When did the world stop accepting paper money?

Well many of you may be wondering what mom and I learned from this whole experience….besides the fact that we will never take another vacation together as long as we live LOL (kidding!!)
We learned all kinds of things….revelations….things to ponder….and some things were are still wondering about (our WTF thoughts).
After we got home mom ended up in the hospital (the day after we got home) with chest pain and dizziness….no blood clot and no heart attack just some ‘pulled muscles’ in her chest supposedly and all around exhaustion…..nothing major.
She also had an inner ear/sinus infection which was causing the bouts of dizziness etc. I managed to survive without any sort of major problem or blood clot issue.
Mom had since made a full recovery…..for the most part. I thinks she still suffering post traumatic stress from the luggage situation though…..as am I! And I think she still has some lingering jet lag since she gets ‘tired’ now though I think she’s milking it LOL.
So here’s a list of overall thoughts, suggestions, feelings, revelations, and things to still ponder and what we have learned from our trip:

• When did the world stop accepting paper money?

• My entire life revolved around public transit and maps for 8 days

• Why the mass exodus?

• Luggage is NOT built to last forever

• However, Canon makes incredibly durable cameras!

• Why why why why is navigation such a problem? Is it too much to ask for better sign-age on street corners?

• When did English not become the universal language….especially in its name sake country?

• How do the French live entirely on pastries and wine and still manage to be thin?

• Don’t go to France and expect anyone to speak ANY language other than French.

• If your hoping to go to Europe and NOT look like a tourist….know that it’s NEVER going to happen.

• Always feed mom.
• Don’t bother asking anyone for directions because they either don’t speak English or you won’t know enough about the area to understand their directions…..besides everything in London is a 15 min walk always so forget it!

• A map of Paris, never leave home without one.

• You will probably get e-coli in France since no one washes their hands when preparing your food or you will get a horrible illness from the sheer amount of germs you come in contact with.

• Take plenty of change for the bathrooms since you get charged to use public facilities.

• There is no such thing as personal space and an old fat man pressed against you for three Metro stops is not considered sexual harassment…it’s just a way of life.

• The gypsies still run Paris…..think the gypsies like Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

• Versailles has over 700 rooms and no bathrooms in the original structure…..they used holes in the stairwell and lots of perfume to mask the smell….that explains a lot.

• The Taliban is alive and recruiting in London but if you want people to leave you alone and be out of your personal space just put on a head wrap and you should be fine.
• Don’t even bother trying to blow dry your hair because it will just look like s(*& anyway…..if possible wear a wig but NOT in London because it’s too windy.
• Plan on walking EVERYWHERE and DO NOT take anything larger than a carry on if you are even considering public transit.
• Don’t count on elevators, escalators, or anyone to help you for that matter. You are it…..you all alone with your suitcase….it’s your funeral if you take one if you dare, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
• DO NOT plan on having contact with the outside world and pack for just about every kind of weather.
• Why do people think they need to push past you? Because CLEARLY the train/bus/cab/car/airplane/subway/boat are all leaving without you even though you are standing right next to it!

• Go knowing you are NEVER going to see anything you planned on.

• Jet lag…its better than Ambien.

• The thought of ‘luggage’ and ‘packing’ have taken on an entirely new meaning and terror for me.
• When did Visa/MasterCard STOP being accepted ‘anywhere you see the Visa/MasterCard card accepted logos’?!?!?!
• Who the f*(&^ carries a coin purse AND a wallet?!?!
• Americans wear too much perfume….it’s in everything (laundry detergent, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, makeup, shampoo) and Europeans….not NEARLY enough!
• There is simply no need to storm the gates when entering Customs….one at a time please they aren’t closing the borders yet!
• Why say ‘pardon’ when trying to pass people on the Metro when you’re just going to push past, jump over, or knock me down…just do it already and f(&^ your ‘pardon’.
• Exchange your money BEFORE leaving especially if you don’t speak the language where you are going….you might be shot or arrested depending on where you go.
• Charles de Gaulle airport (enough said).
• If you have a bleeding disorder confine yourself to a wheelchair for the entire vacation as you could fall at any moment and bleed out if not.
• Know you are going to fall on your face AT LEAST ONCE since the streets are a bipedal nightmare.
• Don’t bother trying to make phone calls because they charge $35 USD for ‘toll free’ phone calls.

• I hate Oxford Circus.

• Backpacking through Europe…..NOT a good idea do not attempt!

• The three musketeers can never be separated again.
• When did the detour to Mumbai happen??? I wasn’t aware the English Channel came out on the Ganges River!
• Your feet will become horrible disfigured and hurt no matter what you do….you might as well wear cute shoes!

• Susan loves to eat and mom likes to take ‘short breaks’ and I just keep going and going and going and going.

• Something good must come from this whole experience….and to date I am still waiting for that something to happen.

• Mom cursed out trip by saying I planned the most excellent adventure.

Above all……I need a man to take care of me!
I use to fancy myself very independent….like I could always take care of myself. I am married to the most amazing man ever…..Sam is always so good at providing testosterone whenever my mom and sister and I are together….he is the voice of reason and logic in our world.
When him and I went to London and Paris last year…..we had f*&T^ up things happen but nothing like the three musketeers (mom, Susan, and I) experienced. When Sam got married I don’t think he counted on gaining three wives…..we will just call him Brigham Young now!
I am sure I missed a bunch of thoughts here but as you can see…..there were just so many to choose from that it was hard to make just a short list (I would be embarrassed to call myself and English major if I could describe ANYTHING in 500 words or less).
Now I hope my blog can get back to its original purpose…..a blog about literature and books. I will post pics in the next few days as I finish doing my Photoshop magic so be watching.
Now for the BIG lesson leaned on this trip…..plan nothing and laugh.
I had so much fun with my family. I planed and planed and planed this trip hoping to make it the best trip ever. It was something special I wanted to share with my mom and sister and I just wanted everything to be perfect which it clearly wasn’t.
Since I had been to Europe before, I felt lots of pressure to ‘know it all’ and in doing so I clearly realized that was not the case! I know shocker right since I pretty much know everything LOL!
*dripping in sarcasm*
Mom and Susan and I all can laugh at each other and our selves, and know that everything we say or do is not meant to be taken the wrong way. We all had a great time together and we wouldn’t trade our vacation for all the tea in London or pastries in Paris.
It was an amazing experience that we will all remember forever. Regardless of how our trip turned out or whatever we didn’t see…..bottom line is we got to spend it together. So if you are all planning to go to Europe any time soon…..know it’s probably not going to turn out how you wanted so just go with it and enjoy yourself….see what you can when you can and throw out the schedule…..and throw out your suitcase!
Europe….it was everything I dreamed of…..and SO MUCH MORE!
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