Thursday, April 23, 2009

Worth a 1,000 words...

If I have enough time to watch last night's American Idol results show, make a really good chicken and leek dish for dinner, re-organize my shoes, search for plane flights home for the Gipsy King's concert in June, and play Who Wants to Be A Millionaire on my new iTouch on this very lazy Thursday, it is safe to say I also have time to document my massive trip that ended on Monday.

My trip by the numbers:

Plane flights: 6
Train trips: 5
Countries visited: 5
New passport stamps: 6
Airports visited: 4
Types of planes flown in: 5
Car rides of 100+ miles: 2
States of the Union visited: 5
Beds slept in: 7
Sporting events attended: 2
Languages "spoken": 3

By the pictures:

March 29: Departure Day. GLA-AMS, AMS-CDG. Day in Paris, night in Hautrage, Belgium.

Taking off from Glasgow on a KLM E-190, heading for Amsterdam.

Scotland is spectacular from the air.

Freighters and, in the distance, wind turbines in the water off the Dutch coast. I'd never seen windmills in the water. You probably have to click on the picture for the full resolution to see them properly.

The Netherlands!

Paris. Birds for sale at an outdoor animal market on Île de la Cité.

It was a beautiful day in Paris!

When in Paris, do as the Parisians do. Apparently, this means on gorgeous spring Sundays, you buy an ice cream from La Maison Berthillon on Île Saint-Louis and then take a stroll along the Seine. I was more than happy to follow along.

March 30 - April 3: Belgium. The Champagne Region of France. Back to Belgium for Brussels, Ghent, and Mons.

Apparently dinosaur teeth were found near Rachel's parents' house in Belgium and the dino on the roundabout pays homage to Mr. Bitey.

My first day in Belgium we... went back to France. The cathedral in beautiful Reims.

The champagne region!

Someday these will grow up to be delicious and expensive.

The champagne caves at the house of Champagne Cattier. Forgive the poor picture quality, but those are all bottles of champagne maturing.

Bottles of their Armand de Brignac, made famous in the States for bringing the bling.

Manneken Pis in Brussels. The famous peeing boy.

Students in Ghent enjoying the sunshine.

Me in Ghent enjoying the beer.

The Grand Place in Ghent.

April 3 - 19: USA. Ohio. PA. MD.

At the Airforce Museum at Wright-Patt AFB. Dad with a Desert Storm plane.

Me with a Russian plane.

Airplanes everywhere you look!

Nationwide Arena, Section 111 with the cannon, postgame after the CBJ lost 1-0 to the Hawks in OT.

The tomato-onion tart I made for Easter dinner.

I was incredibly happy to spend my last Saturday in the States at a baseball game, with good beer and good hot-dogs.

April 19-20: Return to Europe. IAD-CDG, CDG-AMS, AMS-GLA.

...there are no pictures from the air. I was on an aisle for the transatlantic flight, and by the time I got on the two short flights, my camera was buried at the bottom of my carry-on, which was overhead, and anyway. I was asleep for most of it.

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