Friday, June 24, 2005

Home at Last

I returned home to San Diego from my Ameripean Sojourn on Wednesday night, June 22, three and a half weeks after beginning my journey to six fascinating European lands. When I showed up at work the following morning, my co-workers had a special treat waiting for me on my desk. They had followed the Ameripean Sojourn blog and were impressed by the pictures of various European foods I took. They decided to surprise me with this delectable assortment of AMERICAN deserts, appropriately adorned with a U.S. flag. It was a fitting and heartwarming welcome home.

Returning to work after a long vacation isn't so bad when you have treats like these -- and awesome coworkers -- to welcome you back.

London Town

Big Ben. London was the last stop on my "Ameripean Sojourn." I last visited London in 1986 as a mere teenager. Twenty years later, the city seemed spiffier and more exciting than ever to me. Enjoy.

The simple act of crossing the street in London can be a confusing thing for foreigners. They try everything to remind people to look the right way for oncoming traffic.

London park.

Where the Queen of England lives, Buckingham Palace. Junior's mom requested photos of this palace. Edna, this is for you.

In London, it's easy for Americans to get run over since traffic drives on the opposite side of the road. Signs like these try to remind us which way to look for oncoming traffic.

Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace guard.

Londons glitzy new ferris wheel.

This is London's famous "Speaker's Corner" in Hyde Park, established by parliament in the 1800's as a place for public oratory. I guess no one had anything to say on this day. I recited a poem of mine ("Don't Ask, Don't Tell") aloud, but no one was there to hear it.

London tube station.

This poster for a new book was prominent in the London tube stations.

"Gents Toilet"? -- okay, this ain't America.

I found my home in London (just kidding).

Opening day of Wimbledon 2005

The line to get in Wimbledon on the first day. It was quite long, with my British friend Jon Grayson and I getting through the gates in about 75-minutes.

Here we're about 3/4 of the way to the front gates, after about an hour in line.

Doing their duty.

It was amazing how close one can get to the courts at Wimbledon.

Thai hero Paradorn...I got his autograph (after he lost to Marat Safin)!

Formality and order rule at Wimbledon.

Meet the last Brit to win a Wimbledon title.

Two women enjoy the traditional Wimbledon treat of strawberries & cream with "pims" fruit champagne.

Enjoying the tradition Wimbledon treat of strawberries & cream and "pims," a fruity champagne.


Spanish heart-throb Feliciano Lopez takes a break.

A Swedish fan bears his colors for countryman Joachim Johansson.

That famous Dementieva serve.

One of my favorites, Russia's beautiful Elena Dementieva.

Players' Balcony, from where the players can watch some of the action on courts below.

Ah, the green, green grass courts of Wimbledon.

Ballgirls & ballboys cover a court for the night.

Center Court at Wimbledon.