Europe 2011

I just got back from the longest vacation I’ve ever had, and it was amazing. London, Paris, Reims/Epernay (part of Champagne), and Munich. Ashley has a pretty good writeup of what we did. I’m not feeling particularly well, so I figured I’d just do a quick “moments” writeup instead of a full post.

  • Being in a HUGE pub in London and having a guy come up to me while I’m waiting to buy a drink and tell me that there’s a famous rapper outside signing autographs. Then walks in this white kid who can’t be older than 17 and the guy tells me it’s him. The kid proceeds to go up to one of Ashley’s friends and rap at her for a couple of minutes and then pick up on her until leaving dejectedly.
  • Seeing Occupy London and how impressive looking it was. They had tons of fliers up and looked fairly organized.
  • Juggling Balls
  • Shitty Travelodge which didn’t initially have toilet paper, only had one towel, didn’t have a phone, and offered to give Ashley’s friend our room key (without us telling them to) so that she could get into the room.
  • Seeing a government building and thinking it looked exactly like a Daft Punk Helmet
  • Somehow managing to miss soccer matches in all 3 cities we went to because they were either not playing or out of town.
  • Taking the train from London to Paris and falling in love with train travel. I love watching the scenery outside the window while listening to music.
  • Realizing that everyone smokes in Paris.
  • Having an awesome half Portuguese half French waiter at some random restaurant and trying to talk to him about a Portugal soccer game.
  • Open spaces in Paris are amazing. I wish we had some in Seattle.
  • Thumping bass in the middle of the night until 5am.
  • I could easily see living in Paris. That place is awesome.
  • Driving in France is not fun when your GPS navigates you onto roads you’re not legally allowed to drive on.
  • Going to visit the Dom Perignon cellars was mind blowing. So very, very cool.
  • Shackers are awesome even if they live outside the US.
  • Going to the most crowded (Mohito) bar I’ve ever been to and having someone make me drop my drink on the ground and having it shatter but being unable to pick it up because there are too many people in the bar and I’m on my way out anyway.
  • It was nice to be able to speak small amounts of French to get directions and not feel like a complete tourist.
  • Everyone speaks English. It’s pretty impressive and makes me really sad for the state of affairs for US citizens and their ability to speak other languages. It makes me want to get better and to learn more languages.
  • Night trains, while fun, don’t give you particularly good sleep.
  • Watching the scenery go by in the dark with Ashley while listening to the Beatles.
  • Eating our best meal at a German restaurant when we thought it would have been in Paris instead. Wiener Schnitzel is soooo good.
  • I want a metro in Seattle after having seen London’s, Paris’s, and Munich’s. Munich’s had one of the nicest metros I’ve been in.
  • The HofbrÀuhaus is amazing. Liters of beer and delicious, but cheap food. Even Ashley liked the sausages, sauerkraut, and beer.
  • The BMW Museum was fantastic. I highly recommend it. It reminds me of something Apple would design if it did a museum.
  • The best museum we saw on the whole trip was the Deutches Technology Museum. We were there for 4 hours and I could have easily spent double that there. So much cool nerdy stuff, I just wish all of it were in English instead of only half of it.
  • Walking around the Nymphenburg Palace grounds and wishing it were Summer because it must look amazing and not be so fucking cold.
  • Going through security 3 times on our trip home

So much fun.

Travel

While I can’t imagine going on 18 flights in 44 days was fun, this video is still quite amazing. Travel is quickly becoming one of the main reasons I save a bunch of money and I absolutely can’t wait for my first trip to Europe in 3 months. Going to be a ton of fun!

Ah Thanksgiving

In the year and a half that I’ve been working at Surreal, I’ve now had 3 occasions in which I had more than 3 days off in a row. Thanksgiving, Christmas break, and Thanksgiving again. I absolutely love the break. It feels like today is Sunday to me and that I have to work tomorrow. Utterly relaxing and awesome at the same time.

I’ve been saving up all of my vacation time to take next year when Lauren graduates (finally). I’ll have around 3 weeks of vacation saved up at that point and I plan on taking most of it. I haven’t quite decided where I want to go, but I’m putting feelers out. Does anyone have any good websites to research that kind of thing? I used to like Lonely Planet, but their website is a bitch and a half to navigate now that they “upgraded” it. Seriously, the old style was WAY better.

I always forget how expensive air travel can be. What I was looking at was around $1800 round trip for just the flights! It’s nearly a year in advance, so it’ll most likely only get cheaper, but that still really sucks. It’ll be interesting to see how much of it gets planned out since I don’t like to plan as much as Lauren does. We’ll see! I’m getting excited about it though, and it’s practically a year away.