R.L. SAUNDERS

writer attempting real life in the middle of everybody else's vacation

“Europe” part 4 in a sometimes redundant 4-part series of 4

on February 28, 2013

I’m sort-of an idiot, so before I went to Rome, I’d see pictures of Roman ruins and envision tourists, chickens, and beggar children on a four-hour bus ride down a bumpy dirt road on their way to a site. It’s not that way at all, though. You’re walking through the middle of the city and BAM, ruins. It’s some kind of perfect mix of ancient and modern that I can’t explain.

Quitter.

Quitter.

For me, at least in February (excluding excellent shopping and getting to see a dear friend), Rome kicked Paris’ ass. And I’m shocked about that. I was really just going along with the Rome thing because I knew my mom would dig Vatican City. I was planning to roll my eyes a few times when nobody was looking, drink a lot of wine and a little bit of coffee (because that’s all you can get is a little bit), and just generally get it over with. But Rome was probably my favorite city on our whirlwind European tour. No, not probably. It was.

This is my daughter and sister in Nice. It has nothing to do with this post. I just like it.

This is my daughter and sister in Nice. It has nothing to do with this post. I just like it.

Then there was Monaco. My daughter saw a picture of Princess Grace on the wall in a chocolate shop and loved the story about the American actress and Prince Rainier. She positively beamed when I revealed to her that we gave her the middle name “Grace” because of Grace Kelly. This was a lie, of course, but I couldn’t help myself. It’s just the kind of thing that happens when you’re powerlessly caught up in the fairy tale that is Monaco.

Monaco is perfect. Too perfect. Air-brushed, lip injections perfect. I’m talking about the people, the landscape, the food, the wi-fi availability. Everything. I don’t really know what else to say about that, except look at this picture.

Monaco is not ugly

A final straggling thought that didn’t fit neatly anywhere else: Europeans are thin because they eat healthy food? No, that wasn’t my impression, although I went in with that preconception. But they do practice portion control. And they walk a lot. And they smoke. Jesus do they smoke. Refer to disclaimer in Post 1 regarding gross generalities.

The trip was fantastic, what else can I say? I’m so grateful to my sister for the experience, especially for my daughter’s sake. It’s what I want my kids to want from life—experiences, not stuff.

This.

This.

And Key West isn’t a bad place to have to come home to, either.

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7 responses to ““Europe” part 4 in a sometimes redundant 4-part series of 4

  1. Emily says:

    “(because that’s all you can get is a little bit)”
    Such a great line. 🙂

  2. mommaneedsabeer says:

    I just read all 4 parts of your European adventure & loved every second!! I feel my reactions to much of what you experienced would be very similar if/when I cross the pond. I’m confused & disappointed in the tiny coffee though. I love my French press — I would have assumed those thiIgs would be on every table in Europe!

    Finally, I spewed milk out my nose when I saw your Pope “Quitter” photo. Love it.

    • Thanks, momma! It was so much fun. So much learning.

      Loved your beerfest stuff (even though I’m still a wine girl. Don’t shoot me. I’m slow)! Especially loved your morning show spot. You are calm and cool. I think we watched in on the computer in a hotel room in Nice!

  3. Karen Visnic says:

    I feel the same way about Rome vs Paris (but shhh don’t tell my husband). Love your wit, thank you 🙂

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