Thursday, November 3, 2011

We're Leavin' on a Jet Plane - We Know That We'll Be Back Again!!!!

Ah, feelings of Bittersweet-ness as we prepare to head out of town!
But not before a delicious breakfast To-Go!

We guess it's time we return to the "real world" and we are ending this trip in style...and by style, we mean that on this July 4th, Independence Day, we have an incredibly long day of traveling ahead of us.  Here's the run down: Portugal --> Paris --> Frankfurt --> London --> New York City! What a day, but the plan is to be flying into NYC just in time to catch a few fireworks as we land in Newark - fingers crossed!

Miss you Meg!!! Comin' Home!

We travel lite!
Yes, that's three backpacks and a suitcase (suitcase was a product of good negotiating at a Chinese Market)

And...that's two backpacks for me - which brings our grand total to 5 backpacks and 1 suitcase! FYI - we started with every bag you see except the suitcase!

We're Comin' Home!

Hmm, Why do I always get stuck next to the strangest people on flights?

This was already flight number 2 that day....2 more to go!

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Lounge!
How does the other half live?

We got an upgrade to the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Lounge on the final leg of our trip home. Let me just say - it was amazing - the food was delicious, the drinks were even better and they had a complimentary spa and hair salon inside the lounge.....which Andreas sought out for a little trim to the locks (tears)!
A little drink to cool the nerves - before the hair cut!

Bumble and Bumble Hair Salon at the lounge 
Complimentary Haircut for Mr. Heid!
The haircut was OK, but the stylist dried it in a way that created a laugh in me that was uncontrollable - Andreas looked like a little Dutch Girl!  Sadly, he threatened to kill me if I snapped any photos of it - but I'll say my new nick-name for him is "The Blonde Bieber!"

Final thoughts:

It's hard for me to try and sum up this experience with just a few sentences. Throughout this adventure, I feel we were really blessed to have had so many opportunities to really experience different, unique cultures, people, places & things. We have taken the roads less traveled, tasted food that was, at best, questionable, and most importantly, no matter where we were or what we were doing - we never forgot to have a good time and make each other laugh ;-)...even when times got tough. Oh, and they got though all right - in Australia we bunked with a roach or two; in China I used a bathroom that was so disgusting, I was beyond certain I would die before escaping; and in Jordan, well, its always a good feeling when your taxi cab is tested for bombs before being allowed to enter and check-in to your hotel. ;-) It's important for us to remember that the good and the bad are what made every single day of this trip special - and Uniquely Ours! I wouldn't trade our journey for anything! I have gotten to know Andreas in ways I never did before, and I love him more and more each day of my life. Thanks to all of you out there that took the time to read our blog, and kept in touch with us while we were away. Now, onto new journeys in our lives - my only hope and prayer is that we are able to make what lies ahead Uniquely Ours - and continue to discover the humor in our everyday lives and experiences.
- Shannon

If there is one message I'd like to convey to you, our devoted followers: DO IT! Make it a priority in your lives to embark on extended journeys, not just the usual 1-week trip to the-beach-of-your-choosing since we don't get enough vacation days in this country....NO! Try to get some real time off and actually get away. You will not regret it.
This trip has absolutely been a dream-come-true. If you followed our blog, you know why. Of course Shan and I thought that our thirst for traveling would be quenched for quite some time now. Au contraire! On our flight back we already talked about how we could possibly organize our next trip. Yes, it is addictive...
You know, Shannon and I have decided that we want to see more of this beautiful world, and if that means to cut back on other things in life, then so be it. College education for kids in this day and age is totally overrated anyway. Besides, isn't it perfectly normal to have our future generation pay for our enjoyment? I thought so.
All the best to you fellow travelers out there, enjoy!
- Andreas

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