Here we are, now sitting in the Koru Lounge at LAX, waiting for our flight home. We flew out of Las Vegas this afternoon, and it's great to have comfortable amenities (food, drink and a shower) to pass the 5 hours of waiting time before our 13 hour flight to Auckland (then Wellington). We are all excited to be going home and wish we could just click our fingers and be there, but hey, it's all part of the journey.
We've had the most amazing time and seen and experienced so many different things. We'll treasure the memories and souvenirs we take home with us.
One of the things we said we'd do at the end of our journey was to name the 10 or so things that reminded us of our trip - the good, the bad or the ugly - it doesn't matter. So here they are...
> Supermarkets all through Europe and Raj's desire to visit them all
> Loose left / tight right - driving around Europe - roundabout nightmares and road tolls
> Times Square - an amazing place
> New York / Paris / London - the 3 best cities in the world
> Mind the gap - the same recording I heard 20 years ago on the London Metro and others - nothing's changed!
> Bikini's or even less - what people wear (or don't) on the European beaches
> Motorbike chaos in Vietnam
> Art - all the outdoor sculptures and the European galleries - so much to see and experience
> My fall down the stairs and the ongoing issues - I still have a bruised leg 3 and a half months on
> Meeting the Patel family and their generosity and kindness to us all
> Jet streams - something we always saw and commented on, regardless of where we were
> Scammed credit cards - what a pain in the butt!
> Our luxury cruise in Harlong Bay to finish our Vietnam tour
> Treated to some of the best beaches in the world - Hoi An, Croatia and the Greek Islands
> The history, culture and expanse of Europe
> Beers (European), Burgers (Croatian) and Broads (dressed up or not at all i.e. "the tanners")
> Meeting my family in UK and USA, and being overwhelmed by their generosity and hospitality
> Ganesh Indian restaurant in Hoi An - the best Indian had on my birthday
> Disneyland (in particular riding the California Scream'in roller coaster 11 times with Harley)
> The hugeness of the Grand Canyon and the energy of Las Vegas
> Getting 3 credit /debit cards scammed, losing $US800 cash and getting fined 150 Euros for not having a road tax sticker
> Vikki's amazing planning, organising and driving to get us through 190 days
> Knowing the kids will truly appreciate the experience they've been afforded, and will one day pay for Vikki and I to go away on holiday - yeah right!
> Dad going to every supermarket in Europe
> Greece and Croatia beaches
> Reeking drain smells in Asia
> Halong Bay boat cruise
> LA Disneyland - the best roller coaster that I went on 11 times
> Sharing a bed with Anouk nearly every night
> Monaco - all the flash cars
> Asia - being called "babies", handsome and having photos taken all the time
> All the different animals I've seen - monkeys, squirrels, turtles
> The monkey eating my ice-cream that he stole out of my hand in Malaysia
> The Grand Canyon
> The Greek Islands - the beautiful beaches
> Jumping of a cliff in Croatia and swimming way out to the buoys
> Universal Studios - the freakiest day of my life
> Eating three ice-creams in one day
> Getting my ears pierced in London
> Seeing a water monitor lizard in an open drain in Malacca
> Getting stuck in a big rain storm in Kuala Lumpur
> Staying in a tiny shoebox size room in Singapore
> Eating the best dinner on our trip at the Spice Market Buffet in Las Vegas
> Seeing two lions kiss at The Secret Garden in Las Vegas
> Seeing some amazing shows in Las Vegas with acrobatics, magic and dance
As you can see, it's a wide range experiences that we each remember and I'm sure as we talk about it all with family and friends when we get home, we'll relive many parts of it again and again.
A big thanks to all who have kept in touch through the blog and by email. Your comments and words have been throughly appreciated and cheered us all on, especially on the (few) not so good days. As this is our last blog entry we say see you all soon and what an epic adventure it truly has been!
Raj, Vikki, Harley & Anouk 28 October 2013.