1. My Family -- This has been a great trip,and I think everyone has been getting along very nicely.  Its fun to watch a mixed group of students come together and form new friendships over the course of a couple of weeks.  At least one trip romance has blossomed.  But, I miss my wife, and I have missed way too many basketball games.  I keep watching the video of Josh's first varsity game over and over.
  2. My House -- We have had some pretty nice accommodations along the way, and a few sketchy ones as well.  Sadly, the last two days here in New York are the worst of the trip.  A couple of the students just told me that they slept with their winter coats on last night because their room was so cold!  My room was warm, and the sheets were clean but the whole place is pretty worn and grimy looking.  And, there is just one kind of gross shower for each half of our floor.  But the quiet!!  The week in London at the "Royal National"  was not very royal but again the sheets and rooms were clean and I had my own nice clean bathroom.  By far the best of the trip was the hostel in Interlaken.  But I am so looking forward to getting home to my own bed and my own shower, and my own hot water and tea...
  3. Cooking for myself -- Its been fun enjoying the local cuisines along the way.  Germany:  Schnitzel and Wurst and the beer at the Hofbrau house.  Switzerland: Interlaken more good german food but Lausanne was not so interesting.  Torino:  We had an awesome little meal at a neighborhood restaurant in Torino and some other good pasta options as well.  The challenge was finding restaurants that could accommodate all of us.  Most of them were pretty small so to fit the entire group we ended up using some cafeteria style places where everyone could work their way through.  London:  Good Indian, Chinese, and of course the fish and chips at the pubs was really good.  But, I'm ready to cook some of my favorites and just eat a little less!
  4. My Routine -- I'm such a creature of habit.  I miss getting up in the morning and doing Kettlebells, I miss getting up and just going up to my office to quietly read the news and have a cup of tea.  On the road I have to shower and get dressed before I can go find someplace to sit, and read, and even then it is not quiet, its someplace like starbucks or some local coffee joint that is bustling with activity.  I end up not reading and people watching.
  5. Playing 500 -- Another great part of the rhythm of my life at home is gathering on the weekends to play cards with friends.  Around the table we catch up, discuss Decorah and National politics, parenting, and whatever.  Some nights are really intense, and some nights can be downright depressing if the cards are bad.  But nobody really remembers who won or lost a week later.
  6. Decorah -- Three weeks of being in big cities really reminds me of all the things I appreciate about our community.  I love going into a restaurant and knowing the staff, and knowing that while I eat my lunch I'm going to see people I know and have the chance to catch up with them.  I miss having my coffee at Java Johns were again I know the staff, and all of the interesting people that come in each morning.  I miss the smallness and familiarity.


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