During my earlier summer wanderings and adventures, I declared that a perfect vacation (one where nothing goes wrong) is a boring vacation. I still hold that as true, for the most part. Sometimes, though, there’s nothing wrong with a Nothing Vacation (as I have dubbed it). And that’s pretty much what the first week of my most recent vacation was. Continue reading
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Kindness of Strangers.” – When was the last time a stranger did something particularly kind, generous, or selfless for you? Tell us what happened!
This prompt is actually from a couple days ago but, pulling my computer out to finally check in on the blog and the community after a week-long hiatus, it immediately caught my eye over the other recent prompts. My post is not so much a reposnse to the prompt’s question as it is my own thoughts on the subject of selflessness, strangers, and my experiences as the idea of it reminded me of an event I observed, not for the first time, just the other day. Continue reading
I promised a follow-up and look, I’m actually delivering! I kept this separate from my general post as I knew it would likely be a long one and might not interest everyone as much.
I said in my previous Budapest post mom and I stayed in the Jewish Quarter while there, just down the street from the Grand Synagogue (and wow, the name certainly does fit). On our trip a couple years ago we started visiting the Jewish sites (whether they be Museum or Synagogue) in whatever city we happened to be in and doing our best to attend Friday night services while there as well.
“I think,” my mom commented as we relaxed one afternoon with our cold drinks, “that next time someone mentions going somewhere for a relaxing vacation, I will recommend Croatia”. Granted, it is not yet high season, yet (I assume) it was not yet in Italy either, and Croatia was definitely very relaxing. Nice weather, pleasant towns, friendly people, and good food. What more could a vacationer ask for?
(After one of Clint Eastwood’s Spaghetti Westerns which my mom and I were discussing the other day.)
Let me take a second here to say that I have been using Airbnb for a couple years now. I find it a great alternative to hotels, and sometimes even to hostels. Split between friends it is just as cheap, if not more so, than a hostel. You get more privacy, and often more space. Unlike a hotel you get your own kitchen to cook in which saves you even more money (remember that the terrible hostel I stayed in that had no kitchen?!). Overall I love using Airbnb and I have never had a bad experience with it until our arrival in Sorrento.
Unfortunately, less than a week into our Europe Trip 2015, and move out stress and missing dry cleaning has not been the only stumbling block my mother and I have faced. I have planned almost a full 30 days of travel for us, wherein we are expected to visit (not including departure from France) six different countries. We have lodgings booked for about eight different cities, and will probably make day trips to several more. It has been very difficult (but rewarding when it works out) to plan this, as some of the places we are visiting are less well connected than your typical Western European countries. Additionally, we decided to rely solely on Airbnb for this trip. I introduced my mom to the concept when she came to visit me during my Paris study abroad and she has enjoyed using it ever since. It is a great way to save money, especially when you have a kitchen to cook your own food and can find a place with a laundry machine rather than sitting around in a laundromat all day.
Because of the travel complications we expected to hit some bumps in the road. (Last time, after my study abroad, went relatively smoothly except for a couple delayed planes and a missed train back to London. Oops, I didn’t know the line would be that long, sorry mom!) Unfortunately, our first bump was hit much sooner that anticipated and was much different that either of us had expected.
Dry cleaning is never an enjoyable task. Not only is it expensive but you’re also stuck without clothes you may need for several days if you don’t plan properly. However, sometimes it must be done. I have several items in my closet, many passed down from my mother, that cannot go in the washer and dryer. Generally I am able to wear them more than several times before they need to be cleaned. But eventually it needs to be : a spill, a smell, or they just start to lose their shine and I know it’s time to cough up the big bills.
After several summers at overnight camp, four years away for university, and two separate trips to live abroad, you would think I’d be an old hand at the whole saying goodbye business. Even if that’s true though and I am, I don’t think any amount of experience will ever make it easier, especially when it comes to saying goodbye to family and other loved ones. Continue reading
Three months, three SIM cards, three different unlocking attempts and I’ve finally hit gold! Okay, maybe not gold, but it sure feels like it because I finally, finally have a decent working phone (that can actually be used as a phone)!
Why did it take so long? Well, I suppose I am partially to blame due to my fair share of procrastination and refusing to make a final decision (read: choose which option was most likely to succeed and thus most worthy of my money). I do not, however, deserved the entirety of the blame. Let me sum up for you how this long, frustrating phone journey has played out over these glorious three months. Continue reading
No, that is not some horrible misspelling of Friendsgiving (if it was I think I’d have to immediately resign as an English teacher and do so in complete and utter disgrace). Rather, it is my still quite pathetic but at least slightly less embarrassing attempt at combining french, friends, and thanksgiving into one, all-encompassing word. Much harder than I expected. Luckily, however, the event itself was a much larger success in practice than the word mash was. Continue reading