America: Land of free ketchup and ice cubes in your drink

For the past 20 days I have been traveling throughout Europe. We started in Paris, France, drove to Germany, spent a week cruising the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, drove to Prague and Moravia, and finally spent the better-half of our last week in Salzburg, Austria.

It’s safe to say this has been a learning experience. Prior to this trip the farthest I had traveled was to Cancun when I was six – and the most exotic thing I had done was gotten my entire head of hair braided into teeny little braids with beads at the end. I was cute.

Since there’s absolutely no way I could ever go into detail about all of my newfound knowledge, I have compiled a list of things that….caught me off guard in Europe.

1. They can’t say Cmajdalka over there either.
2. College has perfected my ability to become a marathon sleeper. I can imagine those 10 hour flights would get a bit long for an insomniac.
3. The farmers wear flannel buttondowns and overalls.
4. They also carry wooden buckets.
5. If you have to pay to use public restrooms, ALWAYS carry spare change. I cannot stress this enough.
6. Our education system sucks a little bit.
7. European boys only wear skinny jeans and its gross.
8. Smoking is a big deal over hear. My lungs feel gross from breathing.
9. I would be an even worse driver over there.
10. It’s cold across the pond.
11. Hot beer is good when it is 11 degrees Celsius.
12. Every little shop sells pastries out the wazoo.
13. Euros are pretty.
14. Possession of small amounts of cocaine is legal in Prague
15. Possession of all drugs is legal in Portugal.
16. Some highways (autobahns) in Germany don’t have speed limits; however, some types of vehicles do have speed guidelines to follow.
17. CzechMex and Germican is quite tasty after living off of weinerschnitzel and sourkraut for two weeks,
18. They “schnitzel” everything.
19. Beer is cheaper than water.
20. The water they do serve is “sparkly” and not at all thirst-quenching.
21. Always save room in your suitcase so you can bring your friends back homemade liqueur and schnapps.
22. If you have small children and intend on flying across the Atlantic Ocean, be a gem and give them large quantities of sleeping meds.
23. Go to Hitler’s Eagles Nest and climb the mountains if you ever go to Austria. Of course, my fascination with this place could have a lot to do with the fact that there was like a million feet of snow to play in. I may have built two ADORABLE snowmen.
24. The toilets have two flush buttons; one to flush just a little and one to flush a lot. Chose wisely.
25. Sometimes there’s not buttons. Sometimes there’s a string hanging from the ceiling that you have to pull.

This has been a very interesting trip to say the least. If you enjoy history like me, this is the place to be. Castles are everywhere. Little towns that barely escaped WWII bombings line the rivers. The landscape is unimaginable.

The language barrier can tend to be a problem, however. Especially when you forget what country you are in. Not that I knew how to speak to anybody anyways, but some over exaggerated hand gestures and a smile can get you far.

For those of you who were wondering about the title….
Ketchup, the essential ingredient to every meal must be a delicacy over here. They don’t just hand it out willy-nilly. You have to fork over .90 euros per package. Talk about a bummer. I will never again take the pumpers at Whataburger for granted. And as far as the ice cubes go…they don’t believe in “cool refreshing beverages”.

I will have pictures within the net couple of days…hopefully.

Ciao!
Kyla

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Castle Hanky Panky

Hola!

I realize I’m in the wrong country [on the wrong continent] to be using such a greeting but I’m so tired of being lost in the language. I know enough French to order a croissant, enough German to order a beer and enough Czech to wash my bellybutton with a wash cloth [don’t ask]. It’s safe to say I have strained my brain; reached into the deep, dark, solitudes; the depths of my cranial capacity. It’s exhausting.

I couldn’t even say how many castles/countries/cities/towns/pastryshops we’ve been to. A new destination every day sounds very appealing [and it truly is], but it has it’s way of throwing a girl off her schedule.

I know for a fact tomorrow is Heidelburg and a beer tasting, but I’m going to end with that. And Prague is in my very near future. Maybe Sunday?? I can’t remember.

You may be wondering about the title. All credit goes to Grandma. As usual.

At one point between now and the last post we were in the Nuremburg Castle. We had toured halls, dining rooms, ladies rooms, kitchens, towers and all the other lovely rooms that are involved in royal living. Out of the blue I hear, “You know, I bet there was a lot of hanky panky going on with all these hallways.”

A moment passed…

“Meet me in the tower!”

Haha. Funniest thing I’ve ever heard. Especially from a mall-walking, church-going, incredibly-loving little old lady. Hehe!

All joking aside it was a beautiful castle! Oddly enough I really enjoy hearing about the torture methods and punishment used back in the day. But that’s a perfectly normal thing for a little blue-eyed blonde girl, right?

We went into [what was] the stables. They hadn’t had any records suggesting where the people were punished so they decided on this particular area.

Back then, they coudn’t give punishment without a confession. So how did they get the confession, you ask? Easy. They simply tortured them to the point of confession. Duh….

The methods of torture range from spikey chairs, to iron masks, to sitting in an iron bull heated by fire. Sounds simply delightful.

Once they got a confession, THEN they were punished. You know…the ole’ public humiliation, death kind of thing.

Today we actually went to an entire musuem full of torture devices. And I thought it was very interesting. And now my mother is very concerned. Sorry, Mom.

Tonight we had the Captain’s Dinner on the ship and it’s safe to say I will never eat again. Ever. I’ve said this before but I really mean it this time. So. Much. Food.

And then out of the blue Grandma throws out another one-liner.

“I saw Slum Dog Millionaire once and I didn’t really like it.”

What???

And people wonder where I get it from…

Everything has been great here. It’s been really cold, which I could really do without, but the scenary is very pituresque.

Have a wonderful day:)

Kyla

Traveling with Crepe Grandma

Well, the first four/fiveish days have gone well! I still can’t get use to the lifestyle here but I suppose that takes a little time. Yesterday we toured Luxemborg and today we stopped in Trier and Bernkastel.

If you know me, you know that I am a complete and total BABY when it comes to anything below 75 degrees. I just have little bones I suppose…
Is cold here.
Like forty degrees.
I may have complained a time or two…
Luckily we went on a wine tasting this afternoon and that warmed me up a tad… 🙂

I’m almost positive Grandma is loving it here…but she is out of control!
Just like the last post, I’d like to include a quote of the day. And again, it was spoken by good ole Grammy…

Picture this: we had just sat down at a little cafe to enjoy a crepe. When we were done we had to cross a street that was not the slightest bit busy. Of course, as soon as we begin to cross, a car comes speeding by. I run across the street with the word “Grandma” echoing from my lips and from the distance (while Grandma is running across the street) I hear,
“you’re gonna have a crepe grandma pretty soon!”
Haha.

Life definitely stays interesting over here.

Tomorrow we have a few more cities to tour near the Mosel River. Andddd we get to tour a CASTLE. Weeee! I’ve always wanted to be a princess…this may be the closest I’ll ever get. 🙂

The ship is amaaazing! Breakfast (my main meal) is a buffet sent from God. And the other meals are of nothing less. Oh, and the wine is free. So that speaks for itself.
My pants won’t fit by the time this trip is over, but that’s the price you pay to be a world traveler! 😉

Hopefully my next post will have some pictures…?
Until then,
Auf Weidersehen!

For English, Press 1

Bonjour!

I’ve spent the last 10 hours touring the lovely city of Paris! I can now say I’ve seen the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Napoleon’s mini-arch, Arc de Triumph, all the fancy high dollar stores that I could only dream of going in, the President’s Palace, Military hospital from WWII, military headquarters and sooooo much more.

This afternoon we spent our time looking for the Lourve…finding the Lourve and admiring all its beauty…looking for the entrance to the Lourve museum…looking for the Mona Lisa…getting pushed out of the way by an Asian tourist…and looking for the sortie (exit).

I like art, I really do. However, I’m not sure I fully appreciate it as much as others. Nor does Grandma. While walking through the Lourve we heard the quote of the day, “Everywhere you look they all have their little peckers hanging out!” – Grandma.

Haha.

Explanation: all the statues are naked.

After spending my afternoon among a bunch of nudity I am convinced that back in the day everyone spent their afternoons lying in the fields on blankets completely naked, or latched onto someone’s leg begging for mercy. All of this was accompanied by little angels playing harps in the sky above.
These painters also depicted baby Jesus a bit more porky than I had imagined. To each his own, I suppose.

That old thing about Europeans not utilizing deodorant is totally and completely true. I just want to walk around with my Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea body mist spraying everybody.

During my time here I’ve picked up a few languages. When I speak to people I throw in a few random words I know in several different languages and add a “huchh” (the German lugi-hawking sound) to throw people off. I feel like people can’t take advantage of you as easily if they can’t figure out what you are talking about. And then I just walk away mumbling. It seems to be working so far!

Tomorrow we are off to Germany! I am super excited. Paris is beautiful but I think Germany will have more history and cute little towns.

Time to hit up,the jazz bar with momma and Grandma;)

CIAO!

Kyla

So long, ‘Merica

For the next couple of weeks I will be spending my time trekking all over beautiful Europe! Now, I’ve never flown overseas before so of course I have a few reservations about this whole ordeal. While I’m gone I will be blogging about all of my exciting adventures and whatnot…when I have wifi…so be excited!

Today, on the eve of my “21 Day European Extravaganza!”, I thought I’d clear my head of my first-time-overseas-travelers-anxiety.

In the past, I have been known to have somewhat “far fetched” thoughts, so no judgement.

1. Is crying acceptable in the case that luggage is lost? I can see myself putting up more of a fight than Willie did on the Duck Dynasty season finale…

2. Do cruise ships cause nausea? I’ve gotten seasick at the lake before, so one could understand my worries over this particular issue.

3. I feel like I should be put on a child leash when it’s tour group time.

4. Is it really possible to find a famous (secretly evil) European pop-star who has a duet partner with my exact face so I’m asked to stand in for the girl while he tries to ruin her career? Because it happened on the Lizzie McGuire Movie so it must be real life, right?

5. I hope Jellybean doesn’t run away trying to find me.

6. Bad people better stay away from me. I have no problem whipping out my pepper-spray .

7. Pickpockets too.

8. Will people look at me and know I’m American? I’m trying to dress as “European” as possible. And I have been working on my accent for quite some time now…

9. What if I look SO European that other tourists stop me to ask questions? Mmm that would be so exciting!

10. Is life totally and completely different there? I’m a pretty sheltered gal.

My flight leaves tomorrow and I think I have successfully packed everything I could possibly need. The weight limit for suitcases is 50 pounds and I’m only at 30 – so I will probably be spending the afternoon shoving a few more outfits in there.

I really hope whole layover/airport-switcheroo works out ok. I’ve now decided that in the case of lost luggage crying would be PERFECTLY acceptable.

I don’t think I will be sleeping tonight…an 8 hour flight should cure any sleepiness I may have:)
I really do love sleeping.

I think that’s all for now. I hope to have really exciting stories and pictures to share!

I’ll be sure to keep y’all updated on the whole European-popstar-alter-ego-life-switching thing…

WISH ME LUCK!

Cheerio,
Kyla