Crossing the Atlantic

Currently, I’m sitting in the screened in porch at home
Let me say that again….
a – t h – o – m – e …
Just to paint the picture for you…
short sleeve shirt, with the beginnings of a good base tan from running the last three days in hot weather and an amazing breeze blowing through my hair…
Sound perfect?
It is.
Amazing as it is to be home, I was wondering whether it would actually happen. I booked my ticket awhile ago to come home and without realizing it, I discovered this about three days before leaving that I had a “layover” in Amsterdam for 12 hours. Starting out at 9:15 am in Nancy I took the train to Strasbourg, waiting an hour there, taking the bus for 2 and a half hours to Frankfurt International Airport and then waited there for about three hours until my one hour flight took off to Amsterdam. Arriving at 7:10 pm, I had until 8 am the next day to fly to Detroit, go through customs and then arrive in Fort Wayne at 1 pm US time and 7 pm according to my body. Although, I would have rather not “slept” in the Amsterdam airport, it was pretty amazing to see Amsterdam for a few hours. It has a very eclectic and international feel to it. I heard French, Spanish, English and Dutch of course, while walking through the streets and all the restaurants were international places. People from all walks of life crowded the skinny and crooked streets and even more bikes were piled along the side of the numerous canals that snake through the city. Unfortunately, nothing much was open by the time I got downtown except what Amsterdam is known for, the red light district, was in full action. I wasn’t fully sure where I was going because although I had a map, it was in Dutch (??) so I kept heading in the general direction of the red highlighted and longest street on the map and when I saw the massive crowd of people walking along a street where all the bridges over the canal had red lights hanging along them, I thought I’d probably hit it. As I took this picture, a rather strong waft of marijuana hit me…hmmmm…the lady at the tourist office assured me that I was safe by myself so I went ahead, rather intrigued actually. Basically, all the tourists walked along, like me, stunned and mouths open. All the buildings had their large windows in red and blue neon lights and girls just posed, talked on cell phones, chatted to one another or danced in front of the windows with just their bra and panties on.
I really wanted to take a picture but felt like I didn’t want to contribute to the exposure…
WOW…its really all I could think….
When I got to Detroit and heard English all around me and saw my fellow jean, t-shirt and tennis shoe clad Americans I was struck by the fact that just nine hours and a flight over the ocean could change the view so drastically.

Love and hugs,