Gate E19 is relatively empty an hour and a half before departure. Kristy is off buying a magazine for the flight. There are a few couples talking about forty feet from me, but otherwise I’m alone.
We’ve been in Europe for just over two weeks, although it feels longer. In some ways, it seems like we’ve been here forever, like we are the sort of wealthy folks for whom travel is a lifestyle and home is a hotel room. I could get used to that, although we don’t have anywhere near enough money to make it work. As such, I’ll have to accept that our trip is over, and who knows when we’ll be back to Europe, if ever.
Peering into the past here is very different from doing so in the United States. Going two millennia back through history is not an active possibility in the U.S. If studying American history is like looking at the river of time, examining European history is like standing at the edge of the ocean–deep and overwhelming. We learned a lot on this trip and will hopefully retain a small portion of it.
One of the things I noticed is the general redundancy of travel. Every site is a castle, church, or museum. By my count, we saw: 4 castles, 5 churches, 11 museums, 3 cruises, 2 monuments, 3 walking tours, 1 musical, 1 battleship, countless subway stations, and the Happiest Cat in the World.
In the end, Kristy and I agreed that Amsterdam was our favorite of the cities visited. The relaxing atmosphere, temperate weather, English speakers, and charming canals make it a perfect location for our retirement.
Finally, we want to thank our families, who contributed to the cost of the trip and who watched our children and the dog. Also, thanks to our friends who kept our cat company.