Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lessons Learned: Europe Edition by B,I, and E.

1. Don't lose your chewing gum. Chewing gum is very important.
2. Every city transportation system is different. Sometimes you keep your tickets to exit, sometimes you don't have to activate it more than once. If you don't know the system you may get stuck in the station (forcing yourself to jump turnstiles) or arrested. 
3. German is a cool language... but it didn't really make for good music. Germans singing Irish music is a little rough, too. German architecture makes up for it though.
4. European toilets: little button for little things, big button for big things.
5. European trains run on their own time... regardless.
6. Everything is normal on a European train.
7. Homeless men hangout at CDG airport, get drunk, sing, and get in fights at night.
8. One can in fact stay overnight at CDG for free.
9. Staying 17 hours in an airport isn't the best way to spend a day.
10. Have a back-up plan to your back-up plan.
11. Booking flights on an airline you know actually has customer service is a good idea.
12. The Vatican has a dress code. This may mean you cross dress.   

13. Pack snacks. Snacks will SAVE you!!
14. Europe is expensive - very expensive. Just suck it up and spend the money since you're already there. :) This is also the reason that you should pack tons and tons of snacks.
15. Traveling on countless planes and trains will make your ankles swell to the size of grapefruits. Just roll with it.
16. Smile really big when you don't speak the language and say thank you over and over again. Hopefully, the locals will find that charming instead of obnoxious.
17. When the people in the line in front of you at the airline counter are angry, grouchy, negative, rude, obnoxious, and totally debbie downers, ignore them completely. Smile at the poor guy who has had to put up with their ranting and be nice.
18. Don't let the Europeans cut in front of you in any line, regardless. Box out and block them - this goes for bathrooms, attractions, gelato, and airline counters. Stand your ground, yo.

19. People are just people, no matter where they live. They all have the same needs and feelings even in different countries. I think that is pretty awesome.
20. Be prepared to encounter God's creation, the nude form, pretty much everywhere... street corners to museum walls. :S
21. Do not force a visit to both the Louvre and the d'Orsay back to back... just go to the d'Orsay :).
22. The Mona Lisa is a postage stamp... make a decision early on what is important to you: a blurry, up-close picture of it while suffering elbow jabs and body shoves or standing back to watch with pure amusement how immature people of every culture can act in front of a 500 year old woman.     
23. Always, always have a backup plan.
24. In Europe, the customer is not always right. In fact, when customers are irritating and whinny, customer service representatives stop responding.  
25. Rent bicycles!
26. If you are offered whiskey at the Queen's birthday party, it is a necessary rite of passage to take a least a sip ;).
27. In the moment it is overwhelming and three weeks feels like an incredibly long time, but looking back it is hard to believe it happened, it was just a flash in time.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Falling Behind. Again.


Man life has been busy since the whirlwind trip that was Europe. D and I are officially settled in our small home in Cincinnati, and we are adjusting to life. D is starting his Masters work and I'm student teaching an hour away... so life still catches us by surprise once in a while. We are busy, to say the very least. As in - I'm lucky if I remember to shower everyday, please give me more that 5 hours of sleep, I need to be done with school, when will my husband go to bed -- kind of busy. I feel like life presses on you so hard sometimes and it takes everything inside, every fiber of strength, to resist being crushed.

I do have a few pictures I'd love to share with you. Not of the house... those will come eventually. But of a wedding I did this summer. My dear dear friend Brooke got hitched to this Air Force Doctor to-be, and their wedding was absolutely beautiful. It was stylish, classy, and really fun. They both have this joy for life and love -- it was truly unique. So enjoy a few pictures of B&C.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Kids say the darnest things...

(PAUSE) I have some good good things ahead for this lovely little blog that you think I've abandoned. I haven't left this little guy, and I have things like lessons, weddings, seniors, families, and school to share with you.

But until then, I just wanted to share with you two quotes from my new 6th grade students. They make me laugh.

" That teacher just said that I was a good kid! Clearly I'm not in any of her classes."

Students talking about protesting because they want to use cell phones in class...
"What about we do a violent protest... you know... with torches and toilet paper and stuff."