The answer to the mystery I've been posting really isn't much of a mystery at all. I was in Europe for the past month. I didn't really want to publicize it because I didn't need the world to know that my house was empty, but I'm home now.
Things I noticed (not historical or touristy): cars have become bigger in Europe since the last time I was there; I saw a number of small SUV's and even one Dodge Ram and one full size SUV. However, the Smart car was everywhere. I love the Smart car. Instead of parallel parking, they would just park perpendicular to the curb and wouldn't take up any more width than a regular car. Also scooter riders in Rome are crazy. I take that back. Any drivers in Rome are crazy.
The food was wonderful everywhere we went (except when I cooked to save a little money). They eat more sensibly than we do too. A large breakfast with proteins, fruit, cheese, etc. A large lunch--that's the hot meal of the day. Then a small dinner--usually a cold sandwich or an omelet or a salad. And they walk everywhere. I lost five pounds without trying. And squid is a staple in a couple of the countries I visited. Yum.
Odd state of affairs: in the US, if you bring your own bags to the store, they pay you five cents for each; in Europe if they give you bags, you pay them.
Italian gelatto has put me off of inferior ice cream for life.
Ditto for Swiss and German chocolate.
The Europeans know how to do recycling.
But their showers are too small (especially if you're 5'10" and your husband is 6'3"). They don't see a need for screens (thus the mosquito bites covering my daughter's arms), and air conditioning is not everywhere, and where they have it, it's pretty weak. Now you could argue that we Americans are spoiled, but really, if you live in a country where it regularly is humid and temperatures in the summer get to 36 degrees Celsius, wouldn't you think air conditioning is lovely?
My hair was wild. The humidity everywhere made my head look twice as big as it normally is.
We had a wonderful time. So many experiences and adventures. But it is nice to be home.
If you're interested, I've posted an album on my FaceBook page under Gabi Stevens Europe Trip
Now to work diligently on my new project.
Books I'm reading now:
Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase