Friday, October 30, 2015

In Conclusion...

Trip Blog Index!







Posted While Aboard...

Washington, D.C. Area


Delicious Kevins

My world travels came to an end three weeks ago, and my travel blog posts are concluding as well. This makes me a little sad. I loved that trip. Being home is a semi-disappointing reality, like waking up from a terrific dream. I love my family and home, but... the wild blue younger! I need more of it! So I need to get back to working, back to saving money, so that I can do more....

But before I start blogging again about TV shows and antiques and all other manner of goofy things, I want to make a few last-minute remarks and reflections about my trip.

1. I am so grateful to God for providing me with safety and good health. I know I was praying for both, I'm sure my mom was, and I believe others were, too. Even though I was sometimes in weird situations, like where I had to walk back to my hotel in a strange city in the dark, I always made it safely. One ship, one small boat, four planes, five trains, several buses and shuttles, two taxis, lots of subways, and miles of walking, and I had no injuries to report (beyond cutting my finger on a cheap umbrella), no robberies or pickpockets, and no sicknesses beyond some dizziness during the first part of my cruise. That said, on my final flight home, I started to get a sore throat, which, after returning home, turned into a cold which turned into Bronchitis. But that all happened afterward.

2. Many people have asked me what my "favorite thing" was, and honestly, there were so  many great moments and "things" that I can hardly say.

Best food? Switzerland. The bread and cheese were divine.

Most beautiful? The Alps, notably on the train ride from Switzerland to Italy.

Coolest thing I saw? The Last Supper in Milan was a big deal. Lots of little things -- the Olympics complex in Barcelona, the Alps, the panda in D.C., castles in Germany and Italy, the U.S. Capitol and Washington Monument, etc. etc. 

Most fun? The cruise. That's hardly fair to the other places, really, because that was 11 nights, the longest I stayed anywhere on the trip. With all the shows and events and things to do (and eat!) on board, along with the advantage of not having to unpack or walk long distances, I was able to really relax and unwind and enjoy myself.

Places I would definitely want to visit again? Germany for sure. I want to see more. Italy, especially Rome and the cities I didn't get to see. Boston... well, all of New England.

Places I wouldn't visit again? Probably Venice. That was on my bucket list, and now I've seen it. It was beautiful, but I'm not sure I will ever feel the particular need to go back there (especially when Rome, Florence, and so many other places are calling my name.) 

"Maybes"... Barcelona. There's certainly more to see, there, and it was a nice city overall, but it wouldn't be at the top of my list.

3. Smushed Pennies/Coins acquired: nine. One in Germany, eight in Washington D.C., seven of them involving pandas.

4. Things I neglected to pack that I had to buy en route: Razor, sewing kit, flipflops, non-sneaker shoes. (Well, I had packed flipflops but they were old and started to disintegrate circa Italy.)

5. Things I packed that I hardly ever needed or used: Swimsuit, swimsuit cover-up, hand sanitizer.

6. Things that surprised me about Europe:

*Public restrooms sometimes cost money (my cousin warned me about this)

*Bathroom stalls nearly everywhere I went were super private and secluded, not like in the U.S. where anyone can peek under the door or see you through the cracks.

*Airport security is more lax. No shoe removal.

*Language barrier wasn't really an issue in most cities. I did pick up some Italian before I went, and I knew some Spanish, so both of those helped a little. However, a lot of people there were bilingual. It was only in the German-speaking countries that I felt like a dope. Note to self: learn some German before the next trip.

*National Archives Museum photo by Wes D.

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