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It’s been a week since I arrived back in the US and in those seven days I’ve done copious amounts of shopping and squeezed in time with friends wherever possible. The past week has been great and I’ve been reminded of so many things I didn’t realize I had missed. One of those things is the beauty of this part of the country. Nine times out of 10 when I tell people I lived n Reno they apologize because they have this negative perception of the city. Well the joke is on them because since I moved here in 2004 I’ve come to realize that it’s a pretty great place. Beautiful mountains all around, gorgeous sunsets, Lake Tahoe in your backyard, and friendly people. I’ve enjoyed being back, all but the driving. Where are the trains? Metros? Trams? Get in the car, drive two miles, park the car, get out of the car, get back in the car. It’s taking some adjusting and I seem to let others drive whenever possible.

I’m also getting used to having everyone around me speak English. For the first time in a year I can understand every conversation going on around me whether I want to or not. I’ve really enjoyed the international aspect of Amsterdam – hearing a different language or accent every way you turn. Since being back I notice the different accents and inflections of Americans more than before. Let’s just say that some are better than others.

One of the best things about being back has been the ease of catching up with people whether or not we kept in touch over the last year. I’ve enjoyed picking up right where we left off twelve months ago and have been surprised how many people have kept up with me via the blog. I find myself asking what they’ve been up to while they recall stories I wrote about. It’s a funny exchange, but a great feeling to have so many great people in my life here.

I was lucky enough to get to spend the last couple of days with some of those great people in Denver. I’d love to tell you about it, but seeing as I just returned this afternoon and am running on six hours of sleep over the last two days, I’d prefer to save that adventure for another blog post to give it the energy it deserves.