Home!!

IMG_1662And just like that, it was over.  We hopped on a plane in London’s Heathrow, had an uneventful flight to Logan, and touched ground again in New England, more or less exactly where we left from ten months ago.  In some ways not that much had changed.  Same four people, same eight suitcases.  To the right above, we have the before photo, and below right the “after” photo.

North America on Big Trip 001In other respects, a lot had changed.  During this ten month journey, we did the following:

  • Continents: 7
  • Countries: 37
  • Airplane trips: 99
  • Lost luggage 0
  • Late flights 2
  • Air miles: 103,128
  • Places stayed: 112
  • Items stolen 0
  • Bird species: 1204
  • Mammal species: 166
  • Reptiles and Amphibians: 175
  • Red Sox hats given away: 760
  • Continents in which Gibson lost a tooth: 5

North America on Big Trip 007 Once on the ground, we headed out the Needham, MA, to the home of Elizabeth’s cousin Julie Hazard Yandow.  The Yandow’s were kind enough to take care of our dog Scallop during our time abroad, and gave Scallop a fabulous and loving home.  We were a bit worried that our dog wouldn’t recognize us, but she seemed to still know who we were.  Anyway, we are most grateful for the Yandow’s for taking care of Scallop, since we could have never left without being sure she was in great hands.  And Scallop will get to see her second family from time to time this summer in Rhode Island, which she very much looks forward to!

So we’re now back in Jamestown, Rhode Island, and are catching up with our friends and family.  We got back in time to see the Celtics trounce the Lakers for the NBA Championship.  And I’ve already made a trip out to Chicago, and gotten reacquainted with the misery of domestic airlines.   I wish I could say unequivocally that it’s great to be back home, but it’s not.  But if we had to pick a place to be, Jamestown is the best place we could spend the summer! 

2 Responses to “Home!!”

  1. Craig Barrowman Says:

    Dear Elizabeth, Ted, Gibson & Sterling

    Greetings from Cape Town … and Welcome home!!!

    Very soon after saying goodbye to you in May, I was not only excited to read your blog on Cape Town, but also so impressed with how quickly it was posted! How slack of me, in comparison, to take this long to write and say so! Your chameleon friend was SO proud that he got such a special mention and even had his photo included in your blog – he was absolutely beaming – turned BRIGHT green with excitement! He said I must please say sorry that he was so sleepy that day, but it really was duvet weather, wasn’t it!

    Having recently got back from a month away myself, I’ve been sitting reading your blog, following on from Madagascar which I read before going away. Wow, all that way around the world, with nothing lost or stolen, and seemingly no other major misfortunes. Gibson, please yell when your next tooth is starting to come loose so you can all jump into a plane and get back to Africa in time!!!

    I loved reading about Madagascar, and about the Ngorongoro Crater. A pity that some of your other East African experiences were a disappointment, but I’m sure that safari saturation must have played a major role in that. And then there was also the Trevor factor – or lack of it! When planning my own personal travels I read a lot of others’ travel tales (in fact I’m a dedicated travel blog voyeur!) and reading your blog has pushed my mental bookmark for Ngorongoro up to the top of my dream list for the next places to visit in Africa. I must say, the other place I’d love to spend a few days just doing as little as possible one day (a rare holiday option for me but one that I enjoy from time to time), is Zanzibar.

    I also enjoyed reading your reflections and food for thought on so many interesting topics. Isn’t it wonderful how travel gets us thinking about these things and broadens our minds. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” — Mark Twain, 1857 (How sad that most people lack the means to leave that one little corner, and that so many who can, still don’t, but spend their hard-earned money on junk instead.)

    You may remember my telling you that I was planning a big trip of my own – a road trip together with 3 other friends. We left Cape Town on 7 June and returned 8 000km and exactly one month later – an epic journey! Our trip focused on Botswana where we explored the Okavango Delta (the first time for all of us, and what a treat to see why people cross the world to experience it), Victoria Falls & Chobe. Then back in SA we spent a few days in the Kruger National Park, and a few more days at Kosi Bay, at the northern end of our coastline just across the Mozambique border. What a delight and a novelty to go snorkeling and swimming in 22 degree (72F) sea water on mid-winter’s day! The sea doesn’t get that warm where I live in Cape Town even in mid-summer! Besides being a fantastic holiday, which felt like a dream at times, it was also a valuable research trip for me, with a view to expanding my guiding qualifications to new regions.

    Thank you for choosing to make Africa and South Africa such a major part of your world tour! And for sharing it all so generously with us via your blog. I shall stay tuned in, and follow any other exciting projects with interest.

    Warmest African greetings
    Your Cape Town guide and friend
    Craig Barrowman

  2. Kelly O'Toole Says:

    Ted, Elizabeth, Sterling and Gibson
    Glad to see you made it around the world and now are back. I must say “WOW”! I am so impressed. It was totally our pleaseure in meeting you and your family in the Galapogos. Mary Beth talks about Sterling often and was in her report of what I did on vacation. We would love to meet up again sometime, just lets s know if you are ever in virginia! take care
    Kelly O’Toole, Mary Beth and Paul

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