That nap I wanted for today? FOUR FULL HOURS OF SWEET DELICIOUS COMA. As a load of laundry whirred and clunked away, the dog napped on the porch sheltered from the rain, and the construction guys apparently took the morning off, I rested without interruption. I don't think I dreamed, and if I did it probably was of sleeping.

I am trying not to be too much of a crank about the trip. Any time I can learn something or see something new, it is good. But I never was one of these 15-countries-in-10-days kind of person, that never ever appealed to me.I would rather miss out on seeing a few things, and instead really dig into one place more fully.

However, I will say this: this tour company, trading on the good name of the Smithsonian, offered a cut-rate experience on every front while charging hefty bucks. It is not at all what I or any of the other participants expected. There was zero benefit to going through Smithsonian Student Travel -- no perks for anything Smithsonian, no informed tour guide, no competent bus driver, no decent meals, nothing but shoving us on and off the bus, with often very little time to see anything, or no time -- the lines were too long. We had to share the tour with a group of 8th graders from Ventura, California, not told to us until the last minute. That could have been dodgy with our younger and rather naive group of 5th graders, but these kids were at all times quiet and polite and were a pleasure to travel with. I wish they could have had a better experience,too. They came from a public school and had to raise a whole lot of money for the trip, and it was a very big deal for them. Sigh.

It will be interesting for me to see how Mr11 processes the trip, what he gets from it all, what the lasting impressions will be. Right now, it's already in the past for him and he is thinking ahead to the Science Fair, and what he would like to make for that. MissSix announced she intends to make a pair of Walking Pants, so Mr11 better bring his A game.

As for me, when I return to New York City or Washington, D.C., I guarantee I will not be staying next to an adult store in the hinterlands or have the police handling a domestic disturbance call on my hotel floor, or eating in a restaurant with a cat sitting by the open bins of hot food. Unless I want to.