Monday, October 8, 2012
Dear Wonderful and Patient Readers,
As you already know, my DH and I arrived home from our whirlwind tour of Europe on Thursday, Sept 20, 2012. I didn’t finish this blog and at the time I was nearly 40 days behind. EGADS!
The good news — I have posted 12 more entries since my return! Now that I am working on my super-dupper desktop computer with dual-cpu and high-speed American internet, you now get the benefit of more pictures with each posting! This is enough reason to throw a parade, I think! BTW — I just added a Follow My Blog widget to the right of this page. Click on Follow button to be automatically notified (via email) of new my blog entries as they occur!
The bad news — I have 33 days to go.
As I deal with my real life and as I pound out more posting, I just want to share with you some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) that have been posed to my DH and I after our return. Here they are:
Who is “DH”?
My “Dear Husband” of nearly ten years. He asked not to be mentioned by name because he is paranoid of the internet, but our friends and family know who he is. I must thank him for all his support in making this blog possible. He was the one with the foresight to purchase an excellent notebook (the Acer Aspire One) that really held up well to being shoved into a backpack and being pounded on in the late evenings. He also proofread all my postings to ensure that I didn’t look too illiterate. He is my love and my ombudsman. Thanks, DH! <fishy kisses>
What was your favorite city?
For me and my DH, Paris is still our favorite city — although London comes in pretty darn close. Vienna too. Oh, we can’t forget Florence. Bruges was pretty darn good too. But then there was Prague! Oh, can’t forget Sarlat! Or Arles. Huff!
What was your least favorite city?
Amsterdam. You will just have to wait until I post the last six days of our trip to find out why.
How was the free internet (WiFi) access?
It was pretty good everywhere — except France! Geez, it’s not like France is a third-world country — what is the problem?
How did you two get along?
I was a bit surprised by this question, but than I shouldn’t be, right? I mean, when you and your significant other (and your stuffed backpacks and two little wheely suitcases) are stuck together for 106 days in various cities filled with strangers and train stations with signs in a foreign language neither of you understand– how would you get along?
On Day 69 (Vienna) I made the statements “I needed to get out of my DH’s hair for a while and allow him the luxury of a slow morning. I am naturally a morning person, he a night person — I think you can see the challenge.” But that is not the full story. Besides the “morning vs. night” thing, there was also the “planner vs. let-the-day-unfold” thing, the “spender vs. saver” thing, the “fat vs. lean” thing, the “netbook blog hog vs. internet addict” thing, the “TripAdvisor obsession” thing, the “fear-of-heights” thing with the “heat-intolerance” thing, the “I-already-told-you” and its companion “You-don’t-listen-to-me” thing, the “hurry-up-and-make-a-decision” thing, the ‘why-don’t-YOU-do-it” thing, and my all-time favorite “you-buy-it-you-carry-it” thing. Just to name a few.
Upon reflection, we were no worse or no better than any of the couples we saw “dealing with stuff” around us. Yeah, we got on each others nerves a few times. But at least we did not have kids to contend with — that would have been bad!
Would you do it again?
Yes, but with a few changes:
- Not in June, July, or August. Never again in the height of the tourist season! Never again in the middle of summer! Need I say more? However, my DH says “But that is the only time to go!”
- Go to fewer places but stay longer. My DH was OK with moving from city to city to city, but I missed the sense of home. So next time, we are thinking of renting an apartment somewhere (like Paris) for a month and taking the occasional day or weekend trip elsewhere by train. This way too, friends could join us for a while. Hey — that would be nice I think.
- Get a credit card with that magical “chip” so that we can buy f*ing train tickets at the kiosks! Sorry, I’m still a bit bitter about that.
- Use a camera with no shutter delay or disk boot-up. The only time I really hated my 4-year old little pink Olympus fe was when I needed to take a picture quickly. I missed lots of “pretty-landscape-quick-take-the-picture-now-now-NOW!” pictures while on the train through the English, French, Italian, Austrian, Czech, German, Belgium, and Holland countryside. Even though I envied the Canon 5D cameras of our Canadian friends (that would be the yet-to-be-posted Salzburg postings), they had those bulky things strapped to their bodies like a small child! My little Olympus took great, crisp, and clean pictures and was light and small enough to carry it my coat pocket. BTW — my little Olympus fe survived the trip with only a couple of dents and a slight problem with the battery lock mechanism. It has earned its retirement!
- Bring a smart phone. We found that WiFi was not a dependable alternative to a paid internet access, although plenty of locals complained about their services too — especially in France. Also, a phone would have come in handy in a number of situations — like calling a taxi at a train station in France.
- I would take more goofy pictures like the one above. Although, this picture was not intentional (I was messing with a setting on with my camera and the shutter went off), I like it!
Do you have a burning question you would like to ask? Send me a comment and I will get back to you!