., I could partake in all of my jingoistic tendencies, and in the U.K., I could take pride in Team GB's success in sports you only think about during the Olympics (sailing, modern pentathalon, cycling, canoeing).

• Michael Phelps is a God, and I only fell in love with him more when he said during an interview, "I couldn't have done it without my Mom." I have already started making Thing One and Thing Two practice that sentence for when they take home Olympic Gold. They don't need to bring home eight to make me proud. Just one would do.

• Generally speaking, Americans really have no mobile phone etiquette whatsoever. No, I really didn't need to overhear an entire conversation in Target about Lisa's problems with her in-laws. Thanks, whoever you were.

• The best thing about returning home is being able to sink the 1/4 inch deeper into your own sofa.

Statistics, pictures and video will be posted soon. Now back to unpacking.

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