Sunday, May 16, 2010

And Mother Nature Sneezed...

Hmph. Our European Vacay didn't quite happen the way we planned. My niece and I made it to Zurich but then Mt. "SinceIcan'tpronounceitwhyspellitright?" volcano blew up the day we arrived. I contemplated changing our flight to Lisbon right away but decided not to worry about it - we were leaving in a day, what could possibly happen?

HA! Mother Nature sneezed.

Trapped in Zurich. I know, I know, sounds exciting and romantic, doesn't it? Except we were trapped in one of the most expensive cities in Europe and c'mon, I was stuck with MY NIECE - who could not appreciate our circumstances. It's hard to accept that the trip you've been waiting and planning for a year is over that quickly.

Missy J. says our trip was doomed from the start. Upgraded seats in business class but row 13. My TV/electronic entertainment system didn't work. Driver in Zurich was an asshole and made Missy J. load up the car. Sheraton Zurich was lovely but the staff was not familiar with the motorized ramp and I spent a lot of time sitting on that ramp watching buttons and controls being pushed; also, my niece displayed varied stages of impatience watching the staff - she had it figured out after the first attempt.

I fell down in the bathroom the first morning.

Oh, yes. I fell down in the bathroom. First time in five years. I asked for a shower chair and in Europe, shower chairs are not even close to what is required in the States. European version? Plastic stool, no bathmats (travelling with my own from now on - lesson learned) and marble tubs. Pretty pretty but pretty slippery. I knew it wasn't completely safe but I stupidly thought I could handle it. Yeah. I shifted a little to my left and I felt the chair go out from under me. I slammed backwards into the faucet and all I could think as I flew up then slammed down into the tub, "Protect the foot! Protect the foot! Hey, I'm lying down in a tub!" Yes, the mind settles on the least painful part instantly - at least mine does. I heard my niece shout, "Auntie? AUNTIE?!" followed by her running into the bathroom to find me lying naked (my cash and prizes laid out for her to see) sideways in the tub, shaking violently. Luckily I wasn't hurt. It wasn't fun for either one of us in the next ten minutes. I flashed my niece all kinds of naked (my cash and prizes had no shame) while we figured out how to turn me around without breaking my foot. After that I refused to shower without my niece helping me. Poor kid. Again, on the plus side - I was able to lay down in a tub for the first time in five years!!

On the fifth day, our hotel kicked us out because they were overbooked. The only handicap accessible hotel available was (and typing this is so difficult) $1300 per night. Yes folks, $1300 per night.

Before I forget, let me talk about the food in Zurich. Ate a lot of grilled sausage. At the Wolfe Beerhaus, Missy J. returned from the restroom and told me that there were vending machines selling various adult toys - vibrators, c*ck rings, lube, I made her go back and buy Missy R. a vibrator. A gag (HA!) gift - I knew she'd appreciate the gesture. BTW, that little sucker is loud! There are three watch batteries that power it up. But I digress...everything is expensive in Zurich. Bottled water ranged from $8 to $15; most meals averaged around $80.

Luckily we were able to leave when the airports opened up, seven days later. Missed our cruise but still headed to Lisbon to check out the city. Had a lot of fun seeing the historical sites, ate some great seafood and finally, after three days, found a flight back to the States via JFK. Two days spent travelling out of Europe and completely over budget, we were back in sunny Southern CA.

I don't regret one moment of this trip. While there were many, okay, too many, reasons to stress out during our adventure, it was still an adventure in Europe. One day my niece will appreciate our journey instead of viewing it as a curse.

Oh, and Mother Nature? Next time? Use a Kleenex.


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