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For the love of Germany’s things….

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Ahhhh Germany… a country with an abundance of incredible castles and home to Oktoberfest…what’s not to love? Okay, so what European country doesn’t have an abundance of castles strewn through the countryside, right? There’s usually one around every corner, on every hill, or in every town, but German castles are what fairytales are made of. Literally.

My travels to Germany took me through Würzburg, Rothenburg, Heidelburg, and Munich before heading to what every fairytale loving tourist in Germany wants to see… Neuschwanstein Castle. I’m not much of a fairytale fan, but I do believe I am a princess and that I was meant to live in a castle, and frankly, I think Neuschwanstein would do just fine.

My travel bud, Erin, and I arrived there: me, confused as to why we weren’t dropped off right at the door of the castle like any princess should be, and Erin who seemed to be anxious to stretch her legs. Our guide advised that we had two options to get to the actual castle: we could walk up the long roadway, or we could hop on the horse drawn wagons. I was all for the wagons except for the fact it cost extra money and well, I’m frugal. Erin was all for the trek up the hill. I should point out that Erin is an all-American, girl-next-door, loves physical activity, and could appear in those wholesome skincare commercials, she’s just that kinda woman. Well, except she’s Canadian, not American – but you get my drift. She was decked out in her comfort wear, complete with running shoes, I seemed to look like Robin Hood in my tights, mid-thigh coat, and knee-high brown boots.

Yep, pretty much me here ... minus the weaponry and hat, and change the tights to brown.

“This is gonna be awesome.” Erin said to me. “I could go for some exercise this morning. I’m gonna jog to the top of the hill. I’ll wait for you at the top.”

This is how I looked at her…

She was gonna jog, and I was going to drag my arse all the way up the hill. Weren’t there any free shuttles that pass through here?? Our guide informed us that while we could take the wagon up the hill there was something to be said for the feeling of accomplishment that comes with walking through the hilly forrest that leads to the castle. I believed her. I’m stupid. Two minutes into the trek I was sweating bullets and had only walked fifty feet. I’m sure I could have zipped up the hill with no problem exept I’d probably gained 10 lbs in the time I’d been in Germany already. I couldn’t pass by a German bakery without getting some sort of fluffy pastry or a schneeballen (snowball) treat. And bakeries were everywhere I went. On top of that, all the meals I’d had up to this point while in Germany were outstanding. We stayed in a remote town the first night and while walking to the restaurant we passed numerous country homes with amazing suppertime aromas coming from each place. Seemed like every German knew how to cook, and knew how to cook really well.

Part of the path to the castle (though this is it in the summer, not February)... and since I looked like Robin Hood at least I was dressed for the occasion.

It was February but it was beautiful weather. So, ten minutes into the walk up the hill, I was exhausted. About halfway up the hill you come across a little house that sells sausages, drinks and probably a slew of other things. I didn’t dare stop, because by the time I’d gotten there I’d built up some momentum and one split second of slowing down would be the end of my trek. Must… keep… going….

After plenty of gasping, coughing, wheezing and dry heaves from exhaustion, I reached the lookoff area just below the castle. This is where I found Erin just glowing from the fresh air and exercise. She looked five years younger than she was at the bottom of the hill. Me, not so much.

That castle still looks far away...

Luckily my visit to the incredible Galeria Kaufhof in Munich produced a lion’s share of Ritter Sport chocolate bars and Haribo gummy bears which sustained my energy for the remaining hike to the actual castle. If you haven’t had a Ritter Sport chocolate bar, you’ve been missing out. I think the German flag should have one on it, or at the very least it should be featured on the Euro because it’s definitely one of Europe’s greatest accomplishments. Incredible. I bought somewhere in the vicinity of 20 of them to bring back home, although I think only 2 of them lasted long enough to make it to the plane ride home. Kidding. Well, sort of. Don’t judge me if you haven’t had one of these bars… if you’ve had one before, well then you know.

The castle was spectacular, that is, after I had a nap while waiting our turn for our number to come up on the digital counter. I’m only joking of course, but it was well worth the hike up the hilly forest and well worth the wait.

Germany has incredible charm and real warmth. Its countrysides are beautiful, its cities are lovely and its people are super friendly and hospitable.

I think everyone should go to Germany. And if you do, Neuschwanstein is a definite highlight. Here’s my million dollar advice if you go to Neuschwanstein and you’re like me and aren’t the poster child for “active living” … save yourself the drama and take the horse drawn wagon to the top of the hill!

Germany, you are truly amazing!

Okay fellow readers…my enquiring mind wants to know… What about Germany has captured YOUR heart?

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Venice the Menace…. but I love you anyway

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After picking up a magazine today and seeing a picture of the famed gondolas of Venice it got me reminiscing about my trip to this fantastic city. I love Venice and all things Italian… the history, the culture, the food, the buildings, the people, and mostly the gelato. (chocolate, of course)

Pigging out on gelato...

 

On the Rialto bridge!

The advice I had was that I could bring a map but it wouldn’t be much use as the city is far too confusing and maps are often incorrect.  One of the tour guides said she’d prefer that we experience Venice not knowing what we’d find. She was right. Navigating the tiny alleys of Venice is like trying to find your way around a labyrinth blindfolded. Like most travellers, I got lost in this amazing city and honestly, it was a good thing. I managed to stumble upon some of the best boutiques, restaurants and gelaterias this way.

Quiet Venice morning...

The only piece of knowledge the Guide gave before setting us all free was that many of the corner buildings in any intersection contained signs that pointed your way to two places: the Rialto bridge, and St. Mark’s Square. She said we’d meet back in St. Mark’s Square at 5pm so as to catch the water taxi back to Jesolo. Sounded good to me.

I lost myself in the city… wandering down intricate alleys, meandering through a maze of narrow lanes that led to small open areas, coming across endless shops and restaurants.

Awesome little "ristorante"....

Venice is full of rustic buildings, stone alley ways, romantic canals and delightful aromas to entice even the most picky appetites. After a spectacular lunch of consisting what Italy has perfected – pasta – my travel bud, Erin and I went off to savour more of the city.

It’s true that time flies when you are having fun. We had wandered through the maze of the city and had no idea where we were in relation to the meeting place. It was 20 minutes until our meeting time. Erin, who was then joined by a couple of our other travel buddies decided to take a quick washroom break and find their way back to the meeting place. I, however, wasn’t leaving Venice until I had one of those beautiful decorative masks they are known for.  With mask in hand I emerge from the boutique and look for the signs to lead me where I need to go. One problem: there were no signs.  I do a complete 360 degree turn, no signs anywhere. I take the nearest alley, hoping it will lead me to an open area where those buildings would have signs. I was right, sort of. It lead me to an open area, but no signs.

At this point, I was getting panicky. I imagined a scene in a movie when the camera shows a close up of me and then pans out to show an aerial of the city and just how far I actually am from where I need to go. Each open area had at least five alleys that led off of it. And I had no idea if any particular one was just leading me further away.

I do a speedy version of “eenie meenie” and pick alley number 2. It looked the exact same as the one I’d already come up moments ago, but wasn’t. It led me to a new opening. Big surprise, no signs. This had to be some sort of colossal joke. A humorous trick they play on dumb tourists like myself. I imagined a few clever locals taking down the signs as I approached each opening and then hiding, giggling to themselves. Thankfully, I then see two seemingly Venetian women talking against a wall. I approach and in my best Italian accent I spurt out “Mi scusi. Piazza san marco?”   The two ladies smiled and one pointed to alley number 4, the other to alley number 3 and neither alley went in the same direction. Big help this was. I left them in what appeared to be a spat about which of them was correct. I had no time to find out. I took alley number 3, started actually running at this point and came to an opening with a sign that pointed to the exact alley I just came from as the way to St. Mark’s Square.

Yahhhhhhh, I just came that way....

Panicked, I go back, reach the next opening and take alley number 4. Half way down it I come across an old woman who is dressed like the old lady in a story I had as a child of “Hansel and Gretel”. She’s walking with a little boy. I wondered if she’d already eaten the little girl when I reached her. Kidding, of course. I approached her, out of breath and afraid “Mi scusi, piazza san marco?” I blurted out and gestured that I didn’t know which way to go. She answered me in full Italian. Which would have been fine, if oh-I-don’t-know maybe I knew some of the language. I knew zero Italian. I listened intently as she gestured and rhymed out the instructions. I picked out something about what sounded like a “bridge”, a “shoe”, something about a “rolling pin”, a “mouse” and I think the last thing she said was “salami”.  I must’ve looked baffled because she extended her hand, smiled and motioned for me to follow her. What a sweetheart. The only problem now was that she was walking so slow that unless St. Mark’s Square was inches from where we were there was no way I was going to make it. After five minutes, and about 15 feet of alley, she brought me into an opening and pointed to the building to my right. Alas, a sign that showed the way.

Much to my amazement, I was back at St. Mark’s Square in minutes, reunited with Erin who’d found a gelateria and was quietly enjoying it. I’d probably only been a few streets over and managed to go around and around in a circle. That must’ve been entertaining for the countless people who were eating and probably watched me run back and forth in front of their restaurant window more than once.

Venice, you can be a menace, but gosh you are fantastic!

Yes I do....

When in Rome… you better know il Padrino.

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I’m not much of a history buff at all. It just doesn’t interest me. Well, that is, unless it happened in my life. (self-centered, I know, it’s another one of my character flaws but at least I admit it, right?) Needless to say, old cities intrigue me, more so old cities in Italy intrigue me and frankly, the thought of going to Italy in the first place makes me giddy with delight. I love the culture and thus the reason I was super excited to visit Rome when I had the chance a couple of years ago.

So since I possess little interest in world history, I only remember the odd thing here and there… some ruler named Caesar, some Nero guy, a possible midget named Napoleon, something about Fidel Castro, JFK and a bunch of pigs, some remnants about a Chinese guy who made spooky looking clay soldiers, an overweight King here, a bird-faced Queen there…  I don’t know. I wouldn’t be winning any points on Jeopardy in this category, let me tell you.

All that being said, I did know a thing or two about the Roman Gladiators who fought in the famed Colosseum, perhaps because any images of these men I’ve ever seen were that of tight, muscular, gorgeous oiled bodies like those of Gods. No offence, but if they were sumo wrestlers I’d have no interest. (just sayin’)

As we reached the outer gates of this impressive piece of architecture I was awestruck. This building has been here for what – almost two thousand years. I repeat, two thousand years. Like, holy cow that’s amazing. How many freakin’ people stood where I stood? Walked where I walked? Clearly this was too much to think about for me because I was easily distracted by the locals who had dressed up like Gladiators outside the arena. While the others in the group were assembled in line, I was hanging off the fence with my face between the bars oogling at the men. Don’t judge me, it was early and I hadn’t had any hot chocolate (my version of coffee). As luck would have it, our tour guide didn’t show up so rather than miss out on the whole experience, I chose to quickly go around the arena and soak up any information I could in the short amount of time remaining. Hey, it was better than nothing. I must’ve looked funny nearly running from spot to spot as if one area contained a clue that lead me on a treasure hunt to the next one.

Yoooooo hoooooooo....Gladdddiator mannnnnn.....

And then it happened – I fell in love – no, not with the idea of being scooped up by a gladiator (although this has intrigued me a time or two), but rather, with a little white, brown and black fur ball I found sleeping near one of the doorways. I called him Sparta-cat.  So there I was in one of the oldest cities in the world, in one of the greatest buildings of a bygone era, in the very spot that people of ancient Rome had also been, and I was cooing over a dirty cat. But anyway, this isn’t the point of my post, it’s just a neat sub-point.

Awwww.... what a cute putty tat!

After visiting the Colosseum and walking by the famed Forum, followed by all the other wonderful Roman delights such as the Spanish Steps, the Trevi fountain, and the Vatican it was time for some shopping. There were plenty of souvenir shops, boutiques and other places. Being a hot-choco-holic, I couldn’t pass by one of the cafes without getting one. The French have mastered the hot chocolate, the Italians have not. It was as thick as molasses, and if it didn’t smell like chocolate I’d have thought it was motor oil. But hey, the Italians have perfected many things, so what if hot chocolate isn’t one of them, right? I love pasta and nobody can do pasta like the Italians. Nobody.

Once I threw out the hot chocolate sludge, I veered into a souvenir shop to buy myself a memento of Rome. I started carefully looking over the wall of t-shirts, found a couple that I liked and started finding them on the shelves below. The sales lady, or possibly the long lost Italian cousin of Genghis Khan (I had to look that up, because again, it’s history and not my thing), came over immediately. She looked annoyed that I was touching the shirts. She hollered at me, “Which-a one-a you-a like?” Startled and a little frightened by her demeanor (and the fact that she sounded like a woman, but had a moustache), I said shyly “The pink one.” She pulled one off the shelf, held it up to me, pressed it against my boobs and while I felt violated, I wasn’t going to tell her. I shook my head that I didn’t like it after all. She looked mad. Until this point, I hadn’t seen an angry Italian on this trip. This country seemed full of loud and happy people. Sure, some seemed a little serious at times, but overall happy most of the time. I wasn’t sure how to react to this lady at all, and wasn’t sure why she was angry to see a potential customer.

Ohhh yahhh... this was pretty much her...add some black hair, take away the beard, darken the moustache a little....

She points to a black one with a hand with puppet strings and the words “Il Padrino” on it. She hollers out, “Il Padrino?” I have no idea what she is talking about. She points to the image on the shirt. It means nothing to me. She hollers it again, “Il Padrino!!”. I shrug my shoulders. I have no idea what this is. “Il Padrino!” she hollers again. I shake my head and wonder how long we are going to play this game. She hollers it out more slowly “Il Pa-dri-no!” as if this is suddenly going to make me understand. I wanted to cry at this point. I still had no idea who or what this was.

Is it the playbill from an Italian play?

An opera?

Is “Padrino” the younger brother of Pinocchio? 

Is it a satirical image of their government? (if not, it could be one for the Canadian government..)

What is it? I don’t knowwwww.

Looks like the logo for a puppet show to me... just sayin'...

She rolls her eyes, shouts to another woman over at the cash who is equally unhappy. They banter back and forth in Italian and the other woman comes over and says “You-a not-a know-a Il Padrino?” “Nooooo, I have no idea.” I tell her. She rolls her eyes and says, “The God-a-father.”  Now, obviously I’ve led a sheltered life because while I’d heard of the godfather movies, I’d never seen any of them at that point, not the movie, not the poster, not the books, nothing. I had no idea who was in them, or what they were about other than an American crime family. Like “history”, the godfather movies held no appeal to me, so of course I had no idea who Il Padrino was. I’d heard of, and even mimicked the famous throaty “… make you an offer you can’t refuse”  line, but I didn’t know it was from this specific movie.

All this drama over it being “The Godfather”… a silly movie trilogy. Honestly, she was likely a Roman Catholic and I’d have thought she’d be more offended if I didn’t know the current Pope, not some old reference to a family mafia movie from over 30 years ago. Sheeesh!

Just so you know, I’ve since seen two of the three Godfather movies… and yeah, they were pretty good… mind you nothing to get hyped up over…. I mean, nothing to go crazy on a tourist over or anything.

;o)

Pet Peeve #1,298

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I have a looooong list of pet peeves…. far too many to ever list on here (well maybe…). But every day this week, one major one keeps reoccurring for me.

It’s the dreaded toilet paper rolls here at work. Like most people’s place of work, we also have that budget type, one-ply, feels like a cheese grater kind of toilet paper which is actually my Pet Peeve # 29  and is really a separate issue in and of itself.

That's about right...

Today’s pet peeve is about the actual roll holder. It’s on so tight that the actual paper roll can’t turn and each day I tell the custodian about it and each day I think it will be fixed. Silly me. And apparently I’m not smart enough to check it before I pee.

I go in there, I pull on the little leaf of paper but it breaks off in one shred. Another pull, another shred. Keep in mind that I am hovering over the toilet like a police helicopter over a crime scene (this is a public washroom and god knows what is on the seat, so there’s no way in hell I’m gonna sit all the way down to pee. And for you guys out there, of course I’m peeing because girls don’t poop), I’m also teetering in a pair of high heels and I only have the use of one hand because the other hand is trying to hold my pants so they don’t fall down to the germ ridden floor, all while I wrestle with this toilet paper roll.

My patience lasts only microseconds. By the time I pull the second shred of paper I’ve already lost my cool and then start angrily clawing at the roll. This produces nothing but toilet paper confetti which falls to the floor and frustrates me even further. For cryin’ out loud. I can’t even grasp one full square, just itty bitty pieces. My blood pressure is rising. “Whoever put this in place is gonna hear from me, let me tell you.” I mutter under my breath. 

My roll looked pretty much like this one when I was done today...

I dig my nails into the roll, scraping off what shards I can. So help me if I have to pull the whole roll off of the wall, cuz I’m mad enough to pull the entire metal holder with it.

At last, I scrape off enough bits and pieces to complete the job at hand. Figures though, in the five minutes I’ve spent fighting with the toilet paper roll, I discovered it was no longer needed, I already air dried.

On Top of the World… in Switzerland

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I love Switzerland. I think it might just be the happiest place on earth…. a country filled with shiny, happy people and the most millionaires per capita on earth. (No damn wonder they’re so happy.)

That being said, I’m not a big fan of heights. And that’s a problem when you visit a country containing the Alps. I have no trouble flying in an airplane, but ladders, tall buildings, mountains, are all things that can produce instant hives for me. That being said, when visiting Switzerland last year, I couldn’t help but feel drawn to those incredible Alps. Those mountain vistas, whose peaks seemed to end somewhere in the heavens just captivated me.

Luckily, our tour involved an ascent to the top of one of these grand masterpieces. What I didn’t take into account was how I was going to get to the top. I don’t know if I just didn’t think about how this was going to happen or if I thought I was going to do some sort of Bewitched nose twitch and magically appear at the top of the mountain, but clearly I hadn’t thought it through enough.

I soon found out that getting to the top meant taking three separate gondolas. Gondolas that go in the air. The air, which means height, which means instant panic for me.

Sitting in the first cable car I was fine… an ever-so-slight rocking motion as we slowly climbed up the hill. The view was amazing, well, it was once I looked up from the floor. I lost my breath when I realized that the houses I’d been close to minutes ago where now tiny squares.

The second cable car was… well… I have no idea. My eyes never left the section of floor under my feet. We were waaaaay too high.

The last car was the Rotair, a circular rotating gondola that you stand in while it ascends to the top of the mountain. That would have been fine except for the fact that I didn’t really trust my legs to hold me up. We were really high up. There were clouds outside the cable car. Normally if I’m high enough to be in clouds I’m strapped to my seat in a metal tube we call an airplane, not waiting for the doors to open to walk around in it.

My head in the clouds... literally..

I must’ve lost all color in my face because the man who operated the Rotair’s door was standing next to me and spoke to me in a calm tone. Maybe he thought I was going to faint. Heck, even I thought I was going to faint. He said something in broken English, and while I had no idea what he said his calm and soothing voice kept my mind off the ever increasing height outside this little rotating bubble. Thinking back he could have said anything, which is frightening, because I agreed to everything. I hope he wasn’t waiting for me to show up later on down the hill when he was done work to go back to his place, cuz I didn’t show.

Stepping out of the cable car once we reached the top was to me like what landing on the moon was to Neil Armstrong…. one small step for man, one giant leap for my anxiety cure.  I felt like a leper who was miraculously healed. This was amazing. I literally had my head in the clouds and it felt amazing. (Of course, looking back at it now, it was most likely just the lack of oxygen, but whatever. I’ll take what little victories I can.) At the top of this mountain was an area in which you could walk into the mountain itself and touch the walls of a real glacier. How incredible!

Inside the mountain... soooo cool!

I’m not sure that I really lived life until I experienced this whole Swiss Alp thing. (okay, I might be getting carried way here, but you get the idea.)

I envy those of you fellow bloggers who live amidst such incredible landscapes…

Ahhh Switzerland…. I love you! 

I’m soooo not a thrill seeker….

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What is it about vacations that make you do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do? While sitting at home today I started reminiscing about my  past vacations in which I did things rather out of character for me. Day in, day out I’m a totally boring person… I go to work, I come home, I eat, I veg on the sofa, I go to bed, I get up the next morning, I go to work… you see the cycle here. Nowhere in my day is there anything exciting (Granted, I don’t feel the need to have an abundance of excitement, my little life is just fine.)

Not in a million years would my rearend be going on this...

Last summer my main squeeze and I took his two daughters to a water park for a weekend. Right from the get-go it was out of character for me… “water” and “park” … already freaked me out. I’m not a big water fan. Showers and hygiene, yes… large swimming pools and open expanse of big bodies of water not so much.  The very fact that this place was called a water park meant that there was the possiblity of “fun” with water… another term that is not in my dictionary. That being said, we gathered the 5 and 12 year olds, packed them in the car and went for the 3 hour drive to the water park.

It was hot that day. HOT. Like Africa in August kinda hot. And that’s hot for an eastern Canadian city on the 3rd of July. Maybe this water park was a good idea. It had a huge outdoor wave pool, a lazy river to relax in a blowup tube and float around, and about half a dozen water slides.

This trip with the kids was a sort of much needed mini-holiday for me. It was a chance to have fun and enjoy the first bit of summer vacation with three of my favorite people.

Downside to this whole water park idea… I couldn’t wear makeup. Me not wearing makeup is like being hungry and not having a mouth. I neeeed makeup. I get hives at the thought of leaving the house without makeup on. (I’m high maintenance, I know.) I drool at the very sight of a department store makeup counter. So not being able to wear makeup was a fate worse than death for me.  I mean, sure, I could have worn makeup but after the first splash of water in my face I would have looked rediculous. And THAT would be embarassing!

Another downside… I was going to have to wear a bathing suit and walk around in public. This wasn’t a beach in which I could just shed my attire, reveal my bikini, slink undetected onto my towel and pretend to be a hermit crab by staying silently and perfectly still on the sand. No sir, this was a water park which meant parading around visiting all the slides and pools. Grrrrrrreat. Shoulda kept that gym membership a little longer.

"Does this shell make me look fat?"

The biggest and by far the worst downside… there were water slides. What’s a water park without them, right? As we arrive and I see them in person I have no desire to do them, and to be quite honest they scare the heck out of me. Problem: I am with a 12 year old who can’t wait to get on these slides of doom. These water slides combine many things I don’t like…. such as pitch darkness, water, and speed.  My heart started pounding just looking at them. I didn’t have the heart to tell Emm that I couldn’t do this. She whisked me away and before I knew it we had arrived at our turn at the top of the slide. Emm plunked down the big figure 8 blow up tube and we take our seats. The park attendant holds onto us for a few seconds before pushing us through the first waterfall. I already hate this, and I have too much water in my eyes even at this point but I don’t dare let go of the tube in order to wipe my face. I can barely see. No wait, I can’t see anything at all. This tunnel is well, pitch black. We’re on our way in complete darkness. I’m deafened by the squeals of  excitement from Emm. No wait, that’s not her, it’s me and they aren’t squeals of excitement but rather screams of terror. I have no idea what awaits me at the end of this winding tunel of death… and no idea when it was going to end. I was certain that my hair had gone from a lovely deep brown to a sudden hue of grey during this 15 second thrill ride.

Suddenly, I see a glimmer of light and the sound of people. Sure enough, we are near the end and are propelled out the bottom of the slide into a big pool of water. I have a white-knuckle grip on our inner tube, holding on for dear life as our tube rocks back in forth in the waves we’ve created. I’m praying fervently to the higher power begging him not to let my little air inflated refuge tip over. Emm is laughing her head off at the whole experience. She looks overjoyed and happy. I look panicked and horrified. I’m not sure what had really happened, but I’d compare it to a hell-ride through someone’s digestive system at a velocity close to the speed of light.

If I thought that this ride through the “Tornado” was scary, imagine what I was in for when my better half wanted to go down it with me. He’s 6’2″ and 225 lbs of muscle. I’m 5’3″ and possess no mucsle at all. Reluctantly, I head to the top of the slide. We wait, it’s our turn, we sit down, and before I can take one last look at my surroundings, we’re off. If I thought the ride with Emm was fast, this was like lightning. We were going down the slide with such speed that I could hear the wind whizzing by my ears. Around one turn, then two, down a vertical drop and I was sure my head hit the top of the tunnel. The end must be close and dear God what was going to happen when we hit the pool at the bottom? I soon found out.

We came to the end of the slide and were projected out the end of it. We hit the pool’s water like a jumbo jet making a crash landing and hitting nose first. My better half, sitting in the front of the figure 8 tube came to a sudden stop, a tsunami sized wave covers him. The last thing I remember was sitting in the back of the figure 8, coming into the light at the end of the tunnel and then somehow managing to soar out of the tube, over the head of my boyfriend, and landing somewhere under water some 10 feet away. It proved to be quite the spectacle for those standing around the pool waiting their turn for the next available tube. I’m sure I resembled a lifeless rag doll being thrown from a speeding car… arms flailing and legs being flopped and bent every which way. I stood up, gasping for air and frantically trying to reach the side of the pool. I emerged like I was hauled from the water after surviving the Titanic disaster…. traumatized and emotionally drained.

That put an end to my waterslide adventures that day. I stayed with the 5 year old in the kiddie pools after that. That was much more my speed.

;o)

Alligator for lunch?

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I’ve heard of a lot of things in my little life, but what someone just told me about might take the cake – at least for today.

A friend just told me about an eco-tour expedition to the Everglades in which you can look at the creatures that reside there.  You can see alligators, birds, various types of other interesting creatures and the like all in their natural habitat the way that nature meant it to be. Sounds interesting enough.

Hmmm... a face only a mother could love. But I still wouldn't want to taste one.

What I don’t understand is that lunch is included in your tour fee and consists of … well… alligators. What the??? Now call me crazy (it’s okay, others have, and frankly they might be right) but this sounds a little absurd to me. You embark on an ECO-TOUR to view creatures in their habitats and then you EAT the very creatures you went to see???  What the heck?!?!?! Wouldn’t this be like doing a “swim with the dolphins” and then having flaked dolphin meat served on a cracker afterward? (okay, so maybe alligators aren’t as cute or helpful as dolphins, but still… ) Or wouldn’t it be like going on an African safari and then having a chunk of lion steak? I mean seriously.This makes no sense to me. I mean, I know that there are people who eat alligator, I just don’t get the point of the tour. I guess they are trying to give a “whole experience”. I don’t get it. But then again there’s a lot of things that make to no sense to me. If all else fails…  I suppose it’s better to be the eater than the eaten, I guess.

;o)

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