I am back from a mini-vacation, spent with my mom and Thor, down in Austin.  I love Austin.  It is one of my favorite places to be.

Recently, I was asked what was my favorite vacation.  I really couldn’t come up with a favorite.  I have enjoyed every trip I’ve taken as an adult.  I think I enjoyed every trip I took as a child.  I’ve certainly had some disasters, but with a sense of adventure, those turn into great opportunities for fun.

Of course, my most memorable vacation is the Contiki coach tour of Europe I took with Renae.  Between the viral infection shared among us by the twit who decided that a coach was a great place to spend her illness, the predator who was our tour guide, the drunken, shameless Australians who made up the greater part of our group, and the American who so thoroughly baked her brain in Amsterdam that she was paranoid and sure I was trying to steal her camera for days…well, how could it not be memorable!  Factor in all the sights we saw, and that would be hard to beat. 

My favorite story from that trip, though, has to do with food. 

We had been laughing to each other about how the Aussies and the few Europeans on the tour thought we were Fat Americans, and given our excitement over every meal, we weren’t doing much to dissuade them.  Our first night in Florence, Italy, we were attending a buffet style banquet.  We were directed to tables, to be seated, then Renae and I made our way up to the buffet line. 

We filled up our plates, cooing to each other over the selection and spread, then returned to our seats and had both started eating when we realized we were being watched by the other people at our table.  We were informed that we were supposed to have waited to be called to the buffet, table by table.  And we both giggled, shrugged, tucked into our food, and then, when it was our tables’ turn to go, went on for seconds. 

That we were both zaftig (then, Renae has gone on to exhibit the sort of will power rarely found outside of Hollywood, and has been slim as a reed for the past ten years) did not at all discourage the Italian suitors we enjoyed along the way.  Including the one who kept telling me I was “beautiful like an angel,” at which I could only giggle back, swatting away the cartoon hearts that were circling his head and invading my space, “You are.”  I’m eloquent like that.

So, memorable.

I think the vacation I have most enjoyed with the family is a road trip we took up to Manitou Springs for the 4th of July a few years back.  Thor was 2-years-old and in a spectacular mood for most of the trip, but was unusually foul when we went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.  He did not want to be there.  He did not want to look at animals.  He did not want food, or drink, or piggyback rides, or anything other than to sling himself back into the lining of his stroller, turn his head, close his eyes, cross his arms, pout out his lower lip, and say with deep, serious wrath, “I do not want to lookat dos bears/giraffes/monkeys/snakes/lions/etc.!  I do not like-a dos bears/giraffes/monkeys/snakes/lions/etc.!  To this day, B and I will say to each other, “I do not like-a dos bears!”

The only thing that broke him out of his mood was the trip up to the Will Rogers Shrine, where it was like the sun had broken through the clouds, and he was suddenly the happy, bubbly boy we knew.  He like-ad everything about that place!

I hope all of my American friends had happy4th of July celebrations, and all of my other friends had great Wednesdays.


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