Palace Chrysler-Jeep

MC -- The Hammer

MC - the hammer

Honey, I'm home!

Your faithful reporter turned world-traveling honeymooner finally returned home. Photo by Darren Collier (click for larger version)
December 30, 2009 - Most people know I'm a yooper (from the Upper Peninsula). I talk about that fact all the time. I love being outside, I miss camping in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes I need my Lake Superior fix so badly I make the ten-hour round trip just to spend a few hours on its shores.

I'm still getting used to metro-Detroit's "busy-ness" and sheer number of people here.

But let me tell you, I have never been so thrilled to see I-75, I-94 and all that glorious asphalt as I was Dec. 21. And I mean thrilled. That's when my husband and I touched down at DTW after a whirlwind circle tour of the Mediterranean for our honeymoon and a weather-delayed return home.

That's not to say our trip wasn't amazing. It was. I shopped in Barcelona, strolled through ruins in Rome, had afternoon tea in a Turkish village, rode a camel in Cairo and toured Malta's largest island on horseback. The memories and photos we have are priceless.

But what's even better is the appreciation I have for living here after having experienced truly foreign countries. Yeah, I've been to Canada and the Caribbean, but those don't count. They're totally "Western."

I felt about a million miles from home when standing yards from the Great Pyramid listening to Muslim callers announce the time for prayer. And equally far away when walking cobblestoned lanes in Turkey where dogs and donkeys own the streets as much as human pedestrians.

Here, we don't have to scrub our hands raw in fear of catching gastro enteritis. We don't have to wear kevlar'ed backpacks so thieves don't cut the straps and run away with passports, money and any hope of returning home. We aren't bombarded by elementary-age children tearfully offering souvenirs in one hand and ruthlessly pick-pocketing with the other.

We're safe.

Did you know that the unemployment rate in Turkey is around 25 percent? Or that in Egypt, the government charges a higher tax on completed houses, so residents live in half-finished buildings to avoid paying more? Or that in Greece, people regularly set loose dogs and cats after they out-grow the cute puppy/kitty stage so that they roam free all over public areas?

For all my complaining about corporate America and entitled Americans, I'm safe here. The US is clean and protected, relatively speaking.

Our honeymoon was the adventure of a lifetime. I knocked off a big chunk of many people's "bucket lists" in one fell swoop.

But man, I'm glad to be back.

Reporter, Lake Orion Review
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