Write2Camp in Europe

Come and literally join me on my literary journey!


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You just can’t beat this place.

The advantage, or maybe it’s a disadvantage − however way you want to see it − but we change our travel destinations as often as the billowing winds change directions on a mountain lake.

“Okay,” I said to Hubby. Let’s just drive to our most favorite place in the world, and we’ll decide from day-to-day what our next stop shall be.

“You know, that’s the best idea you’ve had all week.” he said, and  gave me a big happy kiss.

I have written about Lake Constance, in Germany,  before. Where else can you breakfast in Germany, take lunch in Austria, drink an afternoon coffee in Liechtenstein and enjoy a glass of wine in the evening on the Swiss side of the lake? This is only possible  in the four-country-region- Bodensee… or known as Lake Constance. It’s like a second home to us, and  only a good hour and a half drive from our house.

We just love our trusty camp ground, and this time we even got a space that allows a narrow view of the lake between tall trees.

p1000054-kopie

But before I say anything more, I have to admit — one of the reasons we drove to a camp site so close to home was because we were exhausted. Yes, exhausted from all the zillions of little pre-vacation things that had to be done. Packing our caravan has become a marathon of carrying laundry baskets full of clothes, medications, blankets, pillows, food, cell phones, laptops, Kindle, chargers and storing them all away in the caravan, so that nothing, not even a bra strap is caught hanging out between the hinges of the cabinet doors.  Maybe we are getting old, and maybe the need to take everything in question with us has increased with age. Gee, I can remember going on vacation with just a little handbag. Ha ha − that was about a million years ago.

Nevertheless, the vacation started off with a bang… or better said with a click. I was waiting patiently in the car, eating one gum drop after the other, while Herbert, my hubby, was in a gas station’s men’s room. The  car radio was playing some cool music, and not till after the fourth or eighth song − or maybe it was the empty gum drop bag, but I suddenly sat up in alert. What is taking my dear Hubby so long?  I got out of the car and marched to the gas station, when suddenly my husband approached me.

“So how long were you planning on waiting before checking up on me?” He asked a bit disgruntled.

“What took so long?” I said, while suppressing a sweet sour taste of gum drops coming up my throat.

“The lock broke on the bathroom door, and I banged and knocked and yelled on the door till someone finally let me out!”

Hubby suddenly began to laugh, saying the people at the gas station and even some customers, who urgently needed to use the bathroom, were in a tizzy trying to get the lock open.

“Now that would have made a good vacation shot!” I exclaimed. We both laughed, and then I knew − when stupid things like that strike one as funny it’s a sure sign that vacation time has started.

That evening we ate in a lovely restaurant by the sea. But even better than the food, were all the little signs,  stuck between roses and weeds, with wonderful wise quotes written upon them.  I took some snapshots of them, and am more than happy to translate the quotes for you. So in this first of the latest travel report series:    this is quote no. 1.

p1000039-kopieThe practical thing about vacation is that it not only renews your strength to start
working again,
but it makes you so damn broke, that it really gives you no other
choice in the matter.

PS….The header photo I just took this evening.
I swear! No photo shop!

PPS…I will be writing soon again. Hope to see around, and I would love for you to leave a comment. Thank you!


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When Life Gets in the Way of Traveling

Why do unexpected things come up just before we plan to go on vacation in our caravan – but an unexpected change of plans NEVER comes up if we have booked a flight? To me it’s one of the greatest mysteries in the universe. I would even say a close runner up to – why do penguins jump off cliffs.

It’s either a cool spontaneous party invitation, or some distant relative passes away, or one of the grandchildren is performing, (as a tree) in his very first play. Childish handwritten invitations flutter in our mailbox  for summer school events, gymnastic shows, and school choir concerts… and usually a day before we plan to leave.


“But Oma, (that’s grandma in German), it’s so easy to postpone your vacation with the caravan. 
It’s not like you HAAAVE to go now!”

grandma smile

Anyone who has been following my blog may have noticed that there wasn’t much to follow this past year – for one simple reason – we didn’t go anywhere.

Why? Okay, summoptimismers we always spend at home, because camping is six times more expensive then. In the fall our granddaughter stayed with us, but didn’t want to go anywhere because she wanted to play with her cousins But then, mid-September 2015, as soon as we packed the van, and were ready to shift our car into drive –a cold front swept over Europe. Hurricanes and mud slides forced us to stay home.  We raced to the house, through the rain, with just our blankets and pillows in our arms, expecting that we can drive on as soon as the storm passes through. When the storm literally blew over, we packed our blankets and pillows once again – and full of optimism, (weak laughter here).

 

“Hey Herbert? When did you guys buy a dog?” Our neighbor asked, while squinting against the sun, at our caravan door.

“That’s not a dog. It’s my wife crawling into the caravan because she’s got sciatica pain, and can’t walk up the steps.” My husband yelled back, of course loud enough for ALL the neighbors to hear.

“Ha ha ha,” our neighbor laughs hysterically all the way up his front steps and stumbles.

Hahaha, I think with spite: … He needs to change his black sunglasses to hot pink.

Sooo here we go again.  We aren’t going anywhere. We unpack and make doctor appointments.

Then winter comes.

And 2016 rolls around. Up to now our schedule is all about getting appointments and stupid daily things finished so that we can take off when spring comes around.

April: We let down our jacked up caravan, check tire pressure, haul the mattresses from our attic into the van, pack all utensils, food, pillows, blankets, clothes, shoes, games, books, TV,  etc.

Have you heard? Germany has unusual freezing temperatures, snow storms, and icy streets … and that at the end of April!

…Okaaay, ….. Let’s unpack clothes, food, bed stuff, and haul it all back into the house.

But wait! Today, when I look out the window, it looks like it has cleared up.  Blue skies, warm sun, birds are singing!

Quick, pack up!

Rrrrrriiiiiing!  It’s my brother! It’s definite. He’s coming to visit us with his girlfriend, son and his girlfriend from the States! Oh man, I haven’t seen him in 5 years!

Roll film backwards … please speed it up! Unpack the caravan, lug the blankets pillowcases, and clothes back into the house. Throw all the food items into the laundry basket, schlepp back into house and store away. Get radio, Cd’s, bathing suits, games, (we might want to play them at home), sun hats, glasses, passports … yup… everything, but the mattresses.

So I think, while sprawled on our sofa, I have to think like the fox in Aesop’s Fables: The Fox and the Grapes… Do you remember that one? Here a link, to the short story in case you’ve forgotten… In any case, thinking about that made me feel better already.

https://youtu.be/teIj7fak6eU

But you know what, I’m really not complaining….. Staying home because of family is really not a bad alternative. In fact I truly feel blessed.

Gee, I just counted my blessings and vented at the same time. That’s like eating spaghetti without meatballs.

Next time, I promise, I will say no to the spaghetti and gulp down the meatballs. I hope.

Oh-oh….

“…….But – but Omaaaaaaa!!!!!