Monday, November 1, 2010

Where have I been?

I don't have much of an excuse for missing an entire month. I'm not sure exactly where the time went.

We did travel to the United States for the first time this year, spending a few days in Dallas (skyline behind me) and in Nevada (Aaron standing on red rocks at Red Rocks Canyon). It was strictly business, as I had a 4-day genetics conference in Texas and then Aaron had a 2-day conference in Las Vegas. We delighted in the Southern hospitality that met us in the Lone Star State. The welcome was big, the trucks were big and the meal portions were big! But we ate as much BBQ and Mexican food as we could and it tasted as delicious as we had been imagining all these months! Yum! There are lots of great things in Europe but there are just some things you miss from home.

Though I have been in Las Vegas before, this time it completely overwhelmed me. It is the epicenter of excess and I just couldn't reconcile myself to needing a map to navigate our hotel, paying over $40 for breakfast and seeing flashing lights 24 hours a day, both inside and outside. But strangely, the LV Strip is a relatively quiet and peaceful place to run at about 7 o'clock in the morning and I enjoyed the cool sunny mornings. We also enjoyed our last day, when we drove just 20 minutes out of the city into breathtaking desert and mountain wilderness. What a contrast from the lights and sounds of the city!

We had a very smooth and uneventful trip until we arrived back in Hamburg at 9:15 PM and our driver from Aaron's company was nowhere to be found. After traveling for nearly 24 hours and spending the night sitthing on a plane, this was a little more than frustrating. We waited for an hour, alternating between worry that he'd had an accident, being annoyed that someone at the company messed up the schedule and debating on who we could call and what they could do for us. Finally, at nearly 11:00 PM we rented a car and left the airport terminal. We ended up with a Smart car and barely fit our two small suitcases and ourselves into it! I could still see the humor in our situation despite the late hour and frustration so I snapped a picture of Aaron loading up our tiny auto. He was not amused but after a night's rest he could laugh about it. And it turned out that the driver had arrived to pick us up at 9:15 in the morning and no one at the company could sort out the mistake in the twelve hours in between. Hmm?
Oh well! If that's the worst that happened, we are lucky!

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