Stateside Landing!

Pine.  Fresh, green pine.  That’s all I could smell when the doors of the SFO airport opened and I wheeled my booty out to the pickup curb.  Life is good.

It was a thirty-hour journey, from the bus ride at the hotel . . .

The final shot with Natalie in our hotel-home reception area. Time to get on the bus!

To the Abu Dhabi airport where a final touch of SABIS-induced chaos ensued (of course) . . .

To Frankfurt.  Where I had a lovely 8-hour layover despite my inability to get online.

Gazing up at the natural sunlight in the Frankfurt airport (with a nasty McDonald's in the background).

These two friendly Frenchies insisted I partake in some of their breakfast Reisling.  On their way to Gabon, the dude on the left, Hermane (I think?) was about to get married to a Japanese lady. You gotta love old Frenchmen- even with my non-existent French, we were able to carry on a decent conversation and share in some hearty laughter.

Kampai!

I partook in a German version of a croissant, which more is more accurately described as a croissant-shaped pretzel with chocolate spread in the middle!

Though the Frenchmen gave it a "pppfffft!" it was still pretty damn tasty . . .

Making an effort to find the best atmosphere in the joint, I moved upstairs to the main restaurant . . .

Cafe-hopping part deux. The noir scene.

Where they made up for the croissant fois pas with a divine salad of fried herb goat cheese, endives, spring greens and a baguette.  Tres delish.

A damn fine salad, especially for an airport.

Onward and upward, as the final leg drew near.  Wheeling my rather heavy carry ons (I was a few kilos overweight under the new – and rather harsh – luggage allowance rules through Lufthansa.  This meant lugging around a Shirley Temple box set from my father, all of my belts, computer program CDs and a handful of yoga books through the airport!), going through security (again), and standing in line for 35 minutes as the United airline staff asked each and every passenger a series of 8 questions regarding their luggage.  Twasn’t easy.

Good thing the Frankfurt airport convenience stores are so well-stocked with "calming beverages."

So when it finally came time to plop down in the least comfortable airline seat I’ve ever experienced, I took a healthy dose of dreamland (courtesy a Bangkok pharmacy – kor pun kaaaah!) and ended up in San Francisco in no time.  Aaaahhh . . .

HOME SWEET HOME!

And here I am, after the first sniff of America Land.  Pine trees, crisp air, Chipotle burrito . . .

Black beans + Mexican rice + fresh salsa + sour cream + guacamole + lettuce = heaven.

. . . and best of all, my good friend Christi, whose new baby Kenji is JUST the cutest.

Don't you just wanna SMOOTCH him?!

Green tea at my side, visits all lined up, I’m wondering which yoga asana (pose) will be inspired by my visit to the Bay.

Good morning! No really, it's a GOOD morning. This semi-cloudiness is feelin' pretty exotic compared to my desert exile . . .

Watch this space for more . . .

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