After 10.5 hours on the plane from Munich to Atlanta we were both ready to get off the plane even though we had caught up on some (4 or 5 each) movies. (Side-note: “This is 40″ is HILARIOUS… but only if you are close to 40, which I reminded Greg several times that he is MUCH closer than me… but I still got the humor… perk.) Atlanta brought the joy of immigration and customs with the sweet memory of cold induced by air conditioning. I desperately try to not be too American when traveling as I want to appreciate the different cultures, etc… but…. I LOVE AIR CONDITIONING!!! Two more planes and we were home safe and sound by 11:30pm Central time. Totally exhausted but elated to be home after a great 15 day journey and adventure. There aren’t a lot of pics from day 15 as I think we both looked 10 years older after 24 hours of travel but instead of pictures I give you lists, similar to what the students did last week.
List 1: Things I will miss about Europe
1. Art at arms reach… EVERYWHERE.
2. Food & Beverages (minus the over-priced Coca Light).
3. Public transportation (except when they strike).
4. Small geography with big differences… What I mean is, Germany is the same size as Minnesota and you can fit 5 Italy’s in SD yet the culture/language/etc. changes drastically in relatively small square-mileage (or kilometerage … okay that is just awkward).
5. Anonymity… Aberdeen only gets smaller the longer you live here which is fine, except when you want to run to Target in your jammies and you run into the President of the university or some students with their parents. :-)
List 2: Things I missed about home (minus people because the students informed me that is a “given”).
1. Easy living = cars, English, ice, air conditioning.
2. Space: I like my personal space, I missed it in Europe. I also like to walk on the streets/sidewalks and not know what the person I am walking past had for lunch.
3. Familiarity. I know I said above that I loved being anonymous but, it is great to see people you know, places that have what you need, and the knowledge of how to maneuver through the world you live in.
List 3: Things I learned from the students:
1. Always feed them gelato. Sugar highs are great for lost leaders wondering through cobblestone streets.
2. Yes, you can share too much.
3. Students are more adaptable than we give them credit for… these guys were European Travel Ninjas.
4. Yes you can sport MC Hammer pants with style… even if it is not 1991. – Thanks Kira.
5. “American pizza sucks.” – Alissa’s words after she tried Italian pizza for the first time. Priceless.
6. Greg and I have wicked art-looking stamina.
7. Always take the vaporetto the wrong direction.
8. 3:30am is not morning, it is night continued.
9. Fix flight times next time! Layovers are awful when you have jet-lag.
10. Pretend the Euro to Dollar exchange is equal, makes you feel better until you get home anyway.
List 4: Things I Will Never Forget:
1. The most amazing group of student-travelers that made this trip unforgettable on many levels.
2. Planning a trip to Italy may have been arduous but it was TOTALLY worth it. Thank you all for a great trip and letting us experience international travel and the progression of art through your eyes.
-Sara & Greg