The Long Way Home
The flight to London was relatively short and we arrived in time to leave our bags at our friends Sam and Lizís historically charming home before dashing off for dinner at a nearby pub. Guinness on tap started off another enjoyable evening and another night nestled under a downy comforter prepared us for our early morning departure for the states. Thank goodness there are people like Sam and Liz who cherish and respect historical treasures such as their house and its contents. They have carefully preserved their cottage (originally built in 1513!) so that it remains historically authentic while still being contemporarily comfortable and useable. It is indeed a joy to behold such antiquities with basically only the ďmind your headĒ (through the doorways) warning.
With yet another layover on our itinerary, we planned to spend the afternoon lounging in the sun at a Miami hotel getting a last minute suntan before heading, finally, back to Seattle. Unfortunately, we were greeted with a huge rainstorm that we just hoped would not develop into a hurricane and cause yet another delay getting back to Seattle. Our circuitous route was caused by our frugal efforts to use frequent flyer miles rather than dollars for our Habitat trip to Romania. Unfortunately, traveling on miles in the middle of summer to Europe is practically impossible so we extended our trip on both sides of our work time in order to accomplish the effort. A layover in London gave us the opportunity to see Sam and Liz but the Miami leg didnít offer anything except for a suntan and a seafood dinner, neither of which we managed to get. The downpour continued all night so we wound up having Chinese food brought in to our hotel room. Consequently, getting back home to Seattle became more and more compelling. Exotic stops no longer held our attention. We had two birthday celebrations waiting for us at home and we were longing to see our own mountains and waterways.
So, good bye to horse-drawn wagons, cobblestone streets, tiny cups of espresso, tiny bathrooms, ancient buildings, home-made cheese and roundabouts. Hello to soft, white toilet paper, steamy showers, air-conditioning, TV without subtitles, traffic jams on multi-lane highways, smooth sidewalks, and Starbucks on every corner.
Perhaps unfortunately, the world is slowly becoming more and more homogenous. Before we know it, everywhere will have the same conveniences and efficiencies. That means more comfort for all; but, in the process, we will also lose some of the uniqueness that makes us all a bit more charming and interesting. How boring the world will be if we donít cling onto those bits of tradition and heritage that make the world diverse!