Published: November 14th 2011November 14th 2011
I was getting into the swing of things, I really was. I was taking the bad with the good and enjoying everything I could. I was befriending strangers and hiking foggy mountains. I was sleeping on trains and feasting on unrefrigerated cheese. I was making plans and treating myself to excursions. I was caught by surprise by the half-way mark of my Adventure and worried that two more months wasn't enough. Sweden, Norway, and Finland werer beautiful, and Berlin was fun, and then--
I don't know exactly what happened. It's like I tried to sweep a tablecloth out from underneath a setting of dishes but didn't get it quite right, so all the dishes went crashing to the floor. It might be that I started to get too comfortable, formed expectations, and had those expectations smashed in my face like cow pies. It may be that I finally wrote down a plan, made a commitment, and jinxed myself. It may be that God doesn't love me anymore. All I can say is that I could sum it all up with "I have a headache."
I must give credit where it is due, though, and say that I've been having some incredible times, too. I've mentioned it before, but it's worth a second call-out: the autumn leaves are something from a fairy tale. And I kid you not: I fed reindeer and went dog-sledding (though not in the snow because the Arctic Circle was experiencing a heat wave). I went on the BEST walking tour of East Berlin; I laughed the whole time. In Krakow, Poland, I ate bacon-wrapped prunes, zurek (soup), pierogi (dumplings), ice cream, and pretzels because everything was so cheap. The train ride through Austria was breathtaking. I got to visit the Visitation Sisters where Saints Francis de Sales and Jane de Chantal started it all: Annecy! I met Maggie, the niece of my nanny-parents, and we talked for the whole day as we enjoyed Swiss scenery, toured a chocolate factory, and Skyped with my nanny-family (a thousand thank-yous to my nanny-mom, Paula Kraus, for hooking us up!). I walked the French countryside with an old French classmate, whose family also fed me, washed my clothes, gave me a bed, introduced me to Pearl Harbor
, and gave me good-bye cookies for the road. I drank water from the Grotto in Lourdes.
Now I forget what my problem was. There has never been a dull moment on this trip--some panicked ones, yes (couldn't get the train I wanted, was late for a rendezvous, didn't know where I was going to sleep that night, didn't sleep well once I found a bed, again and again and again), but they were totally worth it! I have been having the time of my life: a crazy, fabulous adventure. My life be like perfect
By the way, cheers to my mom for her birthday and to my sister Maria and her husband Michael for their first anniversary.