Wednesday, June 3, 2015

when... home again

So I've finally gotten to writing this post. Part of me just didn't want to conclude everything but another part of me was actually too physically ill to do so. Because, as the final point of my study abroad experience in Europe, my body decided to have a high fever and contract strep throat and mono just to make things more interesting. Which really explains why, during the last couple of days, I felt like such crap and wanted to nap all the time. At least, it was just being tired.

And the thing is, even if spending my first few hours home at patient first and cvs was not what I was exactly expecting, I would do it all. All the trains, and waiting in airports, the food I couldn't pronounce, and language barriers, and all of it. Because to attempt to capture how fulfilling the entire experience was would be close to impossible. Or certainly longer than anything that can be put into this post. Studying abroad in Rome was challenging beyond belief-- it would probably be impossible to understand unless you did it-- but I would do it again, not only for the trips and the sights and things I've seen but the experience as a traveler which I know I'll take with me beyond.

It was easy to remember what I missed home so much these last couple days. Yesterday Nicky graduated salutatorian of his senior class and I was able to have some major family time. Which is what I needed. And even though I'm supposed to be resting all the time and just taking my meds, I'm slowly but surely coming back into the world. And guess what? Home hasn't changed that much. But maybe that's for the best.

This is probably my last blog post unless there's a demand to read about me spending my summer days in the Admission Office and going down the shore. The blog was for me, it was my journal and my way to remember all the people I've met and the places I've been. But if you've read it and enjoyed it, thanks for being part of it all.

Monday, June 1, 2015 munich

I'm home now and things have changed radically but I'm going to divide my last post really into two posts. Mostly just so I have something to do in my bed-rest state. And then I'll put some finishing touches on the blog and then I guess I just leave it out here until, as my grandpop said, it'll become the reading list for some future Grand Tour or Travel Writing class (hopefully as the model traveler, but here's hoping).

I will be honest, Munich is a bit of blur thanks to, at the time, my rapidly detoriating health. But, the sun was out and I was determined to just keep on keeping on (in fact, it was my mantra throughout the process). And I will be honest, I was enchanted by Munich. The city is like a fairyland. With all these steep colorful roofs and Gothic architecture. I felt like I was in some sort of Robin Hood/King Arthur movie. And I was just amazed by it. A different kind of beauty, but it was very beautiful.

Pat wanted to go to this biergarten in the englischer gartens in Munich. Which was in the middle of some park. I'll be honest, I thought I was in the middle of nowhere after being dragged out of fairyland. No more steepled roofs and fun Gothic elements. Just a pretty standard park. But WHEN we finally got there it was pretty cool just with all the picnic tables in the trees and the food was pretty good (for German food, am I right, Italians??). And as nice as it was, I really wanted to see more of the city. But I should also stress that I was fading pretty fast mentally.

So, because it turned out we kind of were in the middle of some giant park, it did take a little while to get back in the midst of things by which time Pat wanted to see the Glockenspiel. So we worked our way over there. The Glockenspiel as it turns out is this clocktower that a few times a day does this "show." It's interesting. These little figures move around like a giant cuckoo clock for a couple minutes. It's not exactly Disney quality entertainment and I did not feel bad for sitting for the whole thing but Pat really wanted to see it so I hope the little people going in circles didn't disappoint. I had no expectations, so I was happy.

Though, I will be honest, after that was done, this Jewish Jazz band showed up in the square and THAT was entertainment. Their music was incredible and this little old guy (who wasn't associated with the show) just went out there and started doing this weird hopping dance which was hysterical. I made Pat wait and listen to their rest of their music until they took a breather.

Pat had been to Munich before but apparently he only remembered the Glockenspiel and Park (which both were very nice) so he was out of suggestions by then, haha. So we wandered very little. He saw a church (I fell asleep in the pew while he looked around, classic). Then we went and saw the opera house (which Wagner's operas were first produced, I think, I coulda just made that up) and it was a really magnificent building. And guess what, I was out of energy at that time, so I sat down again and fell asleep again. (A lot of public sleeping). Then we started heading back towards the center to find somewhere for dinner. On our way we passed this weird Michael Jackson monument. It happened.

But, finally we found this place, sat outside and just sat and talked for a while. Granted, the throat wasn't really agreeing with me so by the end I was drinking tea opposed to more traditional Munich drinks that I had started with, haha. But it was still very nice. But then it was back to the hostel to check into the rooms, the flights, and one last sleep in Europe. It wasn't something I really thought about, but now that I'm writing this, I think that it probably should have been a more dramatic moment for me. My last afternoon (because that's really all we had) wandering in Europe and my last sleep. But sickness perhaps blinded my hindsight.