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Life with Jody--former Soldier (medically retired), writer (in training), and lots more
This blog tied for 3rd Place in the June 2016 "The Bard's Hall Contest

This is a non-specific blog about me and my life, the things I do, the problems I cause, and the trouble I manage to escape. Topics that may be covered include but are in no way limited to food, animals (especially farm animals), war, the military, photography, North Carolina, medical problems and medical care, religion, writing, and examples of extreme laziness.
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August 25, 2016 at 10:46pm
August 25, 2016 at 10:46pm
#890813
Howdy!

I will again be showing honor to the French flag through my use of color in my blog. Their flag is blue, white, and red. I'll write in red and the prompt will be in blue.

Aug 25th Paris

Rise and shine Peeps, we're off to a castle today!
Discover one of France’s top attractions in style and make memories to last a lifetime on this 4-hour Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte helicopter tour from Paris including Champagne reception. Fly over Paris and take in fine views over the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral. Enjoy a Champagne reception on arrival at the castle, admire a 360° view around the estate from the dome which is 25 meters high, then explore the grand suites, hallways and gardens at your leisure. Afterward, hop into your limousine and return to your Paris hotel. Upgrade to a round-trip helicopter tour and take to the skies as the sun sets. Highlights Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte helicopter tour from Paris Admire the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Palace of Versailles from the air on a 35-minute flight Land on the grounds of Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, one of France's must-see castles. Enjoy a Champagne and macaron reception. Explore the house and gardens at your leisure (audio guide and golf cart rental included). Travel back to your Paris hotel by luxury limousine, or upgrade to enjoy a return helicopter ride.

What You Can Expect: Use your audio guide to discover more about Vaux-le-Vicomte. Your helicopter tour departs from Héliport d'Issy-Les-Moulineaux in southwest Paris in the morning. Aboard a state-of-the-art helicopter, take to the skies over Paris on a 35-minute flight, admiring aerial views of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and the nearby Palace of Versailles before heading to the Château. Touch down at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in Maincy, about 37 miles (60 km) southeast of Paris. Soak up views of the beautiful 17th-century château and gardens, and step inside to enjoy a welcome reception. Enjoy the sumptuous surroundings as you sip Champagne and savor macarons. This light, tasty treat — comprised of two flavored meringue biscuits with a ganache, buttercream or jam filling — is one of the most popular pastries in France. Grab your audio guide for an informative self-guided tour of the château, filled with original furnishings, lavish gilded walls, impressive stone statues and tapestries. One of the most beautiful, stately and significant French castles, Vaux-le-Vicomte was the inspiration behind Versailles and is a testament to the architectural prowess of Nicolas Fouquet, Superintendent of Finances of notorious King Louis XIV. Climb to the top of the dome and admire a 360° view around the estate from the dome which is 25 meters high. Wander the beautifully manicured gardens at your leisure, or hop in a golf cart and ride around the grounds in style! Perhaps visit the château’s restaurant to enjoy more snacks or refreshments (own expense). At the end of your visit, hop in a luxury limousine and relax on the drive to your Paris hotel, or upgrade to enjoy a round-trip helicopter flight. Re-board the helicopter, lift off and soar back to Paris at golden hour. Have your camera ready for these views! Land at Héliport d'Issy-Les-Moulineaux to conclude your tour.

Read more about Helicopter Tour to Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte from Paris Including Champagne Reception - Paris | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/Paris/Helicopter-Tour-to-Chateau-de-Vaux-le-Vicomte...


Thankfully, Lyn let us sleep in some. How generous! Well, it is only a 4 hour tour after all. *Smile*

I was excited for the helicopter tour! I'm SO GLAD we had already gone to so many places before seeing them from the sky. I don't think I would have appreciated the ride so much if I hadn't gotten up close and personal with so many places first. Not to mention, knowing their history adds to the excitement!

When we'd landed, I'd forgotten I could tell them ahead of time that I don't care for wine or champagne. Oh well. I offered mine to Spacecat and he politely accepted. I'm not sure if he was just being a gentleman or was excited for more free alcohol, but I didn't really care. I wasn't wasting mine and that's all that mattered to me. lol However, I didn't give up my macarons. I'd seen them a lot, but had never had them. Turns out I really liked them. *Smile* And they're so little, how bad for you can they be? *Rolling*

After an eye-popping tour of this phenomenal castle, we went outside to tour the grounds via golf cart. Oh good grief! When SB Musing offered to drive me, Sally, and Jellyfish, I didn't think a thing about it. But upon reflection, there was a glint in her eye and a spring in her step that wasn't natural. I should have known. On the good side, she saved me a good decade of life in a retirement home because I'm pretty sure that ride took 10 years off my life! HAHAHA!

After I was done with the ride of terror, I decided to go get something to eat. I ran into SandraLynn and we went to the onsite restaurant. I had a lovely light salad and she seemed to really enjoy her soup and sandwich. I hadn't spent time with her recently, so it was nice getting to chat for a while before we headed back.

I'd opted for the helicopter ride back and it was AWESOME! I really enjoyed the trip over, but getting to see the sun setting, plus the lights of the city of lights at night was fantastic. It was totally worth that extra $400! lol


Hope you enjoyed the champagne because this evening we're going to see the darker side of Paris.

Challenge your romantic illusions of gay Paris on a terrifying 2-hour tour of the city’s most sinister spots. Delve into the eerie mysteries of the City of Light, strolling the serpentine streets in search of spectres and spooks; stray from the beaten path with a masterful story teller, discovering unfamiliar facts about the captivating capital as you venture to sites of reputed haunting. Gain fascinating insight into the horrible history of the city when you visit mystery-shrouded sites like the Place de la Vert Gallant and the Palais du Justice.

Highlights: Night walking tour of Paris' ghosts, mysteries and legends. Discover the dark and violent history that lurks beneath the city's sparkling facade. Hear fascinating ghost stories. See the Hotel de Concierge, where Marie Antoinette was once imprisoned. See the old Place du Greve, where many were tortured and killed.

Sites visited on the walking tour:Place de la Vert Gallant, St Germain de Auxerrois, La Fontaine de la Croix du Trahoir, Rue de la Ferronnerie, Square of the Innocents, The Rat Trap Shop (as seen in the movie Ratatouille), Tour St JacquesLa Fontaine du Palmier, The River Seine, The ConciergerieIle de la Cité, Palais du Justice, Hotel Dieu, Hotel de ville

Read more about Ghosts, Mysteries and Legends Night Walking Tour of Paris - Paris | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/Paris/Ghosts-Mysteries-and-Legends-Night-Walking-To...


SWEET! I love ghost tours! I always try to hit them whenever there's one in a town I'm visiting! This one was NOT disappointing! There were a lot of sad stories and some creepy "after stories" but I'm really glad I came on this tour! Good times! Princess Megan Rose and Finn O'Flaherty hung out with me during the tour and we chatted between stories. It was nice. They're pretty fun ladies!

Dig deep into history with a 2-hour underground Paris Catacombs tour. Learn why the bones of more than six million people were deposited under the city in a complex maze of tunnels that you definitely need a guide to navigate. Highlights 1.5-hour tour of the Paris Catacombs Take a narrated walking tour of the fascinating underground labyrinth of tombs Hear the story behind the Catacombs from your informative guide

Read more about Skip The Line Paris Catacombs Tour - Paris | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/Paris/Skip-The-Line-Paris-Catacombs-Tour/d479-6159C...


The Catacombs were just CRAZY! First, I'm impressed with the balls of the guy who suggested the idea as a solution to overcrowded cemeteries. Second, I can't imagine the heartbreak of some of the families who regularly visited their loved ones and then find out they are going to be moved to basically a mass grave. Third, I'd hate to be down here alone. You WILL get lost! That was just insane! I'm really glad I went, though. My only complaint was that it was like 50-something degrees and I got really cold after a while. But then, if I'd gotten online and read, I would have known to bring a jacket, so it's my own fault... On the good side (because I'm rude), I was hanging out with BlueMoon on the tour and she was also cold, so we commiserated. lol

Sweet dreams my lovelys!

Real Life
Well, because I have a tendency to do things without thinking the plan through ever since Iraq, I scheduled an appointment in Chicago (I live in North Carolina) for October 17. She's a brain injury specialist. I'm REALLY hoping she can shed some light on my "lapses of awareness" when my brain just sort of shuts down and I can't understand what's happening around me--like I can't even recognize the streets I'm on. Sort of a "lights are on, but nobody's home" type of thing. That's why I had to quit driving. I almost ran over a pedestrian who had to jump out of the way. I totally saw her, but nothing suggested it was a problem that I was about to run her over. Sometimes I have a visual memory, but no emotions or anything else attached to it. Other times it's all a complete blank. I won't be staying in Chicago for treatment, but I want her to look me over and decide what course of treatment she'd recommend to end these lapses so I can one day drive again. For that matter, I can't even legitimately take a job. I'm not safe when these events happen. I'm hoping she has an answer!

I entered my Hook to Book yesterday and I thought it was just hysterical when I was writing it. Well, in the light of day, I find it less hysterical, but still cute and amusing. I've gotten several reviews of it so far and they are all positive. That makes me feel good. *Bigsmile* I'm considering entering it in the Chapter One contest too. *Bigsmile*

TTFN



Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.
- Gene Fowler
August 25, 2016 at 1:06am
August 25, 2016 at 1:06am
#890755
Howdy Once Again!

We're still in Paris which means a French flag, thus the prompt will be in blue and my part will be in red.

Aug. 24th Paris

Okay, sleepyheads rise and shine after breakfast at the hotel. Yes, I know the chef is divine here but we're off for a bike tour today. Together with your guide, you'll walk to the RER train station to make the 30-minute trip by train to Versailles. Once in Versailles, you will pick up your bike at an office just 5 minutes from the Palace of Versailles. The first of many highlights on this active day out is a visit to Versailles' village market to buy baguettes, cheese, ham, wine and whatever else you desire for your delicious picnic lunch in Versailles' gardens. These picnic provisions are purchased at your own expense.

The next highlight today is a bike ride through the gardens behind Versailles palace. You'll leave foot visitors behind on your tour of the palace by bicycle, as visitors on foot can visit only a small fraction of the palace gardens. Versailles' gardens and forests are crisscrossed by a network of fantastic trails and tree-lined paths, so bring your camera for picture-perfect views in every direction.

Arriving at the far end of the Grand Canal, you'll settle down for a picnic in the exact spot where Louis XIV, XV and XVI ate in order to marvel at their palace. Relax on the grass in peace where only your cycling group will be able to easily reach this end of the Grand Canal.

After lunch, pedal back towards the palace itself for an unforgettable view into the lives of the French monarchy before their removal from power by the Revolution in 1789. You'll visit the Hall of Mirrors (site of the treaty ending World War I), the King's State Apartments and the amazing King's Chapel (audio guide available). After your visit to Versailles you'll return to Paris via RER train.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/AttractionProductDetail?product=3588VERSA&d=188681&a...


I don't know another word for Versailles except WOW! Outside was beautiful and really neat to think that I was in the same places as kings and queens. But, INSIDE was WOW! It was simply amazing! I loved getting to see the opulance! I'm not 100% sure I'd want to live like that, but then again, I'm not 100% sure I wouldn't either. lol

We stopped and had a picnic as well. That was fun. I haven't had a real picnic in a long time. What a treat!

I wasn't sure about this whole biking thing since I'm pretty anti-exercise, not to mention, biking hurts my knee, but I agree that we got to see WAY more this way, so it was worth it, even if I'll be walking like a pirate later. lol


We're doing the Eiffel Tower this evening, what better way to see the city of lights than by night, don't you agree.

Meet a few streets away from the Eiffel Tower and avoid waiting in a queue that often takes at least two hours during the summer months! A pre-booked, skip-the-line ticket grants priority access to the Eiffel Tower elevator, so you'll go straight up to the second level after learning about the building's fascinating history.

Hear the story of the man behind the Tower, Gustave Eiffel, and learn about the wonders behind this architectural and engineering feat as you view it up close. Hear the details of the World’s Fair of 1889, the year the tower was built. The first level offers a great cinematic theater where you can see exclusive video of the tower’s storied 120-plus-year history. It also features one of the original spiral staircases that Gustave himself used daily to reach his office on the top level.

Eiffel Tower 2nd Level
On the second level, your guide will allow ample time to take in the best views that Paris has to offer. With two tiers on the second level, there is plenty of space to hear your tour guide explain the countless stunts and anecdotes from the tower’s past. You’ll be entertained with stories about crazy exploits (like planes flying underneath the tower) and the tower’s role in everything from world wars to Hollywood movies.

Eiffel Tower 1st Level and the Eiffel Tower Summit (3rd Level)
Upon the conclusion of the tour, your time on the Eiffel Tower doesn’t have to end; the price includes tickets to the first level and the summit of the tower too. At the summit, purchase a glass of Champagne to enjoy while you stare out over the City of Light. The skip-the-line access you receive for the first two levels does not include the 3rd level; everyone must wait for one elevator, but the line doesn't usually last longer than 30 minutes – a short time to wait to stand at the top of the Eiffel Tower!

This tour provides skip-the-line priority, but is subject to all procedures and security requirements of the Eiffel Tower.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/AttractionProductDetail?product=3588EIFFELTOWER&d=18...


Of course, I wanted to see the Eiffel Tower just because you pretty much have to if you go to Paris, but I had no idea how BEAUTIFUL it was! I mean really beautiful! I'm SO GLAD I got to see it up close and personal! The pictures just do NOT do it justice! I also really enjoyed the stories and history.

I'd like to especially thank Lyn for all these "skip the line" things. What a time saver! I didn't know they were basically EVERYWHERE. Smart thinking, lady! *Wink*


for my energetic crew there's more game clubs

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g187147-Activities-c56-t208-Paris_Ile_de...

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187147-d5039754-Reviews-HintHunt_...

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187147-d8843110-Reviews-One_Hour_...


I'll be honest. I enjoy those rooms and being there with SB Musing will certainly mean an interesting time in one way or another, but there's just nothing like being pampered at the Four Seasons Spa! I opted to skip the games and get a deep massage followed by some steam and sauna time. Ahhh...and it really helped my knee a lot. *Smile*

I forgot to ask did you enjoy Hamburg or Amsterdam's red light district better, I have to let my fellow guides know the consensus.

Ummm...I know this sounds so terrible, but those were days ago. I can't recall. So, I'll just say Germany since I'm German. *Smile* Or wait, I should say Amsterdam since I'm German, if that makes any sense. lol

Real Life

I just gotta share that I was working on my first chapter of my book "Hook to Book, Round 3-Sheriff Sam Rabbit for "Invalid Item and I obviously need sleep because I was REALLY cracking myself up! I mean like the process was being slowed down by all my laughing! I just thought what I was writing was TOO FUNNY! Now, the funny/sad part will be when I read it after getting some sleep and I'm disappointed at the crap I wrote. Well, I don't feel that tired, so maybe it's not as bad as I worry it might be. lol I really should go to bed, though. I'd planned to write my next blog post since it was technically the next day, but I think I'll sleep instead. I've been feeling queasy on and off for a while now. I thought I was actually going to throw up a little while ago. I could probably use the sleep if I'm actually coming down with something.
August 23, 2016 at 9:09pm
August 23, 2016 at 9:09pm
#890684
Howdy Folks!

Well, we have yet ANOTHER red, white, and blue flag here in Paris, France...okay, well, they think it's blue, white, and red, but whatever. It means the prompt will be in blue and I'll be typing my part in red.

August 23rd--3.5 Hr train Ride to Paris, France

We're staying at Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris, I've been told this hotel is superb. I really twisted some arms to score us this one.

http://www.fourseasons.com/paris/landing_3/?source=taparisblhotel


This is quite possibly the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in and I've stayed in some REALLY nice hotels in my younger days. Wow! Why are we leaving to see Paris? I've got everything I need right here!

We're beginning our 4 day-- stay in Paris with Louvre Museum.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/AttractionProductDetail?product=3731LOUVRE&d=188757&...

Take a small group walking tour of the Louvre Museum in Paris and jump the queue by booking ahead. This skip the line tour helps you explore the collection of paintings, sculpture, and architecture with an expert local guide. Numbers are limited to a maximum of 25 people on this small group walking tour, ensuring you'll receive personalized attention from your guide. And by booking ahead, you won't waste any time waiting in line!

This tour was specifically designed to highlight the most famous works of the Louvre Museum. Entering the Louvre through the original Medieval structure from the 12th century, join your guide on a journey from one breathtaking gallery to the next as you travel through time visiting works from 450 BCE through to the 1800s.


I'm not a giant museum person, but who can turn down the chance to see the Mona Lisa? Well, probably someone, but not me! lol This is a once in a lifetime thing! They didn't take groups as large as ours, so we had to break into two groups. I made sure that I was with the Museum Queen, SB Musing, though! I knew she'd add just as much info as the tour guide and I was right! Plus, she loves reading those plaques and I just want to know what they say without having to actually read them, so I got 2 tour guides! *Rolling* All in all, the Louvre was a pretty amazing experience.

You have some down time if you want before the show this evening... take in a spa or enjoy the pool. This evening we are in for a huge treat. We've got VIP tickets for the Moulin Rouge experience with exclusive seating on a private balcony.

Moulin Rouge...ummm...isn't that like French for "lots of singing and dancing"? Hmm...not really my thing, but the tickets were almost $500, so I guess I'll go. But UNTIL then, I'll enjoy myself at this super sweet hotel!

I saw the hotel has a cocktail class and I know Sally likes cocktails, so I suggested we take the class. It was a bit intimidating as the instructor was a bit hard to understand sometimes since I don't speak either French or bartender, but we got through it. He was very patient and Sally and I would just look at each other and laugh when we didn't know what he was saying. All in all, we had a great time and I think Sally enjoyed asking the hottie next to her to translate. I'm not sure his English was any better, but then, I'm not sure she cared. *Rolling*

We ended up with a couple of tricks and a few tasty drinks. It was pretty fun. I'm really glad she agreed to do this with me because I'm not sure I'm brave enough to do it alone, but I'd have hated to have missed out on this experience. *Smile*


Receive skip-the-line access into the Moulin Rouge, sip on a tasting of Champagne before your 4-course French dinner, accompanied by wine.Watch the show from a private balcony with only 24 VIP seats. This evening they made an exception for our party of 30, so enjoy unobstructed views of the fabulous Moulin Rouge costumes, dancing and sets. Experience the ultimate night out in Paris with this Viator Exclusive! Macaron bag or chocolate box included

https://www.tripadvisor.com/AttractionProductDetail?product=5022MOULINVIP&d=1892...


Well, I brought my ear plugs as music can be quite overwhelming to my senses since Iraq, but there's dinner included, so I figured I'd give it a go. Besides, there's a free bag of chocolates in it for me, so...lol

I still say this isn't my thing and it was a good bit longer than I'd have liked, but it wasn't quite as terrible as I expected. Actually, the costumes and sets were very elaborate and I was impressed with what they'd done.

The food was also mostly good. I was really glad to see they weren't serving the duck fois gras anymore, though it's advertised on the website. Our server said they had decided to take a stand against the forced feeding of ducks to enlarge their liver up to 10 times its natural size. They said they felt it was cruel and ruined the taste of the food to anyone understanding the true experience of the ducks (and geese) used in this process. I agreed.

I'm not a super animal activist and I'm not opposed to killing the ducks at only 100 days old if they lived a happy life until then. However, stuffing a tube down their throats and using a pneumatic pump to force feed them in a matter of seconds and to feed them way more than they'd naturally want to eat just so that their liver is bigger and allegedly better goes beyond what I feel is an appropriate use of an animal. I'm all for eating meat that was happy and healthy until the day it died quickly and painlessly. But that's not what happens to these waterfowl. For anyone interested, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foie_gras.

Anyway, the show wasn't as bad as I expected and that little bag of chocolates will be going back with me to the hotel. I just hope I can make them last. lol
August 22, 2016 at 8:23pm
August 22, 2016 at 8:23pm
#890599
Howdy Fans and Those Forced to Read This Because I Tagged You!

We are in the Netherlands today which has a red, white, and blue flag. I didn't realize so many countries use those colors. Interesting...anyway, I'll be putting the prompts in blue and I'll, once again, be typing my responses in red.

August 22nd--Amsterdam, Netherlands

Our train is a 2 hour ride but since I turned you loose in the red light district I booked us on a later ride today. We leave at 9 am.

We're booked at the Hotel Sebastians Set on Amsterdam’s Canal Belt, this chic, townhouse hotel is a 9-minute walk from a tram stop, 1 km from the Red Light District and 3.5 km from the Van Gogh Museum. Featuring colorful or dramatic decor, the plush rooms range from cozy to airy, and offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and tea and coffee making facilities. Upgraded rooms are available: some add soaking tubs, patios and/or courtyard, canal or garden views. Extra beds and cribs are available upon request.

Buffet-style breakfast is complimentary and a trendy bar, which has mood lighting, serves lunches and snacks. Bike rentals are available.
Address: Keizersgracht 15, 1015 CC Amsterdam, Netherlands

http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting/what-to-do


We finally got to sleep in a little...thank goodness. lol The train ride seemed really short given how long some of the others have been. It was nice and I enjoyed getting to watch the change in scenery between Germany and the Netherlands. Sally and I decided to room together again, so I'm excited about that. I always love spending time with her!

When we got to our hotel, it was really nice, but I was exceptionally excited to see we have a canal view. Awesome sauce! We checked out the room and it was pretty posh. My favorite part is the bathroom. We have both a tub and a shower (separate) and the shower wall seems to be lined with river stones. What a pain to clean, but not my problem. It's SO BEAUTIFUL! I also love that we have one of those raining shower head things that are really big and are directly overhead. I've always wondered what those were like. Now I'll know! I think this is my favorite bathroom since we've been traveling!


https://www.viator.com/tours/Amsterdam/Skip-the-Line-Van-Gogh-Museum-and-Amsterd...

Sally wanted to go to the Van Gogh museum. I don't really have a lot of opinion about him one way or the other, but it is one of the most popular museums in the world so it seems a shame to be so close and not go. We joined up with Jellyfish, Lyn, and Spacecat for the day.

Just approaching the museum I knew this would be interesting. It was an odd shape with half of it being made of glass. Cool. Best of all, I left there with a greater appreciation of him and all he did. I had no idea he was such a writer. I don't mean like an author, but just that he wrote so many letters. They have over 700 of them. Imagine how many he wrote over his lifetime. Well, admittedly, they didn't have e-mail, but still, I was impressed. It was cool. *Smile*


We're doing an evening canal tour so we can enjoy this
http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting/about-amsterdam/unesco-sites/canal-ring


The canal tour was fascinating. I had no idea the canal ring was over 400 years old! Those architects should be VERY proud of themselves! And not only are the canals beautiful, but they've really helped contribute to the economy--even better! lol It was also amazing to see the lights of the city reflected in the canals...BEAUTIFUL!

Before we do some clubbing Amsterdam style
http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting/whats-on/clubbing-nightlife-amsterdam/danc...


Well, I'm not much of a clubber, but that was what was on the docket for this evening. I thought about dipping out, but I've done that a couple of times on the trip and didn't want to be a party pooper, so I grabbed my ear plugs (music and loud noise set off my PTSD thanks to Iraq) and headed off with everyone else.

We ended up in a club that seemed to have a wide variety of folks, so hopefully no one was too uncomfortable. I'm not much of a dancer and the noise and crowd was starting to get to me so Sally suggested I get a drink and see if that helped. Well, some, but not as much as the 2nd drink did. lol Thanks for the suggestion, Sally. All of a sudden I was out dancing on the floor like, like, like I knew how to dance or something. Hahaha It ended up being a much better evening than expected. I even had a guy at the bar trying to flirt with me and impress me with his knowledge of the apparently famous DJ. Well, I'm not that into music and even less into DJs. You'd be amazed at how little I care about DJs in foreign countries. Poor guy needs a better pickup line if he wants to pick me up. lol

When it was time to go, Sally suggested everyone come to our room for some coffee. Boy was I glad I didn't stay behind. I probably wouldn't have been happy about a bunch of folks coming in at 3 a.m. Hahaha As it was, I'd been drinking drinks with Coke and what I think was probably the Netherlands version of Red Bull and I was PUMPED! I wasn't about to sleep any time soon. Gaby, Fivesixer, Jellyfish, and Kittiara joined us.

Apparently we weren't being super quiet because SB Musing heard us from the hallway on her way to her room and stopped by as well. We were up till nearly dawn. Well, I WAS up till dawn, but most everyone was asleep by then. Unfortunately, I had too much caffeine running through my veins...at least I HOPE that was caffeine. This IS Amsterdam, after all.

August 22, 2016 at 12:32am
August 22, 2016 at 12:32am
#890545
As we are still in Germany, I'll continue leaving the prompts in black and I'll continue writing in red as a salute to the German flag which is black, red, and yellow. (I thought yellow would be too hard to read.)

Aug 21st--Hamburg

We're taking it easy today, I've chosen some museums, it's up to you what appeals. Or if you would rather get some exercise there's a bike tour.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187331-d1027790-Reviews-Miniatur_...

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187331-d519871-Reviews-Warehouse_...

Neither of these seemed all that amazing to me, but I decided to check out the warehouse district. It turns out there was better shopping than I would have expected and the architecture was pretty cool too. Who knew? lol

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187331-d8511870-Reviews-Hamburg_A...

Dinner is at 7:00pm this evening at Restaurant Hala
Lebanese, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Middle Eastern, Gluten Free

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187331-d3929905-Reviews-Restauran...

I thought this was a pretty amazing restaurant! First, I'm amazed that the #1 restaurant in Hamburg is a Lebanese place. Second, I'm amazed at how many languages these servers spoke. It seemed they addressed everyone in their native tongue. Third, well, I'd not had Lebanese food in literally 4 decades, so I couldn't even remember what it's like, but it was really good. I'd agree with the #1 vote for this place!

Now for the more adventurous of you I've arranged for an evening in Hamburg's famous red light district. I've been told it equals Amsterdam's, you'll have to tell me at the end of our trip since we will be hitting both. The street is lined with restaurants, night clubs, discotheques and bars. There are also strip clubs, sex shops, brothels, a sex museum and similar businesses.

https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/de-wallen-amsterdam-patpong-thailand-pas...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reeperbahn

If the red light district doesn't appeal to you, here's another chance to return to the game clubs we went to last night.

Well, I'm kind of shy, but I had to admit, the red light district was something I was curious about. We went into several shops and even a museum. Hanging out with SB Musing during all this was hilarious! But after a while, I noticed Jellyfish excuse herself and head out. I was getting pretty tired myself and opted to catch up with her. We chatted on the way back and both hit the hay as soon as we got back. I was bushed.


Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.
- Gene Fowler
August 20, 2016 at 11:01pm
August 20, 2016 at 11:01pm
#890442
Howdy Everyone!

Well, as we continue our trip in Germany, I continue my color coordination. With the German flag being black, red, and yellow, I will keep the prompt in black and write my part in red because I think the yellow is too hard to read. *Smile*

August 20th, Hamburg

It's only 2 hours on the train.

We're back to a hostel in Hamburg
http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/Pyjama-Park-Schanzenviertel/Hamburg...

I love where we're staying in Hamburg. Mostly because the name is so cute--Pyjama Park. How adorable is that?!? *Bigsmile* It's a cute place too. The decor is mostly white and clean, but it was just redone. I wonder how long all this white will be white...lol

We're dumping our stuff and we're off to a day of exploring you choose, its a hop on, hop off bus. I got you the skip the lines option.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/AttractionProductDetail?product=3880HAM01&d=1962624&...
Hop On Off Tour Stops - Departure Main Train Station
Main train station - Kirchenallee
Ferdinandstor
Holzdamm - Hotel Atlantik
Fonteney - Hotel Intercontinental
Hallerstrasse
Rothenbaumchaussee
Johnsallee
Moorweidenstrasse - Hotel Elysee
Marseiller Strabe - Hotel SAS Plaza
Bei den Kirchenhofen
Sievekingplatz
Gansemarkt
Dammtorstrasse - Hotel Oper
Esplanade - Hotel Baseler Hof
Neuer Jungfernstieg - Hotel Four Seasons
Town hall square
Rodingsmarkt - Hotel Steigenberger
St Michaelis Church
Seewartenstrasse - Hotel Hafen Hamburg
Reeperbahn
St. Pauli Fishmarket
Port landing piers 1-2 (departure harbor cruise)
Auf dem Sande
Shanghaiallee
Tube Steinstrasse
Main train station - Spitalerstrasse

I hopped on and off with a number of folks, but I made sure I stuck with Whatas Enjoying Whoville to be sure I didn't get lost. She's such a card, though! She had me cracking up half the day!

We'll meet up at 6pm for a short sailing experience on Lake Alster before dining at Restaurant Hala at Beselerplatz 11, 22607 Hamburg, Germany
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187331-d8052433-Reviews-Barca_BOA...
Enjoy a 1-hour small-group sunset cruise on a traditional sailing boat in the middle of Hamburg. Set the sails and enjoy the panoramic views of Hamburg's city from a beautiful two master. No sailing experience from you is required! Your skipper will guide your tour on the Alster lake. Enjoy a cool drink (beer, bubbles, soft drink - one drink included in ticket) on board. Relax and escape from the hazzle of the city.

Well, I gotta say, the sail boat wasn't as relaxing as I'd expected. Who can relax when you're being told to lean half your body off the boat. I admit it--I didn't lean as far as I could. I was scared I'd lose my grip and fall overboard. Thankfully, no one fell overboard and the whole thing didn't flip over because some of us weren't hanging far enough over the edge. (Hey, I wasn't the ONLY one...) Thankfully, all's well that ends well and we all ended dry, so that went well. lol

Before we head out for game night I've got a huge surprise for you, I overheard Fivesixer and Kittiara talking about McDonald's. I haven't had a chicken nugget in such a long time either. That's my junk food toxin occasionally with hot mustard sauce. *FacePalm*

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187331-d5510442-Reviews-McDonald_...

Oh, good grief! Lyn took us to get a hamburger in Hamburg. *Rolling* Well, I can't blame her; I wouldn't have been able to resist either. lol

After dinner we're going to do game night Hamburg style. These places got rave reviews. I'm sure one of them will appeal.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187331-d8045977-Reviews-One_Way_O...

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187331-d9605450-Reviews-TwistedRo...

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187331-d7591283-Reviews-Hidden_in...

If not we can continue our pillow wars. That Kittee and Norb are up to something; I can feel it.

We opted for the game center, One Way Out. It's a giant puzzle room/maze thingy. I'd never gotten to do one of these, so I was VERY excited! I was on a team with Gaby, Sally, Fivesixer, Whatas Enjoying Whoville, and Kittiara. I thought we were all pretty smart, so we'd get through this thing in record time. Ummm...turns out that's not necessarily the case. In some of these things, there's a certain amount of luck and speed involved that brains just can't really make up for. In others, there's a LOT of luck and speed involved that brains just can't make up for. lol Well, we all had fun and that's what matters. *Bigsmile*
August 19, 2016 at 7:17pm
August 19, 2016 at 7:17pm
#890360
Howdy Once Again!

Again, we're in Germany and the flag colors are black, red, and yellow. I'll be writing my part in red and the prompt will be in black.

August 19th Berlin/Dresden

We'll meet up at 8 am for our adventure in Dresden

Absorb the wealth of culture and elegant architecture found in Dresden, longstanding hub of German arts, during this 10-hour day trip from Berlin. Begin with a guided tour of the city center on foot, learning about its history as you explore the Zwinger palace, Semperoper (Semper Opera) and Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady). Then spend the afternoon independently, wandering through the city’s lush parks, baroque architecture or lovely riverbanks along the Elbe, offering skyline views. This Berlin to Dresden visit also includes transport by air-conditioned coach. Highlights: Full-day trip to Dresden from Berlin. Take a guided walking tour of Dresden and learn about the city’s fascinating history. See top Dresden attractions, such as the Semperoper, the Frauenkirche and the Zwinger. Stroll along the river Elbe and enjoy beautiful views of the city. Enjoy free time to explore the city at your leisure. Transport by comfortable, modern, air-conditioned minivan.

Read more about Dresden Day Trip from Berlin - Berlin | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/Berlin/Dresden-Day-Trip-from-Berlin/d488-5560DRESDE...

I gotta say, I was NOT looking forward to this trip. I'm exhausted and with all this travel, it's really hard to rest up. I'm never letting Lyn schedule another vacation for me. I'll be glad to get back to the U.S. On the flip side, she's choosing the MOST AWESOME THINGS! I don't want to just spend a day in my room sleeping and resting because I'll miss something really super cool! Darn that Lyn! lol

Dresden was beyond what I expected! The architecture is AMAZING! And I don't really get that into architecture, so if I'm impressed, it's GOT to be amazing! And it's got 40 museums! I wasn't sure if SB Musing was going to be in heaven or hell with that! lol Either way, the city was amazing! After lunch I wandered around alone. I love my travel group, but I just needed some alone time. I do NOT recommend wandering in foreign countries by yourself, but I was assured that Dresden is safe enough. Of course, I didn't say WHY I was asking how safe Dresden was. lol But I was planning to stay in the main part of town where all the touristy staff is anyway, so I'm sure the most common problem is being cheated by high prices. lol


Dinner is at 7:30pm

Spend a night out at one of the most famous sites in Berlin with “An Evening at Charlottenburg Palace,” a dinner and concert experience with the Berlin Residence Orchestra, plus a tour of the palace. Enjoy a 3-course candlelight dinner in the Palace Orangery. Then take in the classical sounds of the Berlin Residence Orchestra, performing selections from Bach, Handel, Mozart and more. Choose from four ticket categories. At intermission, VIP seat holders receive a glass of champagne. This event regularly sells out weeks in advance, so book early. Highlights: Berlin Residence Orchestra concert at Charlottenburg Palace. Panoramic view of Berlin's main highlights as Bellevue Palace, the Government, District and the Reichstag. 3-course dinner before the concert at Charlottenburg Palace Orangery. Enjoy a self-guided tour of the palace, the largest in Berlin. Listen to renowned Berlin musicians playing Bach, Mozart and more.

Read more about 'An Evening at Charlottenburg Palace' Palace Tour, Dinner and Concert by the Berlin Residence Orchestra - Berlin | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/Berlin/An-Evening-at-Charlottenburg-Palace-Palace-T...

I wasn't sure how this dinner and concert was going to go since my brain injury causes music to become overwhelming a lot of the time now since Iraq. I brought my ear plugs to help. Dinner was delicious and I got to sit with PandaPaws;VETTECH Class of '20, Brother Nature, and ElaineElaine, so of course, I enjoyed the dinner conversation. When it came time for the music, I was pleasantly surprised to see the people all dressed as they would back in the days of Bach or Mozart. It was cool. I also found the ear plugs helped my brain to be able to tolerate the music, so all in all, it was a very lovely evening. *Smile*

In fact, it kind of brought back memories of similar concerts from when I was a child. My parents believed in making us well-rounded kids and took us to a wide variety of things from a play about Snoopy to a string quartet. We saw (and heard) a lot more than most kids our age, especially for our income level (middle class). Anyway, it was nice to remember the good old days before most of the rest of my family was dead and I had a minor traumatic brain injury...back during a happier time. *Smile*

August 18, 2016 at 8:26pm
August 18, 2016 at 8:26pm
#890280
Howdy Once Again!

Well, today our virtual tour of Europe takes us to Germany. Germany's flag is black, red, and yellow. I decided yellow would probably be too hard to read, so I'm keeping the prompt in black and I'll, yet again, be typing in red. I think I'm going to be really disappointed when I get to a country that doesn't have red in their flag. lol

August 18, 2016 Berlin

We'll staying at the Marriott. Potsdamer Platz location in Berlin, Germany's city centre. Our 370 guest rooms and 9 deluxe suites are each outfitted with in-room entertainment, stone bathrooms with walk-in showers, and fashionable decor. No matter your reason for visiting Berlin, we can help you feel at home with quality amenities such as a 24-hour fitness center and an indoor pool. Dine-in and enjoy delicious steak and seafood from our Midtown Grill, or savor a specialty cocktail from our trendy CATWALK fashion bar. Our well-situated hotel places you near many of Berlin's most notable attractions, including Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial.

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bermc-berlin-marriott-hotel/

I'm rooming with Sally on this leg. It's appropriate that she be stuck with me since she's the reason I'm here. lol She's such a sweetheart, though! I really like spending time with her! Our room is across from Fivesixer and Andy~~getting back to WDC, so I think she and I are both quite pleased. I don't know if the boys care at all, but hey, as long as WE'RE happy... *Wink*

Not long after we got to the hotel, Jellyfish, Gaby, Carol St. Ann, and WakeUpAndLive‍‍~2020 came to the door asking if we wanted to go to the pool to sort of wake up. Today's my last day in the Army, so I decided it was best I not be alone (Sally had decided to take a nap), so I agreed to go. Besides, I couldn't sleep and I didn't want to disturb her. What's quieter than a quiet roommate? No roommate. lol Kittiara, Elycia Lee ☮ 1/2 Work Strike, SandraLynn, and BlueMoon had apparently decided the same thing. It was more crowded there than I'd expected considering the time, but it was fun. We managed to get into a splashing contest and got to making such a ruckus that someone from the staff came in and asked us in German to hold it down. We don't speak German, but we knew what the complaint was. Hahaha We had quieter fun, but still enjoyed ourselves. Finally we decided to go upstairs to get ready for lunch. I was starved!


After lunch at the hotel, we'll be going on another Segway tour

Experience Berlin like never before on this guided, educational and entertaining, 3-hour small-group Segway tour. Berlin is Germany’s capital and cultural centerpiece. Cruise to all its main sites — like the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Cathedral and Museum Island, Reichstag, Gendarmenmarkt and many more — stopping frequently to hear fascinating stories, take pictures and discuss Berlin’s history. Guided Segway training, plus a helmet and poncho (in case of inclement weather) are included. Dress in weather-appropriate clothes with flat, closed-toed shoes. Highlights Segway tour of Berlin See more of the city than you would on a walking tour Cruise by major attractions like the Berlin Wall and Brandenburg Gate

Read more about Berlin Segway Tour - Berlin | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/Berlin/Berlin-Segway-Tour/d488-3933BERSEGWAY?pub=vc...

The segway tours were limited to 8 per group, so we broke up into groups of 8. I got to be with Apondia, Princess Megan Rose, Dragon- CNY OPEN!, Finn O'Flaherty, Carly, PandaPaws;VETTECH Class of '20, and Andy~~getting back to WDC (swoon). We had a fabulous time on the segways. It was funny because Andy~~getting back to WDC was trying to hotdog on his, most of us were being normal, but a couple of folks were a bit skittish about the whole plan, though they caught on and seemed to really have a ball after a bit. lol I was also amused that someone who shall go nameless, actually asked more questions than I did. That's impressive! Our poor guide was inundated with questions. We all had a lot of questions, but between me and my rival questioner, that guide was probably glad to be rid of us. lol

When we got back, one of the other groups was all atwitter about their experience. I didn't think anything about it since I figured we all had mostly the same experience, but theirs was much different! First, one of them "fell off," though no one would say who. Even better, they fell off because they were evacuating because they were about to hit someone and didn't think they could stop in time. Well, that didn't matter and their segway bumped them anyway. Well, it turns out it was Dolph Lundgren (whom I'm a BIG fan of) and some super famous international model (I've never heard of). Even their guide was excited! I'm so jealous! They said Dolph was really nice about it, but the model was angry because in the incident, somehow her thousand dollar shoes got scuffed. Well, I can't blame her. I'd be pretty angry, myself. But then, shoes get scuffed. That's why I'd never buy a thousand dollar pair, even if I could afford them. lol Anyway, we couldn't get anyone to tell us who had bailed just before hitting someone. Oh well, but I've narrowed it down to someone in that group. I know, not helpful, but it was either Fran 🏅🇬🇧🇬🇧🏅, LostGhost: Seeking & Learning, Moody Blue: Needs an Upgrade, Winnie, Prosperous Snow, Lyn, ElaineElaine, or Brother Nature. Personally, I've got my opinions, but I can't really say for sure who it is. But I'm dying to know. How embarrassing! lol


We're skipping the line for this once in a lifetime experience by celebrating our visit to Berlin with a sky-high meal in the clouds during this VIP dinner 679 feet (207 meters) above the city in the revolving restaurant of the Berlin TV Tower. Enjoy skip-the-line access to the tallest building in Berlin, sitting down for a VIP dinner at Sphere, the revolving eatery located at the tower’s apex. Savor a delicious 2-course dinner at a guaranteed window-seat table, accompanied by three wines and soak up the incredible vistas of nearby Berlin landmarks like Charlottenburg Palace and Checkpoint Charlie. Highlights Skip-the-line VIP dinner atop the famous Berlin TV Tower Treat yourself to an unforgettable dining experience at the top of the highest building in Berlin Enjoy skip-the-line entrance to Sphere, a revolving restaurant at a soaring 679 feet Dine in the elegant atmosphere and admire incredible 360-degree views of Berlin from your table Choose from four different dinner menus to suit your taste and savor three glasses of wine.

Read more about Skip the Line: Dinner Atop the Berlin TV Tower - Berlin | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/Berlin/Skip-the-Line-Dinner-atop-the-Berlin-TV-Towe...

Well, dinner was interesting. We had to decide what we wanted to eat ahead of time, then arrived according to our choice. Also odd, there were only 4 choices. Whatever, I found something I'd like, so I was happy. *Smile* The place was packed, but just as advertised, everyone had a window seat table. I got to sit with Fivesixer and SB Musing. There were only 3 of us because we were at the end of our group of folks who wanted to eat the chicken. Norb was really funny and kept us laughing quite a bit before dinner came. I also pawned off my wine since I don't like wine, but instead of telling the waiter, I just slowly poured some into each of their glasses bit by bit to make it seem like I was drinking some. lol Hey, we paid good money for this meal, wine included. I'm not getting cheated out of my wine!

Anyway, as the night went on, I got quiet as I began to realize that my last day in the Army was coming to an end. It was really hard for me to focus on the conversation and throw in something here and there to pretend I was still "with the group." I think SB Musing must have noticed because after dinner, when we all started back, she delayed leaving the table for a minute and asked me to wait for her. Then on the way back she talked to me one-on-one about what I was going through. I cried a bit, but she was SUPER SWEET about the whole thing! I really appreciated her and I think when we got back to the room, she said something to Sally while I was in the bathroom because Sally was extra awesome too. Thank you, ladies! I NEEDED THAT!


Did you check in with your fellow backpackers lately? How are they doing with all this traveling?

No, I've been a bad friend and haven't checked on my fellow travelers. How's everyone doing? Everyone still alive?

On to real life...
Saying Goodbye to the Army

My social worker and occupational therapist took me to the nearest veterans' memorial today...a veterans' cemetery. Hmmm...I feel like there should be a different memorial here, but whatever. It was a BEAUTIFUL cemetery! I laid flowers at the base of the U.S. and POW flags and wrote on 3 biodegreadable dove-shaped balloons. One I wrote my poem, "Salute to My God-Given Life, on. On one I wrote thank you to everyone I could think of (but later realized I'd STILL left some folks off) and on the back I'd asked God's forgiveness for my sins. I can't remember what I wrote on the other one...the 2nd balloon. Even before we left, just minutes later, I couldn't remember. Maybe it was the stress of everything. God knows I was STRESSED!!! I cried a good bit, naturally. It was really hard for me.

Because I'm prone to making ridiculous decisions since Iraq, I'm not even going to try to explain why I think this is a good idea, but my apartment complex changed their mind and said I COULD have rabbits. So I've decided to go check out some rabbit places this weekend and see if I want to get a rabbit or 2 (for company when I'm not playing with it). I'm pondering either the American Chinchilla Rabbit, the most endangered breed of rabbit in the U.S., or the Silver Fox Rabbit, another endangered breed, but doing better than the Am Chin.

Here's a link for the American Chinchilla Rabbit
https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/americanchinchilla

Here a link for the Silver Fox Rabbit.
https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/silver-fox

I thought I could get maybe 2 does (girls) and breed them occassionally to help build up the breed numbers. That way it would be ALMOST like I'm farming endangered livestock like I originally wanted to do. *Smile* But I'll sell the babies instead of keeping them...after all, I DO live in an apartment. lol

I haven't decided for sure yet. I don't want my place to stink and I'm a light sleeper in a small and echo-y apartment. Maybe I should just get a cat instead...
August 17, 2016 at 10:11pm
August 17, 2016 at 10:11pm
#890210
Howdy Everyone!

Still in the Czech Republic, we'll be using blue and red again since their flag is red, white, and blue. The prompt is in blue and I'll be typing in red. *Smile*

August 17th Prague

Choices are yours today, I'm offering options for you.

Explore one of the Czech Republic’s most beautiful fortress-palaces on this 4-hour trip to Konopiste Castle from Prague. Travel through central Bohemia by coach and tour the chateau-like building, used as a private residence by Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination in 1917 led to World War I. Discover how the original 13th-century fortress was rebuilt several times; admire the collections of weaponry, tapestries and art; learn about the lives of the Archduke and his family, and finish with a stroll around the glorious, statue-dotted gardens. Highlights Visit the beautiful Konopiste Castle on a half-day trip from Prague Discover the castle’s history and rich artistic heritage with your professional guide Walk through the romantic garden area and see the beautiful rose garden Travel in a comfortable coach and enjoy Bohemia's picturesque landscape

Read more about Konopiste Castle Half-Day Trip from Prague - Prague | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/Prague/Konopiste-Castle-Half-Day-Trip-from-Prague/d...

History Buffs
Take a humbling lesson in the horrors of World War II on this day trip to Terezin from Prague by rail. Traveling with a professional guide, follow part of a rail line used to transport Jewish prisoners to the former Nazi deportation camp, a converted 18th-century fortress where many thousands died at the hands of the Nazis. Tour the barracks and compound of the Main Fortress; visit the museum, cemetery and columbarium; and learn how the Nazis presented the camp as a lively Jewish community to dupe official Red Cross observers. Highlights Day trip to Terezin concentration camp by rail from Prague, with a guide Tour the haunting Main Fortress camp, where thousands of Jewish people were held during WWII Travel on the same train tracks used to transport prisoners to Terezin from Prague Explore the museum and see the former barracks, cells and SS offices Visit the poignant Jewish cemetery, crematorium and columbarium Learn how the Nazis presented Terezin as a thriving community to
WWII Red Cross monitors Stop at Bohušovice rail station from where many Jews were taken on to Terezin

Read more about Terezin Concentration Camp Day Trip from Prague by Train - Prague | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/Prague/Terezin-Concentration-Camp-Day-Trip-from-Pra...

Take your taste buds on a journey around some of Prague’s best drinking haunts on this 5-hour evening Prague beer tour. With a local guide, visit five iconic bars and pubs, including a microbrewery, as you learn about Prague’s long-held passion for beer. Head into the trendy Žižkov district and Prague Old Town and team your tastings with classic Czech ‘tapas’ such as hearty pork chili and pickled sausage. Get insider tips on the top brews to try, and hear fascinating stories about Czech culture from your knowledgeable guide. Highlights 5-hour Prague evening beer tour Enjoy Prague’s thriving bar scene as you explore the city by foot and metro Taste different beer styles from highly acclaimed Czech microbreweries Try a variety of favorite local brews paired with typical Czech beer snacks Hear stories about Prague’s culture and history from your guide

Read more about Prague Beer and Czech Tapas Evening Walking Tour - Prague | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/Prague/Prague-Beer-and-Czech-Tapas-Evening-Walking-...

We're leaving at one am and doing the last sleeping passenger train out of Prague. We'll be on the train for 5 hours, we'll have time to crash once we arrive if you need more sleep, swim or hit the Catwalk Fashion Bar.


Well, I hated having to decide between the castle and the WWII prison camp, but eventually the prison camp won out. I chose the prison camp because, especially since Iraq, I have a fascination with war and a special need to see that America is right in getting involved in the affairs of others. I think WWII shows that clearly. Of course, we have Japan to thank for dragging us in, but whatever. lol I believe it's important to the outcome of WWII that we were involved.

I wasn't interested in what sounded to me like an educational pub crawl. lol I don't like beer anyway. Plus, after 5 drinks, they'd be carrying me. Hahaha But I did get to hear how much fun other folks had when they went. I am a bit jealous I didn't get to try the snacks (pickled sausage? no idea such a thing existed...lol) and some of the stories were interesting, but all in all, I'm glad I didn't go. Though that microbrewery DID sound pretty awesome... *Smile*

I also got to see and hear stories from the castle. That was really cool and I hated missing out, but I had to pick (and don't regret my decision). It's AMAZING to me that something built in 1280 is still in liveable condition! I bet that contractor is pretty proud! lol I got to see pics folks took on their cell phones and that place is super awesome! Apparently Hollywood thought so too since they used it to film part of The Illusionist in 2006. Cool!

Anyway, to the choice I made...Terezin. It's crazy how when the Red Cross came out to see it (didn't know they did that), it was presented as a thriving Jewish community. Wow! Really?!? Crazy! I bet those guys nearly died when they found out what was REALLY going on there later. Talk about having a HUGE life regret! I'm sure they never got over that! Another interesting thing is that not only did the prisoners go without food or enough food much of the time, but they were also deprived of water. Interesting. There weren't just water fountains in the barracks like there are in the U.S. military barracks.

When in Germany, I visited Dachau, one of the most notorious camps. There were similarities between it and Terezin. For one, both had the German phrase, "arbeit macht frei" or "work sets one free" inscribed above the entrance. Personally, I'd have totally fallen for that, at least at first. But I guess that's why they put it there.

One of the most touching things on the trip was the pictures drawn by kids in the camp. Though I didn't even really think about kids being there and certainly didn't consider they'd ever have drawing implements, but still, the drawings are haunting. The other bizarre thing that's almost disturbing is that, at least for me, I can't feel the horror or death. It "feels" like any other place I've been. I experienced the same thing at Dachau. I felt like I should be able to "feel" all the death and sadness there, but I can't. To me, that's almost sad in itself. Misery of that depth should permeate time and space, in my opinion.

When I got back, I was tired from the day-long trip, but SB Musing suggested since we were leaving at 1 am, maybe we should just stay up. That SEEMED like a good idea at the time. But it turns out, I'm not as good at staying up late as I used to be. lol She did a great job of trying to keep me engaged, but ultimately I gave up. I have no idea how I pulled all of those 30 hour duties. lol Anyway, maybe she made it, but I sure didn't. Too bad too, as I fell asleep about 30 minutes before I had to get up, so it just made me more exhausted. lol



Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.
- Gene Fowler
August 16, 2016 at 8:55pm
August 16, 2016 at 8:55pm
#890128
Howdy again!

Well, today we're "in" Czech Republic (or the Czech Republic as I call it lol). Their flag is red, white, and blue. Lovely color choice, if I do say so myself. lol Anyway, I'm really glad I originally (accidentally) picked writing my part in red. Who knew there were so many countries with red as part of their flag. Not I. Anyway, I'll write my part in blue and have the prompt in red. (The white will simply be the background. Hahaha!)

Day 16--Prague, Czech Republic
4 hour train trip to Prague... breakfast on train


Well, another fairly long train ride. I'm not sure I'm digging all these trains. But then again, if we drove, it would take a LOT longer, so I guess their okay. lol The breakfast on the train was, as expected, "train priced." Hahaha But I will admit, I was impressed with the selection. It was like a mini restaurant, so that was nice. And the food wasn't bad considering it was "fast" food. (Get it--we're on a train, so the food is going fast...never mind...) ANYWAY, I had a long, leisurely breakfast with Carol St. Ann and Elycia Lee ☮ 1/2 Work Strike. It was nice to be able to just enjoy each other's company without having to worry about being somewhere or missing something a guide says. But I'm REALLY excited about Prague. I've been wanting to go there for years. It's just so cool looking and has some awesome history! I'm excited! *Bigsmile*

We're staying in a hostel in the downtown area which you will have the opportunity to explore on your own or do the 3.5 hour tour.
http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/Hostel-DownTown/Prague/21097

Get the most from one day in Prague with this 3.5-hour coach and walking tour of the Czech capital. With an experienced guide to explain the sights, ride a comfortable coach past landmarks such as Wenceslas Square, the State Opera and more. Stop at Prague Castle and stroll around its highlights such as St Vitus Cathedral and Golden Lane; and walk to the Old Town to admire the Old Town Square with its Town Hall and Astronomical Clock. Ideal for first-time visitors or anyone short on time in the city. Highlights 3.5-hour sightseeing tour of Prague See top Prague attractions including the State Opera, National Museum, Charles Bridge and more Walk around Prague Castle's courtyards and explore the Old Town Choice of morning and afternoon tours Commentary in English and German

Read more about Prague in One Day Sightseeing Tour - Prague | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/Prague/Prague-in-One-Day-Sightseeing-Tour/d462-2190...


My favorite thing on our 3.5 hour tour was the Astronomical Clock with the apostles that go around with the time, sort of like a coo-coo clock. That was pretty rockin'. I wish we had something like that in MY town. *Smile*

Dine in style and admire the floodlit beauty of Prague on this 3-hour luxury cruise along the Vltava River. Step aboard a beautiful, small boat and glide by Prague’s landmarks as you savor a gourmet 3-course dinner accompanied by a half-bottle of wine and lilting, live piano music. Ogle floodlit Prague Castle, cruise under the Charles Bridge, and absorb magical views of the city’s illuminated skyline. Enjoy the intimate atmosphere of the small boat, and if you wish, upgrade to dine in the bow area for the best, panoramic views. Highlights 3-hour luxury dinner and sightseeing intimate cruise on the Vltava River Savor a 3-course dinner and enjoy live piano music as you sail. Experience magical views over Prague’s top attractions, all beautifully floodlit by night. Glide past Prague Castle, the statue-lined Charles Bridge and other major landmarks. Enjoy a complimentary aperitif and a half-bottle of wine with your meal. Choose from an excellent drinks selection at the on-board bar (own expense) Upgrade to dine in the boat’s bow area with panoramic views.

Read more about Prague Luxury Dinner Cruise on Vltava River - Prague | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/Prague/Prague-Luxury-Dinner-Cruise-on-Vltava-River/...

I've upgraded us for this evening's adventure. What part of today's adventure interested you the most?


I thought I'd be more worn out from the day, but I guess the train ride and the cruise gave me enough rest. I REALLY loved that dinner cruise. I think that was my favorite thing. (Well, except the wine, but I had no trouble getting rid of my portion. lol) Oh, interesting to note, one of their desert choices was cheese. Huh? Well, another choice was chocolate mousse, so I'll cut them a break. I have nothing against cheese, I just don't think of it as dessert. Then again, maybe I should. lol

Getting to see a city as majestic as Prague all lit up with spotlights is truly an awesome event to be remembered. Spotlights have a very different effect from neon lights and it suits this city perfectly! Tonight should be a fine ending to a wonderful day! I'm rooming with Jellyfish, Kittiara, Sally, and SB Musing. We all get along great and no one snores, so I'm sure this rooming situation will be just peachy for us all. *Smile*



Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.
- Gene Fowler

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