They misplaced my luggage. It won't arrive til a day later so I was stuck in the same clothes, feeling dirty and it cost me an extra 75 to ride the tube to gatwick express the next day to go pick up my bags. Ate fish and chips, had a pint. Saw the mosque that was responsible for the 2006 bombing of London rail system. Lots and lots of Muslims.
Saw big Ben, parliament and walked around Oxford circus, Piccadilly square and Trafalgar square. Hung out and watched Chinese entertainers during a celebration of the new year, the year of the dragon. Xin Nian Kuai Lei. Went shopping for an Arsenal f.c. Jersey at the official Arsenal store for my nephew.
Back to the states
Medical emergency aboard our plane during taxi to the runway, they turned the plane around and headed back to the gate, delaying us about two hours. Flew from heathrow to Philadelphia, Philly to Denver. the plus middle row, four chairs no one sitting next to me. Slept four hours watched black swan, date night and Midnight in Paris. Philly travel with U.S. Air, more of the same. We boarded the plane, no pilot and were delayed one hour. The pilots arrive and tell us we have to exit the plane due to an electrical issue. Another hour delay. This has been one long trip home, beginning at 6:00 am and making it home in the bright morning hours of the next day. 11 hours on a plane. Ouch.
Pretty much tipping is not a common practice among Europeans. They are extremely surprised and grateful.
It is hard to say which place on my European tour I liked the best, each had something to offer. Really would return to Paris though.
The food, being so fresh and from scratch I was able to eat smaller portions and not feel hungry or bloated to the point of obesity, unlike in the U.S. London was a little different story as the food was more processed but the bacon in London was 10x better than the thin strips of we find in the states.
I have a return ticket to London in March but doubt I will use it at that time. When buying my return ticket to the states, a one way from heathrow to Denver was about $800 and change. A roundtrip was $650. This makes no sense but whatever, heathrow is a grand airport and most destinations out of this airport are rather cheap although the pound is crazy expensive as is most things British.
So as great as it is to be headed home to the mountains, trails and snowboarding, a part of my brain is itching and thinking about all things Asia.