Lessons learned from this past vacation, in no particular order of importance:
1) I will always take too many items of clothing in my suitcase, no matter how hard I try to pare down. On the other hand, I can pack one mean, every-square-centimeter-utilized suitcase!
2) An iPod and a bluetooth keyboard, while very versatile, are not the same thing as a netbook. Next time, I'll deal with the weight and space and bring my computer. Unless the idea is to have a low-tech vacation, in which case it is a perfect combo! I was completely unable to send emails and discovered that not all of the files I thought I had uploaded to Dropbox actually went there. Next time, I will be more thorough...
3) Shopping is overwhelming. I was SO thankful for my detailed list, which kept me from going overboard, losing my mind or maxing out poor hubby's credit card on all those inexpensive US goodies. Consumerism and materialism are addicting, and seem to be floating about in the air as you step off the plane, ready to infect their heart-pumping, adrenaline-rushing, shopping inducing frenzy. BUY! BUY! BUY! (I also thank pregnancy; it kept me from even LOOKING at most clothing stores.)
4) On that note, I suggest that anyone needing them buy maternity clothes at the consignment store. Ditto for almost everything baby. So unbelievably less stressful and much easier on the wallet.
5) Apparently, pizza is now a vegetable. Poor schoolchildren.
6) Honey is excellent for washing your face, even taking off makeup that is stubborn when exposed to soap!
7) The American diet seems composed of chemical additives, processed cheese and powdered sugar. I missed Brazil terribly, and though I did eat plenty of extra-sharp Cheddar and Mom's homemade sausage gravy to kill my homesick food cravings, nothing is quite the same as a fresh banana. Or mango, or papaya...
8) Mosquitoes will grow in your toilets during an absence; dump bleach down them before leaving on vacation or you will regret opening your bathroom door upon arrival.