I'm finally on my way home to Texas after a 10-day swing through a number of countries across Europe.
My stops included London, Stuttgart, Vienna, Bratislava (Slovakia), Milan and Nice.
Considering what all has happened since I stepped on the plane a week ago Friday, I probably should have my head examined for getting on the plane in Nice to come back home.
Mind you, I didn't get to see much of anything while I was in Nice, save for the lovely IBM La Gaude offices.
And though they did have trains that could have taken me over to visit Monte Carlo, I figured my investments had been on enough of a roller coaster ride the past 10 days to where no amount of baccarat was going to replenish my account.
That's okay, I'm more of a blackjack and poker man myself. But I was looking forward to walking up to one of the tables so that I could say, just once, "Bond...James Bond."
And when it comes to Internet gambling, my luck ran out a long time ago (and was also made illegal recently in these United States).
Oh, wait just a second, I'm writing this post over international waters somewhere over the Atlantic.
Where's a good plane-bound wi-fi connection when you need it! I could be gettin' my 21 on!
Also while I was out of the country, the Americans beat the Europeans in the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1999.
Naturally, I didn't see a single match, but instead read about it on my trusty Blackberry Pearl.
So much for 3G video...and the drama of singles match play on closing day.
My impressions of Europe were wonderful, as always, particularly on a trip where I visited some places I'd never visited before.
My last journey to Eastern Europe was in 1998, to Prague, when the IBM e-business campaign was in full swing and I saw my first inflatable iMac near Wenceslas Square.
This time, I was in Bratislava, where a number of our Web production team lives and breathes, and where I met several members of our Web marketing team from across the former Eastern Soviet Bloc.
They even made me stay out late and drink a local delicacy: plum brandy. Which made me plum not want to wake up the next morning!
Many of the employees had only been with IBM for two weeks, but their knowledge of all things Internet was most impressive, and none looked a day over 25.
Because none of them were a day over 25, that I could tell.
It was readily apparent to me they were well ahead of Western Europe, and other parts of the world, in their desire to use the Internet for marketing and communications purposes.
Perhaps because they are so much younger than many of their Western European counterparts and are extremely comfortable marketing in the digital milieu because they are extremely familiar with the technology?
Whatever the reason, it was a pleasure to meet all my colleagues across Europe, and I hope to visit you all again very soon.
As for this year's Ryder Cup, I'm very sorry for your loss....