I'm finally on my way. The view from here is caffeine-charged (post-coffee and chocolate muffin) and gray. Quick post, but things are about to get much more interesting.
In the meantime, read these two on the way over thus far:
A New Earth (Eckhart Tolle of The Power of Now and Oprah book club fame) and Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe, African literary master) - both worth reading and for very different reasons.
PS I totally ripped this pic from a flickr stream...credits to be added later.