Wow, airplanes and airports were a bit of a shock to my system after months on the overland route, and then that was all smooshed in with my arrival in the E.E.U.U. after a seven month departure. I'll be honest with you, I ended up crying in a bathroom stall in the Denver airport as a result of it all. I always find air travel ruthless compared to even the white knuckle inducing speed of a chicken bus. I think it is feeling divorced from the travel experience itself as I often felt a similar feeling when I would spend the night on an ADO bus. Air conditioning makes travel too comfortable, or something. I guess I relate knee pit sweat to movement.
All of this led to my eventual tear fest in the bathroom, the only thing that roused me from my damp state was women in the bathroom speaking Spanish, at least that felt familiar. Venturing forth from the stall I dragged myself to a bar and ordered up a Fat Tire and was reminded of at least one thing I LOVE about the USA: microbrews. No one will ever convince me that the states do not have good beer. Only someone supremely ignorant of the west coast microbrew revolution would contend something like this, and for them I am supremely sorry. After 7 and a half months of same same but different light beer (with the heaven sent exception of Belikin stout) the complexity and hoppiness of Fat Tire brought tears back to my eyes. I will admit I was a bit of a mess.
Somehow I pulled it together and made it through my flight to SFO where I was greeted by two enthusiastically waving parents which didn't make me cry, but was far far far better than drinking the beer. And a mere 18 hours after leaving San Jose I found myself eating sushi in San Rafael, California. WILD.
My week home was punctuated by the arrival of my brother with one pound of Salumi cured meats in his possession which in a strange way kind of sums up the entirety of the trip. Has my life really turned into cured meat? Would that be so bad? What I mean is that the whole time at home I felt struck by how crazily blessed my life is. I had friends appearing from all sorts of places, delicious food, my family around, and I couldn't help but feel very very lucky. Of course because it is the nature of my family to be loud and cranky we did have our moments of non-brady-ness, actually I am not sure we ever have brady moments, more moments of comedic kitsch (cue us drinking nebbiolo and eating pizza). And so for the most part it was a non vacation vacation which is just what I wanted.
Now I find myself back in Denver, at the same bar, drinking my last fat tire. I am saying another 2 month farewell to delicious beer as well as a host of amazing people. Thanks to those of you that hung out with me during this last week. And love to those of you that I might not have gotten to say hello to.
Keep smiling, this world is a crazy beautiful place. Just keep trusting in it.