Although we had a wonderful trip to Europe, with fewer problems and more great moments than I expected, it’s so great to be back in lovely Oregon USA.    Free water and free clean public bathrooms are only part of the charm and appeal.    Yesterday I headed down to our local grocery to pick up a few items and the conspicuous low prices compared to Europe were really remarkable.   I’ll never complain about US food prices again.    In Norway you can spend 80 on a single buffet meal, where here in the USA that will buy a *better* buffet meal for a whole family.       Norway was beautiful and I really enjoyed our stay, but the sticker shock of $12 for a hamburger and coke did detract a bit from the charm of that amazing country.    Norway is often listed as the best place in the world to live – I think in large part due to superb free health care and  free education systems – but one wonders how well those metrics include the benefits one enjoys from the dollar menu at McDonald’s and ubiquitous refrigerated water fountains.

Europe’s a great place to visit, but I’m glad to be living …. right here.