Monday, July 12, 2004

Home Again!

After a red-eye from London to Amman (leaving 9PM GMT, arriving 4AM GMT+2), I spent about 20 minutes at a friend's house "freshening up" then went to the other Amman airport for my flight into Baghdad (arriving around 10:30AM GMT+3). I did my best to sleep on all of the flights, but there's always only so much you can do. I'm a bit out of it right now, even after an afternoon nap so this will be the condensed soup version of my very wonderful tour of "Wonderful Britain." Sadly, while we skirted the border of Wales, we never actually went in, even for just a half hour, but I completely fell in love with Scotland. I actually _do_ have some Scottish ancestry, so it's not entirely without truth when I now claim to be from Scotland. England was nice too, but Scotland's where it's at.

Highlights of the trip (in mostly chronological order, although I can't verify that completely due to the current "fluffy" state of my mind):
- Seeing my parents and sister!
- Seeing Les Miserables in London.
- Wearing shorts, even though it was freezing the whole time we were there.
- Saying "the Firth of Forth" many, many times.
- Running on the beach used in the movie "Chariots of Fire" (in St. Andrews, Scotland) with my head thrown back like Eric Liddell.
- Seeing the Ben Nevis mountains and falling completley in love with Scotland, especially the Highlands.
- Seeing Loch Ness.
- Staying at the same hotel in Glasgow where Roy Rodgers and Trigger stayed (Trigger had his own room - maybe Roy snored).
- Going to the Lake Country in the north of England where just about every English writer known to man was from (C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, and Shakespeare being the notable exceptions - except that Lewis was Irish, so he doesn't count in this tally anyway, and wasn't Tolkein from South Africa or something?).
- Having my birthday cake 10 days late with all of our new friends from the tour group - they sang "Happy Birthday" or their language group's equivalent to me 9 different ways (Afrikaan, Romanian, Cypriot-Greek, French-Canadian, Aussie, Jamaican, Indian, Chinese, and, of course, American). Believe me when I tell you that Jamaican and Indian are two versions of "Happy Birthday" that are worth hearing. ;p
- Discovering not only that the entire tour group thought that I was 18, but also that I can apparently still pass for 16 when it comes to "family" rates for entry fees.
- Seeing Stonehenge.
- Eating a bagle, toasted, with cream cheese.
- Discovering that I'm a really big fan of Van Gogh landscapes, Degas ballerinas, and Renoir portraits.
- Eating not one, but two fresh, hot, Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts.

More tomorrow, including an 'Ode to a Krispy Kreme,' when I'm a little more awake.

I'll also update the "Things to Think About" and "Yays" lists then.

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