Published: July 11th 2011July 3rd 2011
Andrew poses by the "Coke Point" in the Prague Airport. He has enjoyed quite a few over the past two weeks, but vacation is over and the days of free-flowing coke must end!
Everyone had showered and packed their bags on Saturday night, and John had made arrangements for a car to take us to the airport early on Sunday morning. Our driver arrived on time and things went smoothly on our flights home – first from Prague to Frankfurt with a three hour layover, then from Frankfurt home. It was a long haul, but everyone was excited to be going home and stayed awake for both flights (though Andrew briefly fell asleep on the tarmac while waiting to deplane in San Francisco). We arrived home to refinished floors, but a house with furniture in disarray, piled high in the front half of the house, and we made it our first priority to set up beds. Although we all wanted a home-cooked meal, we eventually succumbed to the lure of pizza delivery and were blissfully out for the night by 10 PM.
It was an unexpectedly great trip, having been in both Budapest and Prague for their festival weekends, but what makes these trips truly great is the time we spend together unfettered by the complications of our daily lives. We talk about things other than the logistics of making our lives work and broaden our world view by seeing all kinds of things we otherwise would have missed. Many of those things we saw were in a guide book, but many were not. For better or worse, some of the things called out by the family as novel experiences were 1) seeing a man urinate in public; 2) seeing a woman get her feet cleaned by fish in a Thai-style salon; 3) realizing that Ke$ha would go to Budapest to help celebrate their independence by giving a free concert-in-the-park; 4) seeing potatoes sliced into helices using a power drill to push it through a blade; 5) seeing a novelty “bicycle” with six seats and twelve wheels where some people had to ride “backwards”; 6) grappling with the notion of right and wrong while watching footage of “plain-clothes” policemen infiltrating a crowd during a Communist era protest. In addition to the things we saw were the many great conversations – like the extended conversations with Andrew about the barriers to time travel and transporter technology and how chimpanzee and human DNA differ, and the extended conversations with Lauren about why anybody would patronize Andrew for hours about such ludicrous topics. Once again, we ended the trip both happy to be home and happy we had done it, and knowing we will do it again next year if we are able.