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Stateside

Hey guys! We arrived home from our Europe trip last night.

jen eddins tanner bazemore

Grand Place Brussels
Shirt   |   Necklace   |   Jeans   |   Sneakers

I can’t wait to share all the details on our trip in upcoming blog posts but first I need to comb through the hundreds of photos that I took and decide how to best capture it.

belgian waffles in brussels

There were lots of Belgian waffles eaten.

belgian beer

Belgian Beer in Bruges
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And Belgian beers drank.

I seriously missed peanut butter in a land where Nutella and Speculoos reign king.

european heat wave

Shopping in Brussels
My Bag   |   My Shorts   |   My Shoes

I also missed air conditioning as the second half of our trip was in the midst of an unseasonable heat wave where temps were over 90 degrees. By the final day of our trip, I gave up on caring what I was wearing and rolled with Lululemon and tennis shoes.

jen and lina

Dinner out in Brussels
My Romper   |   My Shoes

The best part of the trip was getting to catch up in person with my dear friend Lina. There were lots of hugs, many long conversations and even a few tears. Lina is such a strong, ambitious, brave and loving woman and she inspires me so much. Every time I’m with her I feel like we have so much to learn from each other. It’s such a special friendship.

Yesterday was an 18-hour marathon travel day home. We left Lina’s apartment at 8 a.m. Brussels time (2 a.m. Eastern) to head to the airport. We wanted to give ourselves plenty of time to make our 11 a.m. flight since security in Brussles is tight and there had been the train station incident the night before. After getting checked in and clearing security and border patrol, we had a quick breakfast. I had a slice of quiche and a coffee. I saved the croissant for later.

delta hot lunch

Our flight from Brussels to JFK was every minute of eight hours. The flight to Europe was faster and only a little over six and a half hours (this is due to the jet stream). It was a looonnnngggg eight hours since I did my best to stay awake (trying to help with the jet lag arriving home). Towards the beginning of the flight, Delta served a hot lunch that was surprisingly delicious. It was coconut chicken and rice with a salad, a roll and cheese. My fave was making a butter and cheese sandwich with the roll. After lunch I watched Manchester by the Sea, tried to start the Batman Lego movie but snoozed through most of it, worked Sudokus from the Delta magazine and finished the second half of Sex and the City 2 (I watched the first half on the way over).

We landed at JKF around 1:30 p.m. but our flight to Charlotte didn’t depart until 5 p.m. We cleared customs and checked back in to American Airlines and then started the waiting game. I ate the leftover croissant from my purse along with a banana and mint tea.

I passed the time by walking up and down the terminal talking to my mom and grandmother and getting my steps in for the day. It was needed after so much sitting! I got to just shy of 20k for the day but that also included a 3.5 mile run before we left for the airport. Not bad for a travel day!

nyc from the air

We finally boarded our plane to Charlotte but sat on the runway for an hour due to weather. I loved this view of NYC when we were finally airborne.

We quickly collected our bags and grabbed at Uber at CLT and were reunited with the girls a short time later. We missed them!

They were super excited to see us. Sullie jumped in bed with me last night (we’ve been limiting dogs in the bed lately but I couldn’t say no) and she literally made herself the inside spoon and snuggled up right next to me.

Before bed I had a salad with salmon and avocado that we picked up from the restaurant in the Uber on the way home. I tried to watch a little TV with Tanner but I was falling asleep so I went to bed around 10:15 p.m. Given that it was 4:15 a.m. Brussels time and I’d basically been up for 22 hours straight, I was proud of myself for making it that long! I woke up naturally around 6 a.m. this morning feeling really good so I hope my body can quickly re-adjust to the time change and get back to normal.

I have to admit that it was nice to completely step away from my blog and work for an entire week but I’m happy to be back and my mind is racing with ideas and inspiration. Lots to come! 🙂

What’s your favorite thing to do on an airplane? 

What’s your favorite way to pass time in an airport? 

What’s the longest flight you’ve ever taken? 

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Juliette | Namastay Traveling June 22, 2017, 10:17 am

    This looks so amazing! I’m horrible with long flights so I try to find a podcast that can occupy me for at least a few hours! And I can learn something too 🙂

    • Jen June 23, 2017, 7:30 am

      haha i’m so crazy that i can’t just sit there and listen to something like a podcast. i have to also be reading or doing a puzzle or something too!

  • meredith (The Cookie ChRUNicles) June 22, 2017, 10:19 am

    glad you had a good trip, it must feel so nice to be home! I give you credit for handling those flights and travel times. I am not good at long flights although my longest is only 6 hours. And there’s just nothing like the view of NYC when taking off and landing. It always makes me so happy to see it because it means I’m home 🙂

    • Jen June 23, 2017, 7:29 am

      thank you! yes, great to be home. traveling definitely makes you appreciate certain things about your life at home, you know? agreed on the NYC view. <3

  • Linda June 22, 2017, 10:34 am

    Welcome back! Can’t wait to hear more and see more photos.
    New Zealand in 2015. Between the fight to Los Angeles and then to Auckland, it was almost a full day! Fortunately, it was a trip we were sent on we flew First Class….which was amazing and made such a big difference. That said, I was still exhausted! With a 16 hour time difference I struggled mostly when we returned to Charlotte. It took my several days to get back on schedule!

    • Jen June 23, 2017, 7:28 am

      Thank you! Can’t wait to hang with you guys this weekend.

      OMG to that New Zealand trip. I’ve always wanted to visit but that time change is just insane. I’m sure it did take you a few days to feel back to normal after that. First class would definitely help in that long flight situation.

  • Erin June 22, 2017, 11:44 am

    Those waffles look amazing! I am looking forward to your travel posts. I am impressed that you got that many steps on a travel day, even without the morning run, that is a lot of steps!

    I am all about movies or games on the iPad on long flights. I wish I could read on planes, but for some reason I just can’t. My longest flight was to Taiwan this past winter. We flew 6 hrs to SFO followed by 14hrs to Taipei. It honestly wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated and thanks to the jet stream, the flights home were shorter.

    • Jen June 23, 2017, 7:27 am

      Ahh, 20 hours of travel sounds intense! Did you just visit Taipei or go any other places?

  • Jodie June 22, 2017, 11:49 am

    Looks wonderful! Can’t wait to read more about your trip! Vacations are wonderful it’s great to step away and let the mind rest. Have a great weekend!

  • Alice June 22, 2017, 12:35 pm

    Did you have any Nutella though? I want to know if the European Nutella really does taste different than the American one (one of the life’s mysteries!).

    Also can we stalk your friend Lina on social media? Asking for a friend..

    Looking forward to the post talking about your trip! Brussels is really nice, and I always wanted to go to Bruges!

    • Jen June 23, 2017, 7:26 am

      Hey Alice! I did try some Nutella because Lina had some in her pantry. I thought it tasted basically the same. I’d have to do a side-by-side comparison. 😉

      Yes, of course! Here’s her instagram: http://www.instagram.com/linam_pazos. 🙂

  • maya June 22, 2017, 12:40 pm

    It’s great to see you back Jen, looking forward to more stories and photos from your trip. My favourite thing to do on long haul flights is actually – yoga! Every time I travelled between Australia and Europe, there was a group of women in the corridor behind the seats, doing yoga in the middle of the night. Everyone else is asleep, the plain is incredibly serene and quiet, it’s a really relaxing and surreal experience. Favourite airport activity has to be split between duty-free shopping and having a shower, massage and spa (as long as the airport has that facility). The longest flight I took was nearly 17 hours, it was so bad, I went to work the day after I got back, and I bent over to draw patient’s blood and my back gave way, I couldn’t straighten up for three days. Since then, whenever I have a long flight, I join the Asian ladies for the yoga…

    • Jen June 23, 2017, 7:24 am

      Thanks Maya! And the yoga thing is fascinating! I can imagine it would be a really cool experience but I’ve never heard of it or seen anyone doing it. Very cool! OMG to 17 hour flight. That is just bananas. I can only imagine that your back was a mess after that much sitting.

  • sarah June 23, 2017, 7:33 am

    your express top is so cute – I’m assuming you wore a strapless bra? care to share which one is comfy enough to wear all day when traveling? always on the hunt for a good one!

  • Joy June 23, 2017, 8:30 am

    Welcome back! My husband and I are hoping to travel to Belgium later this year. We’re excited to try all the beers and food. 🙂

  • Aimee June 23, 2017, 10:55 am

    Last month we went Ireland and on the return flight they served a local Irish ice cream made in Dingle (Murphy’s Ice Cream) and it made the whole 6 hour 30 minute flight much more bearable. Airlines are stepping up their food game for sure!

  • Victoria A Ramonis-rafacz June 24, 2017, 11:31 am

    Jen, wanted to thank you so much for your positive review for Delta airlines, my husband works for them & all of the airlines have been suffering from lot of negativity especially in the press. On a personal note, I especially need him to be securily employed right now, as my last day of work is in July, I just quit my extremely stressful career in order to be a care-taker to my 2 boys & aging parents, as well as hopefully trying to discover my dharma & sign up for yoga teacher training, & create a more peaceful life for my family. Thank you for being an inspiration!

  • Victoria June 24, 2017, 11:33 am

    Jen, wanted to thank you so much for your positive review for Delta airlines, my husband works for them & all of the airlines have been suffering from lot of negativity especially in the press. On a personal note, I especially need him to be securily employed right now, as my last day of work is in July, I just quit my extremely stressful career in order to be a care-taker to my 2 boys & aging parents, as well as hopefully trying to discover my dharma & sign up for yoga teacher training, & create a more peaceful life for my family. Thank you for being an inspiration!

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