#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Home Again and Up Early

I imagine yesterday’s nine hour flight from London to Seattle, followed by picking up the (very heavy) bags after Customs and rechecking them for the flight home to Spokane, will catch up with me at some point! I literally FELL into bed last night, after a frenzied welcome home party thrown by the dogs. :) Sadie tried to get up a lively game of “frog”–I throw the frog AND fetch it, she has me well-trained–but I had no energy for that. Finally, she and Bernice and the kitties and I all snuggled down for a two-dog, two-cat night. Frankly, I fully expected to sleep until noon, but I woke at four-thirty and that was it. I was up, journaling. Drinking coffee. Transporting dogs from one floor to another.

The trip was a wonderful, restorative experience–a genuine HOLIDAY (that’s for you, Sal), but the best part of it was all that one-on-one laughter and catch-up time with my sister, Sally. I expected to look out for her, since this was her first trip to Europe, but instead, she looked after me. She carried heavy bags and hoisted things in and out of the overhead (she’s nearly ten years younger, after all) and made sure I didn’t step in front of any cabs or buses. She’s a very good traveling companion, and we’re looking forward to more trips like this one.

Today, I probably won’t do anything extremely ambitious. In fact–I see it in my crystal ball–there’s a nap in my immediate future. Along with a trip to Walmart for lots of fresh vegetables and program-friendly food. A little art work, perhaps. And maybe even some slot machines. We visited a casino in London, for about 20 minutes. Just couldn’t work up any real interest in slot machines, with that great city all around us.

I enjoyed our day in Paris, but London is still hands-down my favorite international city. I know my way around, since I lived there on and off for two years, but there’s always room for a new adventure. They’ve changed the cabs–they still have that lovely roundish shape, but they’re smaller and lighter and much more “green”. The English are way ahead of us, when it comes to taking measures to protect the environment. They also have a lot of holistic remedies and vitamins you don’t see in the States–I came home with a suitcase load of those, as well as tea from Harrods. I visited my old street address–19 Hans Place, right behind Harrods–and I must confess I felt a certain nostalgia for the lovely times I had there, and all the friends and family who visited. I even considered leasing another flat, but reason soon returned. My life is so full, and I couldn’t put Sadie and Bernice through a trip like that, nor could I leave them for any significant amount of time. So the 19 Hans Place Days are a delicious memory, one I will always treasure.

Will I be making more international trips now that I’ve gotten my feet wet, so to speak? You betcha. A week or 10 days at the outside, since I can’t go any longer than that without my critters, but there are still a lot of places I want to see. Some I’ve never been to, others would be a return journey.

Travel broadens the mind. It certainly happened for me. Fortunately, it did NOT broaden my butt as well. :)

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