Friday, September 22: Cheers! It’s time for our early September mini-cocktail hour, but I’m afraid you’ll have to enjoy it without me. You can lift your glass of sparkling champagne as we fly off into the skies for our holiday in Eastern Europe: Budapest, Sopron, Vienna, Český Krumlov, and finally, Prague. 🙂
I hope September has been good to you so far. Have you read any good books, seen any good movies, watched any hilarious comedy shows? Have you wandered or journeyed; have you dreamed any dreams? Have you had any massages? Gone to any exotic restaurants, cooked any new dishes? Have you embarked on any new endeavors?
I’ve been spending most of my time editing pictures and writing my Japan posts (catbird in japan), and I’m still nowhere close to being done. I also recently started following a woman named Jill at Jill’s Scene who is doing the Camino de Santiago. She and her husband started the 800km walk in early September; I have dreams of doing it myself in September of 2018. I’ve created a spreadsheet and am taking notes about her journey, the weather and challenges she encounters, anything notable about her experience. I want to be purposeful about it, as I’ve dreamed of doing it for a long time and I need to make that dream a reality.
I’ve been bingeing on spreadsheets. I used to keep my travel wish list in a yellow spiral notebook which I’ve somehow misplaced. I always wrote it in pencil and had to keep erasing things and changing them. It was a mess. In September, I finally created a big spreadsheet called My Travel Wish List. The column headers are: Time of Year (the four seasons), Months, Year, My age, Mike’s age, Region, Countries, Places, What to do there, Who with, Estimated Cost. The spreadsheet covers the places I’ve already been and the places I want to go each season until I’m 90 years old! The places I’ve already been are highlighted in blue, while the spreadsheet from age 80-90 is highlighted in purple. Frankly, I’d like to believe I’ll still be traveling from age 80-90, but realistically, I know anything can happen. Besides, two gurus in India once told me I’d only live to 88, so if they’re right, I won’t even be on this earth then!
At the same time, I’ve been reading guidebooks on Hungary, Austria (Vienna), and Czech Republic. At first I was just reading the guidebooks and highlighting what I’d like to see. All the places were becoming a jumbled mess in my mind, so I decided to organize my thoughts. Voila! I created another spreadsheet with our itinerary. How I love spreadsheets! 🙂
Besides my obsession with spreadsheets, I’ve been reading a most uninspiring book, How to be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway. It’s not very compelling, so I only read a few pages each night; however, it’s not so boring that I’d give up on it altogether. I went to see the cute movie, Home Again, starring Reese Witherspoon, but I haven’t had time for many other movies this month. Mike and I did watch The Third Man on Netflix. It’s a 1949 film noir in which pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime. Though it’s all in English, we had to put the subtitles on to understand it! I admit I fell asleep 3/4 of the way through, but we did continue it the next evening. It’s supposedly quite the rage in Vienna, where there is even a Third Man Museum.
We tried out an Ethiopian restaurant not far from us in Herndon, Enatye Ethiopian Restaurant, which doesn’t have much in the way of atmosphere, but it has excellent food. 🙂
On Labor Day, Mike and I took a long walk through a neighborhood called Cleveland Park in Washington. It was a beautiful day, and we ended up having lunch outside at Cafe Deluxe. I haven’t yet written about it, but I intend to soon after we return home.
And, as you can see from the pictures in this post, we also visited the Air Force Memorial on September 10, the same day we visited the Pentagon Memorial. I figure the soaring wing-like shape of this memorial is a perfect symbolic send off for our trip to Europe.
The United States Air Force Memorial honors the service of the men and women of the United States Air Force and its heritage organizations. Three stainless steel spires soar into the sky from the promontory overlooking the Pentagon, reaching heights of 402 feet above sea-level. Granite walls contain inscriptions describing valor and values of aviation pioneers supporting the Air Force and its predecessor military organizations.
The inscriptions for Sacrifice remind us of what brave men sacrificed during World War II to fight the same white supremacist ideas that have reared their ugly heads in today’s world.
One inscription here reads: “We better be prepared to dominate the skies above the surface of the earth or be prepared to be buried beneath it.” ~ General Carl A. “Tooey” Spaatz.
From the hill, we can see the Washington Monument and the Pentagon.
As for our struggles during August, we’ve all recovered. Adam got over his flu and has flown off to Melbourne, Australia to visit his girlfriend for a month. Alex has started classes in a new major, Business Administration, in the hopes of learning how to start his own business one day. He’s also moved into a new apartment.
Sarah’s knee is slowly healing and she’s back at work, after being incapacitated for nearly a month. She’s waiting to hear about a job she applied for with a Richmond magazine. I’m hoping and praying she gets that job. The redness and pain from my spider bite first spread all around my wrist and up through my hand before I started taking an antibiotic. My joints and neck were aching, but a couple of massages helped that. Mike has been healthy throughout the month.
I also went to Richmond to see Alex and Sarah and did what many moms would do: treated Sarah to dinner, took both of them to lunch, and took them both shopping for necessities at Target and Trader Joe’s. 🙂
As you read this, I’ll be in flight over who knows where, in route to Frankfurt. We’ll arrive in Budapest at 9:50 a.m. on Saturday, ready to hit the ground running. If I do manage to post anything about our trip, you’ll find it here: in search of a thousand cafés.
I hope you all enjoy the rest of your September, and I’ll see you back here in early October. 🙂