Well, I'm back home. I had a wonderful last two days in Delft. Wednesday we took it pretty slow and I (with Simon) went to the City Center for the very last time my vacation. We visited several shops and had lunch at Cafe Diner Vlaanderen on Beestenmarkt 16. I had a Piadina Sandwich and Simon the Noedels Oost. rosbief. I must say, the meals were only fair and overpriced. Out of all the places we ate this year (including McDonalds), this was my least favorite. Of course, I've only tried one item from the menu. But Simon's noodles were similar to a package of Raman Noodles at a lunch price of 10.50 Euro. My Piadina sandwich was similar to two tortillias with a couple of pieces of pepperoni and a slice of cheese for 7.90 Euro. The restaurant is a popular lunch spot though. It has a very nice ambience, kinda trendy, and a young and attractive wait staff--that's what you're paying for, I think--certainly not the food.
Same as last year, packing on Wednesday and coming to the realization that Thursday would be the day I leave was bittersweet. The time I spent with Simon and the vacation itself was so wonderful, I didn't want it to end. But then again, there's nothing like home, your own bed, and your own routine.
Like last year, I've come home with more patience from having to wait for buses, trams and trains; yet, more aggressiveness, that's needed when dealing with buses, trams and trains, hordes of people, and a more bussling city life to which I am accustomed.
No matter what, time for me spent in another country brings to me more understanding of myself and others, more confidence in myself, more appreciation for other cultures and views, and more appreciation for the country I call home.
The flight back home went well. Gotta hand it to Northwest Airlines. They did a great job. The flights were on time, the flight staff was great, the food was great, and the on-board entertainment was great. I lucked out and had no one was seated next to me on the leg from Amsterdam to Memphis nor from Memphis to Little Rock. And regarding Memphis...wow, it felt good to reach Memphis as the first city back in America. The airport, the people, and the southern hospitality was great. It's so much of a part of what makes America different. I stepped back into a world of smiles, warmth, and just a noticiable difference in something that I just can't put my finger on. Familiarity, maybe, I don't know. I just love Memphis!
So, vacation 2008 was a great success. I couldn't have asked for better. Thanks Holland, Belgium, and a very special thanks to Simon.