We are home, and although it’s only 9:30 in the morning we have already done a few loads of laundry, made bacon and homemade apple crisp (from the apples on our backyard tree), and rearranged some furniture.  You know that anticipatory feeling up opening your front door after a long trip… you see your familiar surroundings and have an internal sigh of contentment?  Well ours was more like, “Wowzers, holy &#%^^$!”  (But in a happy way.)  While we were away we had the flooring on the main floor of our house ripped out (it was a combination of carpet and tile) and replaced with a gorgeous, dark thick planked wood.  We LOVE it.  We also have all new blinds and drapes, new lamps, and a new area rug for the living room.  It was still our house, but much improved!  And we didn’t have to live through the mess!!

Now it’s time to go through the 22356 pictures and reminisce a little about the trip.  This was the first time we successfully used our carry-on suitcases for the entire trip.  We always start off with them, but we carry an extra foldable duffel bag with us in case we buy a lot of stuff (this bag doubles as our beach bag on the trip), as well as have the ability with two our suitcases to unzip and become larger.  Usually we end up unzipping our bags and checking them on the way home, but this time we were able to contain everything in our four little bags.  I’m still not sure how we managed that, but I am impressed because they weren’t even that difficult to zip up on the final day!  We bought a lot of Dutch candy, I bought 5 bars of Marseille soap, and the kids bought a few little knick-knacks. The only thing I can think of that we left behind was a much-used pair of Julia’s shoes.  Perplexing.

Continuing with the carry-on train of thought, the most often question I get is about the clothes and having enough choice/options.  I just confirmed with all four of us, and I am the only one who wished that I had something that I didn’t pack.  I didn’t pack a pair of jeans, and I really would’ve liked them for the two days we were in Amsterdam.  I thought long and hard about whether or not to pack them, but I ultimately decided against it.  In my defense, I would not have used them at all in our 2.5 weeks in France, and if the weather hadn’t been so drizzly and chilly in Amsterdam it would’ve been fine.  I wore capri pants and survived to tell the tale!  I wore everything I brought, and I only started to get a little bored of my choices by the very end.  It was necessary to have those sized bags – especially when you see what the trunk of our rental car looked like.  The kids had their backpack and purse in the back seat with them as you literally couldn’t fit anything other than our 4 small suitcases and 2 computer bags in the trunk.  I wonder how many people arrive at the car rental agency and need rope and bungee cords to help transport their suitcases!

Time to get back in to the swing of things with back to school shopping, moving everything back in to the pantry, and climbing out from underneath this pile of dirty laundry.  Oh, and a nap.  :)


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