83 Places, 5 Continents, 10 Months

Less than 24 hours after our plane from Heathrow landed in Los Angeles, the four of us walked into a Noah’s Bagels on Sunset Boulevard for an early lunch. Our sense of time and place were thoroughly out of whack from jet lag and from the strangeness of waking up in Southern California, drinking Peet’s Coffee and tuning into the Disney Channel as though we’d never been away.

As we stood ordering bagels, we suddenly remembered we had eaten lunch at the same Noah’s on the day before we flew to Buenos Aires in early October. “I feels like we were just here,” Colly said, and I agreed while my chest hiccuped with anxiety.

It felt as though all those months abroad — which had stretched so elastically and netted so much in a single week, so that on the first of every month I’d express disbelief at how much we had experienced — had snapped back and condensed into a blip to make mental space for the task of reorganizing our lives and getting ready to move back into the house.

Checking out of a hotel in Marlow, England, on our last morning before flying back to California.

I’m feeling profoundly mixed emotions upon our return and need to think more about the transition before trying to write much about it. I got weepy on our last night in Marlow, a lovely town outside of London, as we checked out of a hotel a final time and toasted our trip; then, I got teary with joy as we approached my hometown of Ojai last weekend for a reunion. I also am in the process of thinking through the next phase of this blog, so stay tuned and thanks to all of you who’ve read it regularly!

In the meantime, I’m publishing the following list as proof and as a reminder to myself that we really went to all of these places. We called this our “sleepover list” and had fun updating it as we traveled. Most are linked to previous blog posts if we wrote about that destination. Three places are listed twice since we visited there twice, so the number of places totals 83, but the bottom line is that we moved and unpacked 86 times!

The Sleepover List: August 15, 2009 – June 15, 2010:

  1. Claremont hotel, Oakland (slept there the night before we left since our house was all packed up)
  2. Holiday Inn Express, Fallon, Nevada
  3. Days Inn, Delta, Utah
  4. My brother and sister-in-law’s cabin on Last Dollar Road in Telluride, Colorado
  5. Colorado River campsite during rafting trip
  6. Holiday Inn Express, Moab
  7. Mountain Village condo near Telluride
  8. Mesa Verde National Park motel, Colorado
  9. Double Tree Hotel, Durango, Colorado
  10. Pearl Street rental home in Boulder, Colorado
  11. Quality Inn near Black Canyon National Park, Gunnison, Colorado
  12. Telluride family cabin again
  13. Red Feather Inn near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona (what a dump!)
  14. El Portal Hotel, Sedona, Arizona
  15. Holiday Inn Express on Route 66, Barstow, California
  16. Morgan’s parents’ house in Pacific Palisades, California
  17. Casa Ojai Best Western, Ojai, California
  18. Embassy Suites near LAX
  19. Recoleta apartment, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  20. Llao Llao hotel, near Bariloche, Argentina
  21. Cabaña at Villa Huinid, Bariloche, Argentina
  22. Guardianes del Bayo, Villa La Angosturo, Argentina (aka the place with all the gnomes)
  23. La Comarca Suites de Montaña hotel next to the gnome cabaña,Villa La Angosturo, Argentina
  24. Overnight on the bus to Mendoza (this link is to Colly’s great blog post about the experience)
  25. Casa Glebinias, Chacras de Coria (near Mendoza), Argentina
  26. Meridiano Sur hotel, Santiago, Chile
  27. Quay West apartment, Auckland, New Zealand
  28. First night RV: Waiwera Holiday Park, North Island
  29. Second night RV: Beachside Holiday Park near Paihia in the Bay of Islands, North Island
  30. Third night RV: Kerikeri Top 10 Holiday Park, Kerikeri, Bay of Islands, North Island
  31. Fourth night RV: Kauri Coast Top 10 Holiday Park near Dargaville, North Island
  32. Last night RV: Orewa Beach Top 10 Holiday Park, Orewa, North Island
  33. Cabin at Blue Lake Top 10 Holiday Park, Rotorua, North Island
  34. Van der Boom’s house, Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty, North Island
  35. Great Lake Motel, Taupo, North Island
  36. Holiday Inn, Wellington, North Island
  37. Cabin at Harris Hill farm, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand
  38. First night campground in Abel Tasman National Park, South Island
  39. Second night campground in Abel Tasman National Park, South Island
  40. The Barn backpackers’ lodge, Marahau, South Island
  41. Abel Tasman Marahau Lodge, Marahau, South Island
  42. Chelsea Gateway Motor Lodge, Westport, West Coast of South Island
  43. Karamea Last Resort, Karamea, West Coast of South Island
  44. Charming Creek B&B, Ngakawau, West Coast of South Island
  45. The one and only Blackball Hilton, Blackball, West Coast of South Island
  46. Greymouth Gables Inn, Greymouth, West Coast of South Island
  47. Flock Hill Lodge along Arthur’s Pass, South Island
  48. Kirkpatricks’ guest house, Queenstown, South Island
  49. Meriton apartment, Sydney, Australia
  50. Jemby Rinjah Eco Lodge in Blackheath by the Blue Mountains, Australia
  51. Albury Country Comfort Motel, Albury, New South Wales
  52. Jubilee Lake Holiday Park, Daylesford, Victoria
  53. Anchor Belle Caravan Park, Phillip Island, Victoria
  54. Apartment at 1 Esplanade, Lakes Entrance, Victoria
  55. Cabin at Batemans Bay Big4 Holiday Park, Batemans Bay, New South Wales
  56. United States Embassy, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
  57. Apartment at Clifton Suites, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
  58. IBIS airport hotel, Sydney (what a dump!)
  59. Kowloon Shangri-La hotel, Hong Kong
  60. Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor, England (barely 14 hours between flights)
  61. Apartment in the Barri Gotic quarter, Barcelona, Spain
  62. Aiguaclara Hotel in Begur, Costa Brava, Spain
  63. Renaissance airport hotel, Barcelona
  64. Apartment in Rome, Italy
  65. Apartment in Venice, Italy
  66. Albergo il Focolare, Treviso, Italy
  67. Hotel Du Lac on Lake Garda, Malcesine, Italy
  68. Apartment in Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
  69. One night in the awful hotel-that-shall-remain-nameless, Florence, Italy
  70. Hotel Loggiato Dei Serviti, Florence, Italy
  71. Hotel Hermitage, Prato, Italy
  72. Hotel Campione near Lugano, Switzerland
  73. Hotel Cascada, Lucerne, Switzerland
  74. Hotel Splendid, Interlaken, Switzerland
  75. Apartment on Lake Geneva, Montreux, Switzerland
  76. Hotel Perren, Zermatt, Switzerland
  77. Hilton Garden Inn, Bologna, Italy
  78. Hilton Airport Hotel, Rome, Italy
  79. Marriott Grosvenor Square, London, England
  80. Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor, England
  81. The Grand Hotel, Brighton, England
  82. Silverdale B&B, Seaford, England
  83. The Compleat Angler, Marlow, England
  84. Morgan’s parents’ house, Pacific Palisades, California
  85. Lower School dorm at The Thacher School, Ojai, California
  86. Morgan’s parents’ condo in Mammoth Lakes, California

That’s it! Next stop, on June 20, home in Piedmont, California!

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4 Comments

  1. Steve W, June 16, 2010:

    Welcome back to the Golden State! I just love these reality shows. What will you do for season two? I think you need to go around the world latitudinally, pole to pole. Maybe on bikes and kayaks, outdo those people going from Kansas to Washington or whatever on a five-cycle. I’m hoping for photos of all of you, your luggage and shoes to complement the first ones. Also, I’m going to follow in your footsteps, so tell Morgan’s parents to expect me in a few weeks. Congratulations on a mission very well accomplished! Steve

  2. Welcome back

  3. E.T. Barton, June 22, 2010:

    Holy cow. I didn’t realize you were from Ojai. I’m from Ventura, and my family and I are planning on leaving August 3rd for our trip around the world. Who knew the world was so small.

  4. David W. Lavender, June 25, 2010:

    I love seeing such ‘five-star’ sites as the Lower School dorm and the Holiday Inn in Barstow (!) interspersed among your other far-flung ports of call. I do hope you keep this blog going, as it’s become such a regular feature of so many of our lives (surely, the transition back should prove as interesting as the transition out–your readers are anticipating regular updates!).

    Can’t wait to see you all next week.

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