Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Prodigal Blogger Returns

On our last full day in Amsterdam Jon and I decided to go to the newly opened science museum- it is in such an amazingly cool building that we figured whatever was inside had to be awesome.

We assumed it would be a lot like the Science Center at Balboa Park in San Diego- or the Exploratorium in San Francisco. And it was- only the amount of primary colors the moment we entered told us that perhaps this particular science center was geared towards individuals of a slightly younger age. Each level had exhibits for different aged children and when we got to the "Teen level" we were actually surprised at the material available. It was all sex oriented and there was a pink hallway called "The Tunnel of Love" that was like a mini tour through the red light district. There were 30 sets of those wooden figures that artists use to draw the human body, except these figures were put in all different kinds of sexual positions and Jon and I were surprised having not even considered what sex ed is like in other (more liberal)countries.

We went to dinner with Jon's partners (Jeff and Adam) the night before we left Amsterdam. Just below Jeff's place is a small restaurant that has a limited menu each night and just enough seats for about 5 groups. Dinner was SO good and it was nice to go to a small place where even the chef came by to check on the meal.

Hesitant to just return to our hotel on our last night in Amsterdam we then went out and had a few drinks at which time we caught a French man on video who must have been having either the best or the worst psychedelic trip of all time. That will come in the next blog.

The next morning we got our things together and made our way back to the train station and bid a fond farewell to Amsterdam. Our train ride was about 5 hours and we arrived in Paris in the late afternoon.

Unfortunately we only had one night there- and the Louvre closed early that day so after checking in to our hotel we took a long walk to the Eiffel Tower and by the time we reached it it was dark.

We went up and saw the city and I have to say- I'm not sure when it happened but like I am a total WUSS these days. I get scared at the top of a staircase. As soon as we got in the elevator up my palms turned into sweat machines.

We ate the best dinner of the trip during our last night. We stopped at a restaurant just down the street from the Eiffel Tower where we chatted with 2 American women that had been on the road for a month as well. It was fun to compare notes. We also chatted with a girl that was about our age from Mexico. She had arrived 11 days earlier and when she got to the airport in Milan she couldn't find any of her friends- she waited all day until it was nighttime and then had to decide whether she'd do the trip on her own or she would just go back to Mexico- obviously she decided to travel alone and I cannot express to you how hard that must have been- especially because she didn't speak English. Only Spanish. Jon and I used more Spanish with her than our entire time in Spain and it told us one thing: we SUCK at Spanish. Like what the hell did I do all of those years in Spanish class? Seriously.

We woke up at sunrise the next morning in Paris and got to the airport. The flight from Paris to Toronto was about eight and a half hours and was not nearly as comfortable as business class (a point I started to resent- I got to thinking well who the hell do they think THEY are?? and in this day and age I simply can't believe that we have a curtain separating us and they get their own bathroom- what is this, Versailles??...sheesh). Once in Toronto it was a 5 hour flight home and during that entire flight I wanted to SCREAM out of discomfort. And then suddenly: we were in San Francisco.

Our cab driver home spoke less English than most of the drivers on our trip. When we arrived out front of our place suddenly our driver added like $6.00 extra dollars onto the bill- we paid the rest in the millions of US quarters we had lugged around during out trip- the driver said "I mean, I been waiting for 2 hours at the Airport, Jesus" as though somehow it was our fault that he lacked ambition. When he left, the cab tires peeled out and the driver honked a nice FUCK YOU to us as we made our way to our front door. At that point we didn't even care. It was so good to be home.

We ordered Chinese food, I put on my favorite saggy-butt sweatpants and got way too comfortable on my couch. Our cat who had escaped while we were gone and was outside for about a week was no where to be found and I was worried he might not come back, but when I got up at 5:30 the next morning- jet lagged- I watched the news and by 6am the cat was meowing at the back door.

Later on in the day we met up with Jon's mom to retrieve our children I MEAN our dogs. Now that everyone is home, and resting up after the 3 weeks of strangeness it finally feels like we are back to normal life- I'm looking forward to telling my coworkers about my trip (but not so much looking forward to spending all day at work as opposed to SEEING THE WORLD!)

I have a lot of photos, a few videos and a general synopsis of the trip to share- you know, for a little bit of closure. Those will be up soon.

Now its time to start thinking about where we will go next...I'm thinking somewhere...resorty?