First, we must praise the airline gods for the creation of technology that allows for direct trans-Atlantic flights to Dallas. I'm not sure I could have withstood another 9 hour layover in Chicago like we had on the way to Rome, but the direct flight back from London wasn't to unbearable. There was the jackass in the seat behind me that kept pushing my chair upright while I was asleep, but you can hardly blame someone for trying to get that extra 2 inches of space in the sardine can.

Another bonus came in the form of an unexpected delay in the Winged Monkey's departure on his trip. It had been assumed that we would miss each other by a few hours and that it would be another week before our paths crossed again, but the fates were on my side on this one, and he ended up not having to leave until the evening after my return, so we had almost 24 hours to spend watching Double Indemnity (if you have ever watched a movie with a winged monkey, you know that is not an inordinate expanse of time for one film, as they like to pause and comment every couple of lines) while eating delivery and packing his stuff. We also had just enough time to discover that my car was dead, but not enough time to actually do anything about it before we were supposed to leave for me to drive him to meet up with his ride. Can you say "uh oh"?

Needless to say, I met WM's mom for the first time Tuesday evening, for a total of about 15 minutes, most of which were filled with confusion and frustration on everyone's part as we worked out a plan for the 3 1/2 hour round trip Monkey Drop. Not exactly the first impression I was hoping for. :(

Yesterday was family day, and I spent the bulk of it with Big Sis and Favorite Youngest Niece trying to find pants to fit my incredibly shrinking frame (those Europeans don't believe in breakfast) and trying to get my less than faithful auto in running order again (and, yes, friends, pouring a diet coke over your battery terminals does indeed dissolve any corrosive buildup, allowing for a good connection when you have to jump said battery. Who would have thought something that ridiculous would work, and who wants to drink something that dissolves battery acid?).

So, today, I decided, would be reserved for me and my faithful couch, whom I have missed in every European city on my tour. First, however, I decided I needed to get back on the running horse, so to speak, so I laced up my shoes and headed out at 6:45.

It was 80 degrees. At 6:45 in the morning. Seriously. And it's not even July. This does not bode well for the summer, people.

What also doesn't bode well is the fact that I only made it about a mile and a half, and the bulk of that was walking. It is going to be a long road back, my friends, a very long road.