Land of Confusion

When I was 13, my uncle was in the Air Force, stationed in Germany, and I was lucky enough to tag along with my grandparents and be able to visit him for a month.  I didn’t appreciate Germany nearly as much as I would have if I had gone as an adult, but I did enjoy myself.  I remember loving the cobblestone roads, and knowing, even then, that they had way more character than our paved roads.  Of course, the cobblestone roads are narrow, which made driving difficult, but they were pretty.

One time, my grandfather was cooking something, and they sent me to the store for mayonnaise.  It was no big deal because almost everyone speaks at least some English (and I didn’t speak a word of German).  When I went to the store, I couldn’t find the mayo anywhere, so I asked someone.

The word doesn’t translate, and I eventually figured out that they don’t have mayonnaise in Germany, or at least they didn’t back then.  I remember going to the store and feeling like it was a big adventure, but then being so frustrated when I couldn’t seem to make myself understood.  That was my first taste of what it felt like not to speak the language, and it was a humbling experience.

Prompt brought to you by the Daily Post.

V is for Vacations

When I sat down to write a post for “V,” I thought it was going to be tough.  I came up blank.  Then I turned to my wonderful Facebook friends and asked for help, and ended up with too many choices!  The nice thing about it is that I can write all the posts I want and then use them later.

Today I’m going to write about one of my favorite things… vacations!  I don’t take as many as I’d like to, but then, who does?  I love to travel and see new things.  I’m not a sit-by-the-beach-with-a-cocktail-for-a-week kind of girl.  Although I do enjoy that for a day or so (okay, a couple hours), I get antsy if it goes on too long.  If I’m going to travel, it’s because I want to see and do things.  If I wanted to sit somewhere with a good book, I’ll just stay home.

So far, the places I’ve been on vacation: Atlantic City, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Mexico, Germany, Sedona, The Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls (both sides), the Bahamas.  Still on the list of places I really, really want to see?  Alaska, Hawaii, Seattle (I want to see the rainforest!), Ireland, England… and many others, though those are my top picks.  I also would love to be in good enough shape to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon one day.  I do a four mile hike with a friend once a week until temperatures are well into the triple digits, but hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon is 7 miles one way.

I was only 13 when I got to go to Germany, and it was great, though I didn’t appreciate it as much as I would if I got to go tomorrow.  I got to see a ton of castles though, and back then, I was fascinated with castles, especially dungeons.  I had an idea that people got tortured in dungeons, and I really wanted to see the torture devices.  Of course, I didn’t get to see any dungeons at all, just pretty rooms and fancy antiques.  It was still pretty thrilling for me.  The other thing I remember about Germany was that it was COLD.  We went in February, and I was freezing.  The wind just about blew me over.

My favorite vacation was in the Bahamas.  I was sick the whole time with bronchitis, and survived on TheraFlu (I don’t recommend it, BTW).  I had to cancel swimming with the dolphins and snorkeling because I couldn’t breathe, but we did manage to find this tiny little zoo and we did quite a bit of exploring.  I was swimming outside our hotel one day, and my husband spotted stingrays in the water.  That was pretty thrilling!

I haven’t been on a vacation in a few years.  Life interferes, you know?  But I haven’t even vacationed at home, which can be pretty awesome too.  A week off, where you do little or nothing (resist… the urge… to clean… must… resist…).  A week off to sleep in, watch TV, read, play with the pets, order food… sounds pretty great to me!

What’s the best vacation you ever took?