Having just taken off through what may be my last snow storm until next winter, I am writing this now to be posted when I get home while cruising on a massive Finnair Airbus A330 at over 35,000ft. It is nice to be headed west, back over the Atlantic, towards home after an amazing trip of firsts. It was my first time boarding a plane on one day and, without any delays, still not arriving at my destination until the next day. It was my first time heading east over the Atlantic Ocean. It was my first time in both Sweden and Finland. It was my first time enjoying six new varieties varieties of foreign beer and five new varieties of whisky...that I remember anyways... It was my first time enjoying the traditional Swedish liquor Punsch... both the store bought and much more potent homemade varieties. It was my first time beating a Swede in a hotly contested arm-wrestling match. It was my first time learning some of the Swedish language from native speakers, and I was not "fisk fitta" as I did in fact catch my first fish on the Baltak stretch of the Tidan while in Sweden (first words are never the clean ones so translation is available via email request if you are interested). It was my first time sharing the tying stage with English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Swedish, Nowegian, Finnish, and American friends at the same time. It was my first fly fishing show abroad and, if I have anything to say about it, certainly will not be my last.
As I am writing this I can not help but smile as I think about the amazing time I had over the past week with my friends and all the new experiences shared. Our hosts made everything run without a hitch from landing to leaving. I should arrive at New York JFK in about six hours then, after a four hour layover and another two hour flight, finally be home to my lovely wife. At some point over the next few days I will try to get some more pictures cleaned up and posted to share more of this trip.