Back in the USA
Trip Start Mar 31, 2011
66Trip End Jul 05, 2011
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We left Ann Marie's house with a little over 4 hours to get to Heathrow. Theoretically, we just needed to take the Bakerloo line to Piccadilly Circus, then take the Piccadilly line to the airport-- should have taken about 45 minutes. WRONG! There were "signaling problems" westbound on the Piccadilly line (the direction we were going), so the stupid train stopped for five minutes at literally every station.
Since we had time, Jeremy bought a few last minute souvenirs at the duty free shop and we hit the bathroom before heading to our gate. The gate was about a 20 minute walk, but we arrived exactly as they were beginning to board.
After 8 hours on the plane, we arrived in Washington DC. Luckily, we were near the front of the plane, so we got to exit the plane in a reasonable amount of time. We breezed right through immigration-- the guy didn't even look at my pictures.
Once we cleared security, we went to the only restaurant we could find.
We landed in Denver at midnight Mountain time (7 AM in London) and were totally exhausted. The flight wasn't bad, but I thought it was too cold.
Now we are officially settled back in Colorado-- quite bittersweet really. Very glad to be back at Hamilton house with my friends and the dog, very glad to see my family, but pretty sad to have left beautiful Europe and all of our wonderful European friends behind.
Reasons we are glad to be home:
- Family/friends that live in the US, although perhaps a few of them would be quite taken with Europe as well
- Free bathrooms with toilet paper and toilet seats
- Being able to plug in as many electronics as we want because we don't need plug adapters
- Sinks with a single tap that dispenses luke-warm water, rather than two taps that each dispense boiling/freezing water, respectively
- Less people smoke, so our clothes/hair don't smell like shit all the time
- Everyone speaks English (which is a con if you can understand a terrible conversation that you would rather avoid, but usually a pro)
- Unlimited cell phone and internet access everywhere we go
- Superstores like Target and Walmart
- Not living like a nomad out of a backpack with no place to spread out your stuff
- Fewer obnoxious protests and strikes
- Being able to go to a restaurant, split a one course meal, eat in 40 minutes, and not be ostracized for it
- Barack Obama
- Being able to straighten my hair with a flat iron. I suppose I could have purchased one abroad that was European voltage, but that seemed ridiculous.
- Free bread/chips/water/refills with meals at restaurants
- Television that is not dubbed in German
- More attractive men (in Colorado at least... Italy, East Germany, and Holland being the exceptions)
- Good customer service (sort of a generalization-- we did have some nice waiters, but the majority were substandard)
- Good health care, however expensive
- Unlimited earning potential
Reasons we want to stay in Europe forever:
- Charming foreign friends with different customs and cute accents
- Inexpensive cafes and bakeries on every corner
- Getting paid in the Euro (good for now, might not last)
- Less violent crime/guns (but more pickpocketing...)
- Interesting architecture
- No Sarah Palin
- No obesity (except in Germany and Hungary, but I think the trend is changing for the worse)
- Waking up in a new place almost every day
- Delicious food
- Fabulous trains that take you all over the continent in record time
- Meeting other travellers
- Cheaper higher education
- Beautiful cathedrals on every corner
- Kebabs/ fish and chip stands/ food that you can get all night long that is not Taco Bell
- Tax already being included in the price, so it is not an unpleasant surprise when you get the bill
- Only having to tip 5-10 percent
- Inexpensive flights to wherever you want to go (in Europe, naturally)
- Delicious beer
- 7 weeks a year of paid vacation
- Inexpensive and fabulous wine with every meal
- WAY better music
- Ridiculous fashion, so you can wear whatever you can think of and look as stupid as possible, and you will fit right in! Except in Russia...
- Better nightlife, both because it is more fun and because it continues until mid-morning
- Being allowed to drink freely on the streets (no open container laws)
- Lower drinking age so the teenagers are not so ridiculous
- Not having to drive/public transportation
- World News
- Nobody rolls their eyes in disgust when you say you are from Europe (sorry, America)
- Free health care
- Unlimited travel opportunities (no restrictions on Cuba, Brazil, Bolivia, etc.)
Funny enough, Europe has more pros than the US. Maybe I should rethink medical school... just kidding. Pretty sure a career in medicine will be more rewarding than gallivanting around for the rest of my life.