We're still at Mark's family's house and I'm still pretty tired. I just still feel pretty out of my element. It will be very nice to get home and do all my laundry and be able to cook again and lay around and watch whatever I want on TV and maybe finally get over my jet-lag. I still wake up before 8am every day, which is very unusual for me, but I guess not necessarily a bad thing.
We went up to Milwaukee the other day and ate at King and I. It's Thai food, which is one of my new favorites! I get the Pud See Euw and I really like it. Luckily it's not spicy because I don't really like spicy food, but I do like that. I'd like to learn how to make it on my own... maybe I'll have time when I don't have a job.
Speaking of jobs, I called my old boss yesterday just to touch base, and she said they were very ready for me to come back, which kind of surprised me. I'd heard a few different things from my friends that still work there and it seemed like the big wigs kind of changed their minds daily about wanting me to come back. I kind of gotten used to the fact that I probably wouldn't have a job when I got back, and I was looking forward to just doing my own thing - exercising, working on my crafts, spending time with Mark, cooking more, etc. So I'm really not sure I want to go back to work at all, but the logical part of me is saying that the money would be very nice and help us get ahead even more than we already are and pay off our trip even more quickly (which all in all I think ended up costing us close to $6000, maybe even a little more). We could probably easily live on Mark's salary, but we've gotten used to buying pretty much whatever we want AND putting quite a bit of money into savings and investments. We'll still be able to do the savings and investments if we don't buy whatever we want, but that could prove to be a hard habit to break. So if I worked even part-time, it would give us more cushion for our "learning curve". I might consider going back to work part-time for a while, depending on what they decide to pay me. There's quite a bit of drama at my old workplace though, and I'm not looking forward to that. If it gets too bad again I'm just going to say to hell with it and leave. We'll see what happens. I'm going in Monday to talk with them about it a little more.
Some thought about Europe that I've been meaning to put on here.
~It wasn't at all uncommon to see two dudes riding scooters and motorcycles together (as in on the same bike). Most Americans are way too up-tight to ever do that.
~Guys wore capri's over there... and not just gay guys. It's perfectly normal for guys to wear capris.
~I saw quite a few instances where people - usually women - would be holding infants and toddlers in the front seat of moving vehicles. Apparently that's not against the rules over there or something.
~I had originally thought that Italy would be my first choice for overseas bases, but after having been there and spending more time in Germany, I now think that Spangdalhem, Germany would be my first choice. The Germans are just more like us. They seemed much more laid back - especially compared to the Italians, who in many cases, were just plain rude. And the Germans drive normal. Fast, but normal. They have to pay a bunch of money and take pretty intense classes in order to get their licenses, so I guess that makes sense. Plus, Bavaria was just beautiful.
~They didn't really seem to have many drive thru's over there. I saw maybe 3 McDonald's over there that had drive thru's. Most of them didn't though. And there weren't very many McDonald's near major roads either. They had their own auto-mart type deals that were really expensive, but not really normal fast food. We did see one Burger King in one of the rest area/gas station type things.
~A tank of gas over there for our tiny little Seat costed us about $75USD. So the rising gas prices here seem like nothing still, compared to what we were paying over there.
~I would love to live in a community that made bike transportation more available. Quite a few of the places we visited had bicycle lanes - especially in Austria and Germany - and I LOVED that. You'd see all these people riding around with baskets on the fronts and backs of the bikes and it just seems like such an easy way of life. Even when we were out in the middle of NOWHERE, in the Alps, going up and down mountains, you'd see sport bikers everywhere. How these people biked up 10 mile long, STEEP hills, I have no clue, but more power to them! Oh, and there were LOTS of motorcycles in the Alps too. They were all over the place and usually in large packs. I would love to motorcycle through the Alps. That would be fun.
~The trip made me much more interested in photography. I've always been interested in photography, but I played around with the setting on my camera quite a bit and figured out the manual mode better and it was fun. Some of my pictures are still pretty fuzzy, but I think that's because the camera was zoomed to 12x. None of those pictures turned out clear. One of these days I'd like to get a digital Canon, but I have to save up about $2000 first... =)
Overall, we had a great time in Europe. We learned a lot about different cultures and we had a great time discussing everything and anything. And the whole trip probably made me fall in love with Mark even more... But that doesn't really take much. =)