Wednesday, January 29, 2014

In The Beginning There Was ... Excitement (Not Rap)

Hi my friends,
I apologize for such a long hiatus but it was definitely hard to keep up with blogging while I was travelling Europe and by the time I came home from a busy day of walking and sightseeing my creative juices were all dried up.  All my good ideas came to me while we were out and about or at 3am when I was trying to get back to sleep.
I have decided to do a retro blog, meaning I am going to start from the beginning of my trip in order to make sure you all get the most out of my travels and the interesting things I have learned along the way, there may be some repeats but I will try my best to keep it exciting and new. 
I have also decided to change the direction of my blog a little, don’t you worry I will still be a television guru because I just love it, but I also just want to share my life and experiences as move into a new chapter in my life.
Here we go…………………………………………………………………………………………….

Okay, so it all started in July, I was talking to my mom about going away, maybe taking some time off work to travel a little, go to Berlin to visit my best friend and maybe a few other places.  And from there the idea took off, Kristina (best friend) came to Vancouver for a visit, where she announced her engagement to Konrad and I dropped a little bomb on her as well.  “Sooooo, I said, I was thinking… maybe I would come out for a visit this fall!”  The excitement in her voice was none I had ever heard before and then came the kickers; “ Well I was thinking I would come for 2 months and we could travel around Europe together?”  “But before you say anything, please be sure to talk to Konrad about it in private and see what he thinks”.  And we started to discuss plans.  Seriously this was a one day decision for me and an even lesser decision for Kristina.  So with that conversation, it was set and I was going to head to Berlin for a few months in the fall. 

Next task, asking my boss for a leave of absence and hope he approves it, knowing that if he did not I would have to make the decision to stay or go.  I had been a loyal employee for over 5 years and had a very hard year with my dad passing so I thought, of course it would be approved, it wasn't.  Shock ran through my body and before I knew it the words Okay, my last day will be October 11th came out of my mouth and I had no control.  I had prepared myself for this but it was still shocking.  Very unsure of my decision and on the verge of tears I left work early and talked to my parents about it, my biggest support system, who reaffirmed I was making the right decision.  So I leapt in with two feet and continued to plan, pack and book my trip and as my last days of work loomed I was sad to leave my colleagues I had grown to love but excited to start an amazing new chapter in my life.  Never having been way from home for more than two weeks I was nervous but I pushed those feelings down, waaaaaay down into the depths of my stomach and continued on with this last minute two month European adventure I was about to embark on. 

October 21st my plane left and I was on my way!

I splurged on my trip (more than once as you will find out) and upgraded my seat and it was definitely worth it!  I was in the plane for a 9 hour jaunt, no big deal, over to Amsterdam and the extra leg room and slightly wider seat made all the difference!  I flew with KLM and was impressed with their friendliness and perks that came complimentary with my flight.  I sat down to a pillow and blanket on my seat, a hot towel when the flight commenced, a drink and dinner (all alcoholic beverages are free), free new released movies, lights off, a hot towel before breakfast, and a hot breakfast!  I would recommend KLM for any long distance flights.
My layover was in Amsterdam which is where I bought my first two Starbucks mugs of the trip (collection to come later).  The Amsterdam airport was a very easy airport to navigate as Amsterdam is an English friendly city.  From here I hopped on the KLM city hopper plane, which is a little older and smaller but all you need for the 1 hour flight to Berlin.  Before I left Canada I downloaded some movies and tv shows to my ipad, just in case there were any technical issues with my television on my flight, thankfully that was not the case. But definitely recommended as you can never be too prepared.

In Europe and most international destinations, you collect your luggage before you are greeted by your party, so be sure to snag a cart if you aren't travelling light.  Which you can guess I didn't, I  packed a suitcase within a suitcase, a suitcase full for Kristina and two carry-ons!

TIP #1:  Pack everything you want to take, I was trying to pack lightly so I axed a lot of heavier items I thought I could find in Europe.  I was wrong.  My lotion and soap were no where to be found, so we had to order them off of for quadruple the price.  LESSON LEARNED: Don't pack light, unless you are backpacking or taking short trips,  I wish I brought everything I wanted but I didn't realize how hard it would be to find certain items in a foreign country.

The first experience I had of Berlin was trying to get a taxi, Kristina yelled (later known as the Yeller) at the driver as he wouldn't take us to her house because it wasn't far enough.  She was yelling at everyone the driver, passer by-ers, other taxi drivers, while I kept saying its okay its okay as I am not very good with confrontation.  She yelled and made a scene until we got a taxi and this is why I love her, always standing up for herself and for me.

TIP #2:  Don't tell the taxi driver where you are going until you sit in the vehicle and everything is loaded in, he won't kick you out because he won't want to unload the vehicle.

After we lugged the luggage up six flights, catching my breathe and catching up with my best friend and denying my jet lag, I took a nap lol.  I slept for a good 3 hours in the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in and woke to dinner and Konrad home from work!  Konrad, Kristina and I always have so much fun together and they both welcomed me with open arms, literally, and this kicked off the trip of a lifetime.

Haben Sie einen gro├čen Tag meine Freunde
(Have a great day my friends)

Retro blogging continues Sunday after the Superbowl


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