Sorry, no pictures yet!
As would be expected, I have been contemplating the differences between life in Germany and life in the US a lot since our return. Every time I plug an appliance into the wall without the need for a transformer or adapter, I notice it because it is so easy. So many things that just come naturally here were harder in Germany, such as setting up phone service, paying bills, and registering our car. I feel like I have one of those red Easy Buttons at my disposal every time I have to do something like that. I still flinch whenever someone pulls up to an intersection on my right (if you're on a secondary road these drivers have the right-of-way in Germany even if you're the one on a thru street), and I have to restrain myself from bagging my own groceries at the store. I love being able to read all of my mail and to talk to people without thinking about it, not to mention the wonders of Wal-Mart and Safeway, but ironically (considering I just mentioned the big WM) I do feel nostalgic about the relatively commercialism-free community we lived in (especially as I hung up on the 4th marketing caller in an hour last night).
We are looking forward to exploring our area this summer, especially Rainier NP now that we are so close, but of course we had many uncompleted travel desires in Europe. There is so much to see you could spend your whole life trying to see everything. However, there is also so much of the US that we have not yet visited, I think we have a new appreciation of the wonders right here in our own country.
I have a new understanding of why this is called "the New World", when the oldest "modern" structures can't be older than, say, the 1600's. Everything does feel relatively young and new compared to many of the old towns and structures that we were constantly in contact with in Germany.
Those are just a few of my rambling thoughts. I'm sure that I'm missing numerous observations that have popped into my head, but that's it for now. Time to take Adventuregirl outside for her pre-nap play session.