Love the fact that most American homes have a fireplace. I so much miss a having a fire place in winter. At somepoint in my life I would like to have another home that has a fireplace and a front porch with a hanging bed. I would love to live by the ocean at some point of my life. Our friends place in AL of course had this wonderful and cozy fireplace. Sitting by the warmth of the fireplace talking to Kim with a mug of coffee in my hands. A great way to start any day when temperature is cool enough outside.
Outlet shopping as well as regular shopping is always a fun favorite. The Swiss Frank and the Dollar are about the same in value for the moment. Also going to a regular Mall is something I always want to do. There was a great big Mall just by the airport in Tampa. Rather than sitting at the airport all day we went there and spend some hours doing some last minute shopping. One of my new favorite stores that I discovered was Athleta. A lot of cool and comfy stuff to wear for the gym or just for a relaxing evning at home. Now it is time to put shopping on hold. I did do a lot of shopping in the US this time. It is so much more fun and easy when you know the stores and know your favorite ones.
Something I always do in the US is to treat myself to a mani and pedi. Services like that are half the price in the US compared to Switzerland. I also made sure to get a haircut this time because prices are better and also because feel more secure when I am able to explain myself in English knowing that they will totally compehend what I say. I have lived in Switzerland for 3 year now and still haven't gotten a haircut here. I always do it in either Sweden or the US.
Oh my God, all that yummy Mexican food. You just can't find good Mexican food in Europe the way you can in the US. We went to Popo's a number of times while staying at Anna-Maria island.
We also went and had Mexican food twice in Birmingham. Besides good Mexican food I always enjoy Bagles and peanut butter while being in the US. Then there is all the great ice cream as well. For a true ice cream lover like me there is a ton of fun and yummy flavors to choose from.
What's up with the crunch factor? There is something about crunchy food that Americans seem to love much more than the Europeans. Crunchy food is good. In the US sallds come with crunchy toppings and even Sushi often has a cruchy factor (at least when you go to a Sushi place).
Everything is just sweeter in taste in the US. There are many more food products that are sweetend. I can wonder why so much has to be sweetend. Almost all bread tastes a little sweet in the US. Even whole grain bagles taste sweet compared to bread in Europe.
Service at resturants is so much better as expected. Service in general is so much better in the US. It is so easy to get help when you are trying on clothes in a store. Service and friendliness is just outstanding in the US.
If the beds are much higher in the US the opposite is true for the toilett seats. They are much lower. Toiletts feel low.
Air conditioning is great. Even if we were in Florida during the coolest part of the year. We still had some warm and pretty muggy days when the AC was very much needed. Europe can lack both Air conditioning and ice cubes. I love air conditioning. However the rest of my travel company always seemed to be cold, even in FL. We had this issue about the air conditioning in the house on Anna-Maria island. My father in law would turn it down as he was cold and I would turn it up as I felt warm. Traveling together in a larger crowd certainly has it's pros and cons. It is fun but it is also very much about compromising.
Something else that I noticed was that many museums and parks used volunteers to help out with work and information. Older retired people that worked as volunteers. I think that is great. Older people feel needed, have something to do and get out of the house as well as it being something that cuts costs. That is something I would like to do when I am retired. I would love to work as a volunteer a few days a week. Older citizens seem to be integrated in a more positive way in the community compared to Europe. Older citizens get and find jobs/tasks and roles even if it is non-paid work. I think it is important to continue to feel valuable and feel you can give something back to your community even if you are old if you feel healthy enough and if you have a wish to do so of course.