Embracing a Healthy Family: London, Paris, Vienna, Copenhagen & Honolulu Oh My!

London, Paris, Vienna, Copenhagen & Honolulu Oh My!

This post is for Ros at www.ficklets.com who after finding out more about me suggested I blog about my traveling experience.  My traveling started about 11 year's ago and encompassed some very exciting places.  I had a lot of responsibility in which I was lead in training physicians and nurses in new clinical trials for a pharmaceutical company.  The idea of presenting for the first time in a room of over 100 doctors, nurses and others in London was daunting but the perks were traveling with a really cool group of people and sight seeing.  I grew up in Indiana and never went anywhere.  In fact, I had never flown until I was in my late 20's and we embarked on a trip to Washington, D.C. on the corporate jet which was also equally exciting.

Outside of several domestic trips, I was lucky enough to take my first flight to Copenhagen, Denmark.  It was a remarkable trip that was very memorable.  As an American, we take a lot for granted and don't realize what occurs outside our little world. It would be nice if everyone could experience another country that is non-English speaking at least once.  People there are taxed 50% for governmental programs and when I asked one of my colleagues what he thought about that, he didn't mind.  I would definitely mind!  That was a beautiful experience seeing the lovely land of Copenhagen.

I also visited London and other areas within England several times.  It was the first time I was able to step foot in the country my mom was born.  I fell in love as soon as I saw it! I wear lots of black and at one time, I counted over 20 black skirts and you can imagine the rest of the matching wardrobe!  I fit in perfect!  There is nothing like the hustle and bustle of walking down Downing or seeing London Bridge.  I have to tell you that it is somewhat a let down as it's not spectacular at all.  The real London Bridge was dismantled and is not at Lake Havasu in Arizona so it's only a replacement.  The impressive bridge is London Tower and at night, it's beautiful!

I had a personal trip to Paris compliments of frequent flier miles.  Paris was magnificent and the thing I noticed, hardly anyone speaks English just like I experienced in the other countries that were non-English speaking.  I did the touristy thing and had the escort of a Belgium who spoke both English and French which was a big help.  I saw the Eiffel Tower, eccentric grave sites where celebrities were buried, the Louvre and a castle in the distance.  Again, all equally impressive.  One night, we visited a local bar/restaurant and it was interesting to see a day in the life of a French person.  Everything was pretty normal except the bathroom.  It was a hole in the floor .. that was it!  Another thing in Europe, they tend to put eggs on toast open faced a lot along with lots of cheese (room temperature) and when I was there, ice had to be requested.  I was looked upon as being very strange that I wanted a Coke for breakfast with ice.  

My trip to Vienna was amazing and the flight over was interesting.  We flew an Australian airliner out of Germany and the stewardess' were beautiful!  My male colleagues had a hard time containing themselves over it.  The earlier flight introduced us to non-Americans and they weren't too happy with us.  Everything had fish in it and I am not a fish eater.  It was obvious to me, I wasn't the only one that never left the country.  It was amusing and quite educational seeing the differences.  It was my first experience with a Russian mafia member or at least it's what the bartender told me.  I was at the hotel bar when a very drunk man wouldn't leave me alone.  The bartender, trying to shield me, gave the man flyers with pictures of naked women and numbers.  Prostitution and flyers pinned up in phone booths were pretty routine in many of the countries I visited.  It was all a definitely eye opener for me.  It was in Vienna when a large mass of Sheiks also arrived for some OPEC conference.  The thing about Vienna, there was no Hard Rock Cafe and that was when buying those shirts was the trend.  However, you could buy a shirt that said there was no Hard Rock Cafe there.  The people were so nice and friendly and very few spoke English.

My trip to Spain was scary as it was a solo trip and I stuck out like a sore thumb being blonde.  I was extremely intimidated since I knew no Spanish.  I ventured out once from my hotel, became scared and turned around and stayed in.  I finished my meeting in two days and bumped my flight to return home.  It was there that I forged a great friendship with my very dear friend Elena.  I will always remember Spain and her.

Hawaii...need I say anything!  I visited once and fell in love!  I visited a second time and fell in love with my husband-to-be.  It was the third visit to Hawaii that found me getting married and moving myself and children there.  We married on Sunset Beach almost four year's ago.  Visiting and living in Hawaii aren't much different but Christmas is the hardest part of it if you grew up in cold climates like me.  

It's extremely expensive to live there but the perks are waking up to paradise every day.  When I was pregnant with Dani, the girls and I would walk to the store as it wasn't far.  From our elevation, we saw Pearl Harbor and it never seemed to fail, we would get caught up in a flash rainstorm during the spring.  It was an incredible experience and I'm thankful to the military for giving us that opportunity.

This is for you, Ros!  Some of the places I've seen and I left out a lot!

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Ros said...

Thank you Judy... I loved reading about your travels & your interesting experiences... (ahem, don't blame the guy in the bar mulling over you, you're Hot!). I also visited Paris and so want to go back to see more. Maybe, we can visit together... I know I would have the time of my life sharing the wonderful experience with you. Can you imagine us trying to speak French? ;D

I'm so proud you wrote this... your stories are lovely and inspired me to dream... dream about these breathtaking, beautiful faraway places. Thank you for taking us on a trip through your stories. *Hugs*

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