Lesson #9 – The Escape

HOVER_OdinLongship_1374x492_tcm21-18736 “Exploring the world in comfort…..”  Yessiree Bob!

Bob made the difficult decision!  Whoopee!  We were off to Europe and we were going to explore the world in absolute comfort and I didn’t have to go back to the lake for 12 days!!

Sometimes in life we just have to go for it!  There are a million reasons NOT to go on that trip and a million other things we could be doing BUT at this stage of life….I say….GO FOR IT and GO.  Make your dreams happen.  Charge it and GO!  For so many of our years we do what we are ‘supposed’ to do……go to school, get a good job, pay those bills, spend money but save a lot for the future.  Well, folks, now is the future.  What are we waiting for now?  Could we afford it?  We couldn’t afford not to do it.  We had just moved and we were exhausted.  Every bone in my body was aching and my being was so tired.  Souls need refreshment.

I am so thankful my husband took the bull by the horns (I will have to find out where that saying comes from asap) and booked our vacation.  It was something we had dreamed about doing for a very long time.  A river cruise to places we had never been.  Woo Hoo!!  And to make it even more exciting….a Christmas Market river cruise.  I had flown to Munich with a friend many years ago for the Christmas market there and we had a wonderful weekend.  We had flown from London on a discount airline and it was perfect.  Lots of mulled wine, Christmas ornaments and a carefree attitude.  I wanted to experience the markets with my husband so the choice was perfect.

Off we flew from Atlanta with the trip ending in Budapest.  I didn’t even know where Budapest was on a map.  But it was a fantastic city.  Close friends had told us to go to the baths in Budapest but, if the truth were known, I couldn’t begin to get my head wrapped around the idea of getting into a bathing suit in Budapest and hopping in warm water with a few hundred people…..some would be playing chess!  I don’t know…..it just didn’t appeal to me.  I have no regrets about not bathing with others and I probably will not think about it ever again.

A river cruise is a great way to see Europe.  Now, granted, with only one river cruise now under our belts, we both feel this is definitely the way to go.   The funny thing is we had some misconceptions about these cruises.  One was that there would be a lot of walkers on the ship….nope.  You know the kind you have to hold on to not to fall.  No canes either that I can recall.  Average age was probably 60 if I were to guess.  Not bad I say!  People in good walking shape…..there is a lot of walking at each stop and you cannot…….I say CANNOT….not walk everywhere to see as much as you can.  With our eyes wide open we searched out everything about everything.  One important stop for us in each ‘port of call’ as it were was to find a very local pub to order a pint and try the local pub food.  We are basically bar people.  We always find our way to sit at the bar and order a pint.  It doesn’t do much for the figure but who cares at this point?!!  My husband’s figure doesn’t suffer because of it and I don’t know why mine has to(?).  I don’t like this at all but when I travel I have a ‘don’t care’ attitude because when I get home I will care BIG TIME.  But while I am sitting in a local German pub having a brew my mind is on enjoying my surroundings and taking it all in.  I will worry about expanding hips when I get back to that lake house!

Budapest to Vienna, Krems, Passau, Germany, Regensburg and Nuremberg.  Wonderful itinerary and beautiful towns and cities to visit.  Another thing I noticed. Much like an ocean cruise….there is a lot of eating!  Oh my!  Everyone tells you that on an ocean cruise a person may very well gain 10 pounds.  Yes indeedy.  Such is life on a river cruise.  You would THINK that will all the walking we do in these lovely cobblestone streets that we would not gain any weight.  Well, it just sneaks up on you.  Out of nowhere.  It’s like that terrible flu you get that snuck up on you and put you on your back!  Midway through the cruise I got to feeling proud of myself that I hadn’t gained much of anything.  By the last day……I looked down and there it was!  An extra roll.  Impossible!  I walked for miles.

Oh wait…….it must have been those wonderful desserts…..and not just for the evening meal but for every meal.  Even breakfast had dessert.  I didn’t think that was possible.  Cakes, pies, oh my is right…..Maybe those entrees with the cream sauce or the gravy?  The wine at every meal…..could not be that pint at that local pub….could it???  Well, I say…..the heck with it all.  There is plenty of time to not eat the goulash, the sausages, the breads.  Grin and bear it.  Just don’t grin and bare it.  Lord help me.

The trip came at the perfect time.  We completely relaxed and did not think about the move or the lake or the lake with no heat at all!  This is what a trip is for.  I owe a big thank you to my husband for pushing me beyond my money concerns and my Scottish blood that probably (I say ‘probably’) makes me a prudent shopper and careful about money.  By the way, we Scots have received a bad rap.  I’m just saying……

P.S.  “To take the bull by the horns” apparently means to take charge with courage and ‘may’ come from about the year of 1200 during the Reign of King John in England.  A bull, you see, was turned loose in the market place.  The more courageous of the men and boys tried to drive the bull onto the bridge and into the river.  The poor bull swam to the shore and the game continued.  The bull was later slaughtered.  What a nice story….: (

Well….anyway……the time is now to take charge and go forward and do what you would like to do!

Now…..when is our next trip? Get the checkbook out.







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