I just sat down to write a blog about our stroll by the Silver River last night. Honest. To show you photos from the woods. Photos of sparkling sunlight on water, deer jaw bones, and other Exciting Things.
You know how it is. You get caught down Memory Lane. One minute you’re in the present and the next minute you’ve slipped into looking in the 50th birthday photo album your son made for you a couple of years ago. And then you notice the photos from the trip to Europe in 2007 that you & your daughter made. And then you’re lost in the past.
So, dear reader, I shall drag you back to 2007 for a trip into the Past. It happened in May of that fair year. My daughter, Kiah, had just graduated from Michigan State University. I hadn’t been to Europe since…since younger than her age. Since 1975 when an eighteen-year old exchange student living with a family in Switzerland.
I really wanted to return. And somehow…somehow… it happened. The Universe agreed to the desire by supplying some extra cash. And off Kiah and I went for ten days of exploring Italy, Switzerland and southern France.
All of these photos were taken by Kiah. With the exception of the gondola photo and the photo up above. I didn’t even know how to use a camera three years ago! And, furthermore, I wouldn’t have wasted “precious time” snapping photos in place of “living real life“. Funny, how life changes one’s perspective… Now you couldn’t pry the camera from my fingers, LOL.
We were scammed big time in the above photo. See that nice-looking guy dressed in ancient gladiator clothing? If you see him or his partner at the Colosseum, run in the other direction. He asked if we wanted our picture taken with him.
I thought, “Yes…guess so…wouldn’t this be nice to show the folks back home?” without ever thinking that this was a scam to defraud innocent tourists. His buddy snapped the photo and then they demanded ten euros. Or was it five euros?
I was flabbergasted, but imagined an international incident if we refused to pay. Reluctantly, annoyed, I forked over the euros. Bitched about it for the next nine days. Well, mildly bitched about it, anyway.
But, you know what? That photo became a focal point of our trip. The Time we were Scammed. We still talk about it today. (I should have grabbed his sword and…)
We traveled around Europe mostly staying in cheap hostels and bed-and-breakfasts. We had a great time. Rome first. We walked ten miles the first day. My feet hurt for the rest of the trip. We argued about who was the better navigator in unknown cities…and I lost big-time. On the morning we left the hostel in Rome, headed for the train station, she went one way and I went another.
“Come this way!” I insisted.
She said, “If you go that way, you’ll go back to the Colosseum.”
I refused to budge. She refused to budge. Finally she said, “OK, see you later!” and headed off toward the train station. I ran with my suitcase to catch up with her departing self.
And you know what? She was right. I was wrong. She gained the title of Trip Navigator after that incident.
After Rome, we traveled to Venice. Oh, how lovely is Venice! Even though the city sinks into the sea more every year, it’s an awesome place. We drank espresso in tiny cups and longed for our “real” cups of coffee back home (even though we really liked the espresso. I just wanted more.) We wandered through many back streets, always following the signs which directed us “Per Rialto”. We lingered on the Rialto Bridge and admired the river.
The following Christmas my brother-in-law decided we might like a photo of Venice. He randomly selected a photo from the Rialto Bridge. The exact same view Kiah and I admired the previous May!
Later we stayed in Basel, Switzerland, with my Swiss “sister” Suzanne and her mom and dad. It was great to see Suzanne after many years. Although she had visited us in the States several times.
What a trip down Memory Lane!
We took the train to southern France and bathed in the Mediterranean. We played cribbage on a topless beach. (Hey, am I the only person in the Universe who goes to a topless beach and plays cribbage?)
Then we wound our way back to Florence and finally to Rome. We endured a “Night from Hell” in the Rome airport in which I did not sleep a wink and prayed for safety. You can tell from the above photo that it was a challenging night.
But why are the most challenging and unusual times so often the ones we remember?
Hope you enjoyed this detour from your Regularly Scheduled Blog. 🙂