Well, I’ve been home for a day now and, with the exception of sleeping weird hours, I’ve pretty much acclimated back to my real life again.

After arriving at 9am yesterday and then spending some time with my mom, I was back at my home by 3pm.

The day that never ended was still going on.   With the time zone differences, it was actually 7am my time.   Aside from maybe a couple of hours sleep on the planes I had been up for 27 hours.

I ended up staying up another five hours on top of that as I was just trying to stay up as long as possible so I’d go to bed at a somewhat normal hour.

So, at 8pm, I crashed.

For only 4 hours…

I got back up at midnight and stayed up until 7 in the morning.   So much for sleeping normal hours.   I went back to bed and didn’t wake up again til 3 in the afternoon.

I had this long laundry list of things to do today and pretty much none of it got done.

I had a welcome home dinner set for 6pm so it only gave me a short time to get my gifts ready for my friends.

The gifts?

A collection of photos of Herbie’s adventures.   Herbie is the little green dinosaur I bought on the second day of my trip.   He traveled with me everywhere and while he spent most of his time in the backpack that was slung over my shoulder, he would come out every now and then for a photo opportunity.

In all there were 110 photos.   I went to London Drugs and $35 and 20 minutes later I had all the photos in my hands.

I divided them up evenly and enclosed them in 11 different envelopes to give out at dinner.

The second part of the gift was a special appearance by Herbie at dinner.   I arrived early and went upstairs and placed him in the middle of the table for everyone to see when they arrived.   The plan was to have everyone randomly draw dates from a hat and then they would all have “custody” of Herbie for that given week.

During that week they could take photos of him on new adventures here at home and then after everyone had their week with him we’d get together again for dinner and share the photos and stories.

That was the plan…

After spending a half hour in the lounge downstairs we finally went up to our table.   The envelopes and the drawing hat were still on the table but Herbie was not!

My heart sank.

Not only because this little guy had been by my side throughout the trip and was essentially irreplaceable but because the elaborate (and rather original I might add) gift to my friends was taken away.

There would be no custody.   No adventures at home.   No photos.   No reunion dinner to reminisce.

I was in a daze and while my guests were asking me questions about my trip I was so distracted by the loss I could barely answer them.

The managers asked everyone.   People even went table to table looking for him but he didn’t turn up.

So, to recap:   Herbie spent 100 days in Southeast Asia visiting 8 countries and dozens of cities over countless miles of travel with no problem but he couldn’t survive one night in Vancouver.

#findingherbie    #freeherbie

Asia Trip 2014, Post Trip, Trip Journal

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