Where There’s a Will, There’s a Rick Steves

3 Apr

Somewhere in Europe they have some pretty hip mud

Travel to Europe is something religious to my family.  I don’t say that lightly.  When Dad was discharged from the military he asked to stay in Europe so he could visit relatives and travel.  As his buddies sailed the Atlantic, headed for New York, Dad was planning an adventure.  He’d live in Norway and he’d spend 6 months backpacking across Europe after that, going whichever way the wind took him.

Enter Mom.  After they married my parents ended up in Europe together about two years later.  Some of my favorite pictures of Mom and Dad are of them gallivanting about Europe.  They purchased Norwegian sweaters, they drank beer from giant steins and they bought authentic leiderhosen, I kid you not.  Growing up in their house I heard about Europe as magic fairy land where everything was done with a flair and possibly a festival that involved Heineken.  Dad said the word “Europe” so often to us that it slowly turned into “Yurp”. 

Then my sister, Kristin, was as an exchange student in Germany.  This led to Mom, Dad and me picking her up and touring through countries as fast as we could.  We saw every sight and usually a different hotel room every night.  It was the last big family trip that we had together.  That’s probably one of the reasons I want to get there again soon.  With Mom’s passing in July and Dad’s new digs in a nursing home, I’d like to honor their love of Europe by finally getting my butt over there with The Mister.

Lastly, my parents did make it to Europe one more time.  Dad knew that his Parkinson’s was getting worse and would eventually make travel impossible.  He convinced Mom to head over again, figuring it would be their last chance.  They had an amazing time.  When they returned home Mom was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer not long after.  It taught me that sometimes you just have to do and not worry about how it’s all going to pan out.  Like John Lennon said, “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. 

See how I segued back to planning?  I’m crafty.  Planning is what this blog is all about.  I come here to tell you the minutia of stuff I’m thinking about and most of the time I can relate it back to our trip.  For example, I’ve taken on a few sewing projects and I’ve been having fun with it.  Somehow I’m relating that back to our trip.  Like, “I need to know how to sew because we need something to cover up our Kleenex and I need to make it”.  I hate to cite Fight Club yet again in this blog but it’s kind of like that.  They used fight club as an excuse to trim their nails and do sit ups and I’m using it as an excuse to go swimming more often and learn a few magic tricks.  Like right now, I’m going to disappear.

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