Back in the U.S. of A.

We touched down in D.C. this afternoon and are approaching hour 24 of being awake. I’m hoping to end that streak soon by sinking into bed, so I’m sorry but you won’t be getting much of a coherent post out of us tonight. But as I made the trip back across the pond, I was contemplating the difficulties of traveling across multiple time differences and debating which is worse: traveling east or traveling west.

I decided that for me it’s definitely traveling east. I hate losing my night. I detest red-eyes. I can’t sleep on airplanes, but I’m tired while flying because I’ve usually been up for a full day before boarding the plane, so I’m just pretty much miserable. Then when you land you still have a full day ahead of you, which you have to try to stay awake through if you have any hope of adjusting.

Flying west makes for a long day, but I don’t lose my night…it just gets pushed back. Plus I take off in the morning and so I’m not tired on the plane. I don’t have to try to make myself sleep; I can just pass the time reading, watching movies, etc. And with an afternoon landing, it’s not that many hours until I can hop in bed. Like I said before, I’m a girl who likes her sleep, so that, in the end, is the deciding factor for me.

But I know there are people who disagree with me. So I’m just wondering what you think: is it easier to fly east or west?

Russia in Review

UPDATE: You can now link to our photos from the Russia page. Check them out!

If you take a look at the navigation bar at the top of the page, you’ll see we’ve added a new section: Country Summaries. We’ll be creating a page in this section for every country we visit. You’ll get a quick link to our posts and photos related to that country, along with a summary of our experience in that country. I’ve got the Russia summary up and ready so please go check it out.

But before you get too excited, let me disappoint you and say that I don’t have photos up yet. I really, really wanted to get that done tonight, but remember that part about me not being a night person? Yeah, still true, and as it’s now less than an hour until midnight, it just isn’t going to happen. I hope to get to it tomorrow, and I will update this post to let you know when I do. But please don’t hold your breath—tomorrow is our last day in Stockholm (can you believe it?) and I have a ton to do.

Also, we’re still uncertain about where/how we want to host our photos. Is Flikr the best option? If you have any insight into this, please comment and let us know. And please go ahead and check out the written part of the Country Summary and let us know what you think. All comments and suggestions are welcome!

You Can Call Him Doctor

Great success!

Jeff successfully presented his Ph.D. dissertation research, smoothly answered all his opponent’s questions (or nicely evaded them), wowed his committee, and was, as a result, awarded his Ph.D. yesterday.

This was the capstone of our pre-trip preparation, so now it’s just a matter of tying up a few loose ends. Then it’s infinity and beyond…or South America and beyond.

Dr. Jeff with his mentor, opponent, and three committee members.

Dr. Jeff with his mentor, opponent, and three committee members.