I forgot to upload this travel day post last night! Written at the airport in Boston when heading to Vancouver...What's the deal with that?

Oh, good grief.  I'm bombarding our readers with posts.  I wrote this at the airport in Boston and was sidetracked when we didn't get in until late and I was falling asleep in the taxi on the way to our hotel.  So here is the travel day post, minus photos (sorry about that).  Tomorrow morning or at your familiar usual time if outside the US, you'll see a new post with many photos and more each morning thereafter.
Misty cloudy day view over downtown Vancouver.
Yesterday's check in at Logan International Airport in Boston was a breeze.  We had to walk through the "naked scanner" and take off our shoes. I was frisked and Tom wasn't. My solitary large handbag was carefully scrutinized when its weight raised a red flag.

Once again, after all of our efforts to reduce our load, we still had to pay US $100 for 12 pounds in overweight luggage for my large suitcase.  I can't imagine what 12 pounds I'm willing to kiss goodbye.  Every item in that bag has an important purpose.

Before we fly again from Oahu to Maui, Hawaii on October 16th, I'll have figured something out.  Tom says it, "Goes with the territory" and not to worry.  I just don't like throwing money away. 

Otherwise, the curbside check in was painless when we'd already paid US $120 for our two large and two small bags.  Our luggage for this leg was US $220 for a one way flight. So it goes.

With 90 minutes remaining until time to board the plane, we sat at the gate, our mugs in hand while using the MiFi (handy little gadget).  Since we can't carry heavy books and our phone's batteries seem to die quickly when we're reading for a few hours, our laptops are always the best option for staying entertained when a wait is for an hour or more.

How did we like being back in the US?  We have mixed feelings.  Some things were odd to us, such as the low toilets everywhere.  We've never experienced low toilets anywhere we traveled. Sitting down and getting up was comparable to doing deep lunges.  Our knees cracked. What's the deal with that? 

When we went to the post office a few days ago we felt as if we were from another planet.  How quickly we forget simple procedures that were familiar to us in the long ago past.

The menus in restaurants blew us away.  How fun was it that they were in English. The number of choices and sizes of portions was mind boggling along with the English speaking servers committed to providing great service and expecting 15% to 20% in tips.

As we drove to pick up Uncle Bernie and Phyllis on Tuesday, we couldn't believe how many stores and shops lined the boulevards, one after another, every possible store one could imagine.  We gawked in childlike wonder at it all.

People were very kind in Boston and yet we heard people yelling at one another on the street, something we hadn't seen witnessed since Turkey in June, 2013.  What's the deal with that?

In a perpetual state of observation, we are reminded of how much "excess" there is in the US; big, better, safer, nicer, easier.

To our surprise, we never watched TV in our hotel room in Boston. In about half of our vacation homes, there's been TVs with only one or two English speaking news channels, mostly BBC news.  Overall, I suppose we've lost interest in channel surfing, instead watching a few recorded shows on occasion on our own timeline.

Hawaii will be less of a location of "excess" when everything is imported and prices are high.  Other than our 11 nights in Waikiki, Oahu upcoming on October 5th, our vacation rentals are in quieter, less "touristy" areas of Maui, Big Island and Kauai.

The three days in Boston was unquestionably a culture shock for us which is surprising after our relatively short time away. In our old house, we'd remodeled our kitchen in 2004. The placement of the kitchen door had changed.  At the time we had two Australian Terriers, Ben and Willie. 

Willie, the younger of the two, easily adapted to the location of the new door.  But, Ben, the old timer, would stand at the blank exterior outdoor wall exactly where to door used to be, tapping the siding to get us to open the invisible door. 

We howled when this went on for weeks.  We're like Ben, scratching at a blank wall, assuming that everything should be as it was.  Its not.  We change. Things change. Somehow we adapt.  We create new ways of living our lives, regardless of how old we may be or how many habits we have ingrained into our way of life.

What's the deal with that?

Photo from one year ago, September 18, 2013:

On this date one year ago, while living in Kenya, we had a small dinner party for Hans and Jeri.  We had a wonderful dinner in out outdoor living room.  For details of that date, please click here.


Anonymous said...

It is definitely interesting to hear you speak of how it feels to be back in the US. The low toilet issue was a shock, I never realized they were low. And your experience shopping with the visual overload was understandable I think. And I can relate, somewhat, to your experience of the menus being in English and that was such a joy.
We visited our daughter and her family in Germany the spring of 2013 and I was at a loss every time we went to a restaurant. Our German son-in-law had to interpret the menus for all of us. It was very frustrating, especially for him. When we got back to the US after only 30 days being in a foreign speaking country, we were thrilled to be able to again read all the signs and even advertisements.
I love how you express yourself in your blog. Especially when you stated that you were like Ben, scratching at a blank wall, assuming that everything should be as it was. Its not. We change. Things change. Somehow we adapt.
I am not so sure I would adapt so well, as a matter of fact, I know I would not. That is why I get such joy in reading your blog. I can see the world through your camera and blog.
Thanks for it all.

Jessica said...

Pat, the menu issue in non-English speaking countries has actually not been a problem for us. Often, we've dined in resort restaurants where we may be able to drink the water and eat their properly prepared food. Most resorts work hard to accommodate English speaking guests with the hope they'll return in he future. In many countries where there is a language barrier, my limited knowledge of French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese has managed to make ordering a bit easier. Plus, I have my restrictive diet food list on my phone in the language of any country we visit, making ordering fairly easy. In some cases, hand signals and sounds can make the ordering work well, such as saying, "Moo, oink, cock-a-doodle-doo, and a fish mouth making the shape of an "O" can do well to aid in ordering. We often laugh over our silly hand signals and sounds but, it seems to work well.

Thank you, Pat, for your kind words about our site. It is truly a labor of love. Writing here has been a huge motivator for us in trying new things, pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone. In doing so, we've overcome many of our fears and have learned to adapt. It means the world to us that you are continuing to enjoy our photos and stories. Its why we do this with such fervor and joy. Thanks for writing to us!

Warmest regards,
Jess & Tom

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