European Tour – Introduction (June/July 1990)

Since I began this blog, I’ve wanted to write down before senility ensues capture for posterity my first international trip – a tour of northwestern Europe back in June and July 1990.(1) My off-and-on labors for this story (i.e., remembering important events/details, outlining notes, writing and revising content, finding and scanning pictures/negatives, researching locations and … Continue reading European Tour – Introduction (June/July 1990)

European Tour – Ireland (June/July 1990)

Warm Plane, Cold Welcome It is said that travel broadens the mind. While there’s plenty to learn from exploring foreign lands, experiencing different cultures and meeting new people, the act of travel itself provides its own valuable and pragmatic life lessons, as well. Globe-trotting involves everything from acting like a headless chicken running around to … Continue reading European Tour – Ireland (June/July 1990)

European Tour – Netherlands/Belgium (July 1990)

Claustrophobia on the High Seas The ferry sailed north up the English Channel and around the peninsula of North Holland. My time on boats and ships was almost non-existent very limited, so I never lived in tight quarters before, and this seemed a little apropos while heading for a small country. We were split up … Continue reading European Tour – Netherlands/Belgium (July 1990)

European Tour – France (July 1990)

Dirty Old Men Make Questionable Tour Guides We arrived in Paris anxious to see the “city of lights.” It was like any other metropolis (i.e., heavily congested, dirty), but as picturesque as I imagined. And given the city’s romantic reputation, it wasn’t much of a coincidence that the previously barely begun twosomes amongst our ranks … Continue reading European Tour – France (July 1990)

European Tour – Munich (July 1990)

Wash, Rhine and Repeat Somewhat refreshed from the respite in Strasbourg (mostly physically, but not as much spiritually for me), we crossed the Rhine River. Germany held personal interest for me since my Dad’s side of the family has German/East European origins.(1) The ride to Munich was the better part of the morning, arriving at … Continue reading European Tour – Munich (July 1990)

European Tour – East Germany (July 1990)

Border Crossings Made Anti-Climatic Easy Just as we were more relaxed going into our second homestay, everyone looked similarly at ease after it. My travel group met in the morning, where we said goodbye to our hosts and boarded the bus for Leipzig. I was anxious and excited for the experience of crossing the Inner … Continue reading European Tour – East Germany (July 1990)

France – Introduction (October 2011)

Timing is Everything I’m in a group on called The Virginia Wine Club that checks out many of the Virginia wineries. Up until now, I believe the furthest they’ve gone on an official group trip has been Maryland, so this was their first attempt at an international wine adventure. The trip was organized through … Continue reading France – Introduction (October 2011)

France – Days 1 and 2 (Sunday and Monday, October 2 and 3, 2011)

They Say It’s the Journey and Not the Destination… Sunday morning was a frantic race to hit the store for a few last items I needed (travel-size toiletries, Claritan, petty cash, etc.) and radically indulging my OCD by repeatedly making sure I packed all of my stuff (by my count, I only rearranged it all … Continue reading France – Days 1 and 2 (Sunday and Monday, October 2 and 3, 2011)

France – Day 3 (Tuesday, October 4, 2011)

Went to Sleep in Bordeaux, Woke Up in San Francisco Monday’s sunny, warm afternoon gave way to a cool evening and a gloomy, chilly Tuesday morning. Bordeaux is nestled along a bend in the Garonne River, which meets up with the Dordogne River north of the city (both drain into the Atlantic Ocean, not too … Continue reading France – Day 3 (Tuesday, October 4, 2011)