Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Scotland-London-Israel 2015 Day 39: Wrap-up

Scotland-London-Israel 2015 Day 39: Wrap-up

Back home, finally! After 6 weeks, it's gonna be so weird to be home. What an amazing and long trip, and so successful and fun. To the Airport, it was trafficky but easy and smooth with Waze. Getting the Delek (gas) was easy, and the dropoff of the car was so much more straightforward and closer than last time. The V.A.T. refund also was very easy!

The big annoyance at the airport was actually Air Canada's fault. Kindof a fail. The lady was adamant that I was only allowed to check 1 bag for free... Nope, it's definitely 3 with Star Alliance Gold. We eventually got fed up of talking to the lady at the checkin desk and went to talk to some other lady at the Air Canada desk. Everyone was frustrated and yelling at each other back at the Air Canada desk and it wasn't very smooth. After 45 minutes, we finally spoke to a supervisor who said, "Oh yes, 3 bags! No problem!" Oy. As is usual with travel, you always have to talk to someone who knows what they are doing. "Did they invite you to the Airport lounge?" "Nope!" Oh man. The nice lady gave us a DAN Lounge pass and checked our bags correctly. So it was nice to finally get that sorted.

Given the longer checkin time, we just got an Aroma sandwich to go, and got a water. To the DAN Lounge, it was nice! Labne, Hummus, Cottage Cheese (yes!) so a great sendoff. We headed from there to the amazing new Dreamliner plane!!! So epic!! I sat beside a religious fellow from Detroit and he was very nice, we chatted a bunch and we were both pretty excited about how fancy the new plane was.

I watched "Because of Winn-Dixie", the movie with Dave Matthews in it :) It is for kids for sure, but it was sooo good :) Dave is the "eccentric pet store owner/guitar player" (obv!) So great. Nice music by him in that movie. I gotta get those tracks from the soundtrack. The music on the epic AC Seat Entertainment system was great. "From Cover to Cover: 30 years of Nettwerk" - like "Coffee House" on Sirius XM Radio. :) There was a really nice Acoustic version of "World Spins Madly On"... a great version!

On the long ride home, just some chillin' and journal catchup. We had a long flight to Toronto, then a quick swap over in Toronto and onto the SF flight. Gonna be nice to be home.

Here's some of the fun stuff I collected or bought as gifts over this trip.

Our incredible new Challah board!!
Countess Grey tea from Fortnum & Mason -- life changing! Also the special "Royal Celebration Tea" from Whittard Chelsea as a celebration for the birth of the new Royal baby, and the Simpsons mini-figures I got in London.
Tons of Zara stuff, and the Zara Men's Summer Cologne
My whisky haul from this trip!! Glenmorangie Dornoch (the lightly peated, UK Travel Exclusive Glenmorangie), Penderyn Welsh Whisky as a gift, Edinburgh Elderflower Gin for Michal, a Dalmore King Alexander III taster for Matt, and then the two non-Exported UK-only whiskies from London: Port Askaig 12 and Dailuaine 16.
My awesome new blazer, tie and shirt from Zara
Zara collar shirt
Awesome tea and biscuits I got as a gift in London
Black teas from Fortnum & Mason
Really cute and fun trivet from our favourite Israeli homeware artist
More fun stuff from London, from the WB Studio Tour, and some London Breakfast tea
Awesome new articles and books -- WIRED Magazine's incredible spread about ILM, Vanity Fair's Star Wars issue, and "Oh, The Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss, in Hebrew :)
Ahhh!!!!!!!!!!!!! My incredible new Hebrew tea set!!!
This is so amazing
Tea towel from Borough Market, the "Ferry Building" of London :)
And a lovely carry-bag from the fine folks at ILM's British office

As always, it is fantastic to travel and to have been away for so long this time was a real pleasure. Whether it was Michal's amazing trip at the beginning in Scotland and London, my longer exploration and stay in London and all the fun food and travel I did, the amazing trip through Turkey and getting to explore all the local foods in 2 hours in the best airport lounge ever, or a lovely few final days of the trip in Israel with a great warm and welcoming family... it was all a magnificent and fantastic experience of a lifetime. Now... where next?!

-Mike Jutan :)
San Francisco, CA
2015 Trip Post, transcribed from notes and completed on 7/5/2016.

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