THE LIGHTER SIDE OF TRAVEL

Some trips are memorable for the scenery, some for the adventure, some for some incredible sites, some for the relaxing and/or feeling of restoration.  Then there are those moments in travel where you just have to laugh, because it’s just really funny.

We posted a blog on 10-15-14 with some of these moments.  Here is a second round of the funny moments in our travels.

Buenos Aires, Brazil – Gabriele is fluent in Spanish from her days in school in Cuba, but is a bit reluctant in Spanish-speaking countries to let locals know that.  I’m not sure why, but that’s her choice.

Anyway, we’re in the Sofitel Hotel in Buenos Aires and go down to have breakfast.  We look at the menu and she orders two four-minute eggs and I order bacon and eggs; mine comes in a reasonable time, then we wait and wait for Gabriel’s soft-boiled eggs.

Finally, her order arrives—it’s two raw eggs.  The waitress never understood her English.  Now she re-orders in Spanish and it took four minutes—no problem.

Provence, France – We’re on a bike trip—not well organized—and staying in some dumpy places.  Not one of our better trips.  It was also the only bike trip of the seven we tried where the mistral winds forced you to have to peddle to go downhill.  It was a hoot.

Kern River, California – It was way back in 1987.  We were on a two-day river-rafting trip on the Kern River, near Bakersfield, California.  It was late June and the river was running pretty high due to a lot of winter rains.

We were in a raft of pontoons with three people on each side and a guide in the back to steer and give us some direction.

The rapids were strong and it was a lot of fun.  All of a sudden we hit an unseen rapid that threw the raft up in the air.  When we came down, all three on my side, plus the guide got thrown into the river.  I mean thrown!

We went under for a mini second, but seemed a lot longer.  As we all came up, the guide somehow leaped straight up and back into the raft, and then started to pull each of us back in.

Found out why they always instructed you to put your life vest on really tight.  That’s how the guide pulled you back into the raft.

Manaus, Brazil – In 2010 we’re getting ready to start a 3- day trip on the Amazon River.  We arrive at this nice hotel kind of late in the evening.  We ask what’s available where we can eat.  They tell us there’s a barbecue out in the garden or you can get a light snack in the bar.

We decide we don’t want barbecue so we go to the bar.  They really meant a LIGHT snack.  So we managed and went to bed a little hungry.

After a day of touring in Manaus, which turned out to be quite interesting, we returned to the hotel and asked again about eating.  Same options—barbecue or the bar.

Found it hard to believe in this really nice hotel there were only two options, so we walked out to the garden to check out the “barbecue.”  It turned out to be a delightful buffet and not even close to a barbecue.

Parma, Italy – We’re on a bike trip in the Po River Valley, the agricultural heart of Italia.  It’s beautiful and mostly flat.

For some reason, I can’t remember why Gabriel takes a sleeping pill one night.  The next day, we pack up, get on our bikes and take off with the crowd.

Now it’s lunchtime in a cute little town with a bunch of restaurants on a small hill.  I sit down with a group of six or so guys waiting for the women to ride in and join us, which they do in a few minutes.

Bringing up the rear is Gabriel who comes rushing up to me excitedly.  No hello, just a bit panicky, telling me we left her black pants in the hotel room.

We have to go—we have to call—we have to do something, she’s saying.  I try to calm her and tell her I’m sure the pants got packed, but either way, why don’t we wait until we get to tonight’s hotel to see if the pants are there.

The crowd is now quite amused over this episode of marital discord.  Gabriel is not happy with my response, but everyone encourages her to go along.

She grudgingly accepts, but worries all afternoon.  When we get to the hotel, the pants are there and Gabriel swears she will never take another sleeping pill.

On a Cruise, Somewhere – Gabriel insisted she would do the laundry.  She says it’s too expensive to send out.  So she goes to the designated laundry room with her bag of laundry.  To help pass the time, she put a book on top of her laundry bag.

You know what happened next?  The laundry and the book all went into the washing machine.  She realized what she did, but couldn’t stop the machine cycle.

Called Guest Services and they finally got hold of a mechanic.  He couldn’t stop the machine either until he took the whole control panel apart.  It finally stopped.

By this time a small crowd had arrived, all waiting to do some laundry.

Gabriel didn’t know what to do with a wet book so she put it in a plastic bag and put it with the laundry into the dryer.  Nice try; but, of course, it didn’t work.

Squaw Valley, California – It was around 1998 or so.  We had been to Yosemite and now we were getting a real taste of winter.  Although I had never been before, I agreed to go cross-country skiing.

After a brief orientation, we were told just follow the ruts that make kind of a path around the snow-covered golf cours4e.

It was fine until I had to turn.  Nobody had bothered to tell me how to do that, so I invented my own way.  I would fall down, turn on the ground and get up in a new direction.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

It was a lot of fun!  After lunch, Gabriel decided she wanted to go back out on her own.  That was okay till the fog started rolling in.

Now, she was lost and wandered around till she finally saw a glimpse of the hotel; and there she was, a vision coming out of the fog.

Farewell Bike Trip Trophy – About 2011, we were on what I proclaimed to all who would listen that this was my farewell bike trip.  We went from Amsterdam to Bruges, staying on a barge each night and biking during the day.

It was a relatively easy bike trip with some nice people.  It didn’t matter which direction we were biking, it always seemed like we were riding into the wind.

At one point, the person on the bike in front of me stopped short.  I did, too; but because of my poor balance, as I stopped, I sort of fell off the bike and down a small slope into a dry ditch.

Undaunted, my friend from Philadelphia came to help me and he came tumbling down as well.

At our final dinner they awarded me my bike seat as a memento of my farewell bike trip.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “THE LIGHTER SIDE OF TRAVEL

  1. some great stories and memories. Thanks for sharing. Found myself smiling all through the read and an actual LOL at the end.
    One question: How do you “sort of” fall off a bike?

  2. Art Schwartz

    Hard to explain – you sort of slide off, then because you’re on a slight downgrade you lose your balancer an go tumbling down the hill into a dry ditch

  3. Nancy Ruth Goldaper

    I loved this blog; so funny!!!!

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