Another National Holiday in the Czech Republic today allowed us to get to the airport without encountering any traffic. Jiri says that everyone goes away from city and to water. That may explain why everyone here has been wearing bathing suits.
If you ever fly to Europe, we've got some advice for you. If you can afford it, seriously think about going business class. The seats are wider and you have more leg room. If you are going to be on a flight for more than 3 hours, it's worth the money, unless you really want to know what a sardine feels like.
Don't worry about eating before you get on the plane. On our return flight (from Amsterdam to Chicago), we had dinner, 3 snacks (including ice cream bars), a burrito, and several drink carts. If you eat all they serve, you may not fit in business class either.
Our talent for getting lost followed us back to the states as we couldn't remember how to get to our friends house where we left our car. Thank goodness we had a English speaking female cab driver who was very understanding, and understandable.
Time changes suck, and make for particularly long days, and the drive home (from Chicago to Iowa City) was uneventful, except for the stop at McDonald's on the way back. Our first taste of America in 16 days. We prefer the European food.
It's always good to come home - especially to our puppy, Guinness who we missed very much, and who gave us the instant puppy bath when we got back. It's always good to travel, but it's always better to come home.
Things we learned about Europe
Cobblestone. It's everywhere you want to be.
Train travel. What a neat concept.
Dogs can go anywhere, literally.
If you really want to see the culture, go to the country.
Beer is cheaper than water, and it's okay to drink it in public
Always keep some change handy or you will have to "hold it" until the banks open.
More than 2 weeks of vacation - what a neat idea.
We Yanks are just babies compared to the rest of the planet.
You always know what time it is - and if you don't, just listen for the bells.
Things we now appreciate about the United States
Water with out gas
Sparse use of cobblestone
Roads that you can drive a Lincoln on.
English is spoken here - well, in most places.
The Internet - it's not as global as you would think.
Gas is affordable.
Number of Countries visited: 7
Number of Breweries Visited: 10
Amount of Beer Consumed (by Doug and Mike): 50 Liters (that's about 100 beers)
Number of Stairs Climbed: 2584 (we didn't start counting until day 6)
Average Number of miles walked per day: 5
Number of times we got lost: we can't count that high
Number of ways we learned to ask for the bathroom: 6
Number of times we asked for water without gas, but got gas water anyway: 5
Number of days before we gave up asking for no gas water and switched to Coke: 8
Number of electrical appliances melted by European electrical system: 2
Number of nights without any Internet connection: 9
Number of nights without any phone: 6
Number of international incidents caused: 0