The Way I Was

Blogging Party: European Vacation

 

Thank you, thank you, to my many blogging friends who bring Europe to me!

I’m proudly American, but I lived in Germany and went to school there, and had the chance to get around Europe. So my loyalties are divided. The USA has abundant natural resources, stunning landscapes and an almost crazy amount of optimism, but Europe has castles! And Europeans enjoy better chocolate, better cheese, more affordable wine, better vacation time (and in my opinion, better places to vacation). And they sanely use the metric system and support public transportation (Why, oh, why, don’t we?)

I love Europe!

But Europe is so far away from here! And expensive to get to. Therefore I’ve taken to traveling in cyberspace, where it’s practically free.

And you can travel with me!

Whenever I get a yearning to hang out in scenic southern England, Jenny Pellet is my guide. At her blog, Characters from the Kitchen, we discuss life in terms of whatever is on Jenny’s interesting, writerly mind. Recently we’ve covered: how memory works; the meaning of coffee; Robert Kennedy’s assassination; nepotism; and whether traditions/customs transplant well to other countries. In other words, it’s like having lunch with a lively group of friends–in England!

from Jenny Pellet's blog
from Jenny Pellet’s blog

Speaking of lunch, Laila, in Finland, cooks up beautiful, creative dishes . She’s a product developer for coffee shops and bakeries, joining American tastes and textures with a deliciously Nordic, organic and eco-friendly twist. Her blog, Table of Colors transports me. Spinach crepes with thinly sliced moose roast, roasted carrots and onions, and seasoned marscapone dollops, anyone? Pure poetry!

Screen shot 2013-11-25 at 11.50.03 AM

Speaking of poetry… my fellow American Joseph Lira frequently takes me to Eastern Europe, recently through his gorgeous bi-lingual reading of the poem, But For the Grace, by the Nobel prize-winning Polish poet Wyzlawa Szymborska (you have to listen to it!) Joe, of Austin,Texas, is a linguist, teacher, writer, and traveler.  And a gardener, herbalist, cook, photographer, and poet. Wait, that sounds like I’m talking about ME! No wonder I like his blog! The differences between us: he’s a Professor of Russian at Austin Community College in Texas and I’m not any kind of professor; and he has worked and studied and traveled widely in the (then) Soviet Union, Russia, Poland, and Belarus, while I’ve only been there vicariously, through my blogging friends.

Joseph Lira
Joseph Lira

Speaking of places I’ve only been to vicariously, lets blog-travel now to Berlin, to drop by the studio of my über-cool artist-friend, Susanne Haun.  Susanne’s drawings capture the fragility and mortality of life. She’s also the author of a a really groovy art instruction book–Drawing and Coloring in Ink. I hope we’ll see her work in stateside galleries, soon, but until then, I can travel to Berlin to see her work, whenever I want, via my magic cyber-surfing-carpet.

Self-portrait by Susanne Haun "Arriving at Dandelions" (auf den Löwen gekommen)
Drawing by Susanne Haun “Arriving at Dandelions” (auf den Löwen gekommen)

And speaking of magic cyber-surfing-carpets–we’re heading back to the UK region, specifically Dublin, Ireland, to drop in on the pretty-as-a-picture “Just add attitude,” a blog that offers us a stylish take on life, love, style, food with jaunts to London, Paris and recently, a health center in Austria. Her photos and her way with words make Attitude my favorite Irish travel guide.

Travel to Austria, from Dublin, with B. from "Just Add Attitude."
My cyber-trip to Austria, from Dublin, courtesy of “Just Add Attitude.”

Where in cyber-space do you go when you want to get away? And who takes you there? Please share your journey and your travel-guides with me (links to your own blog or to one of your favorite bloggers are welcome in the comments). 

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39 thoughts on “Blogging Party: European Vacation”

  1. I don’t travel much anymore but one place that surprised me was Brazil. I went there on a lark because there was a good deal. OMG! I loved the place. In contrast, Greece had been my childhood dream (along with Polynesia). When I visited I was disappointed but I will say both places had great coffee and food. Greece had wonderful seafood and veggies. Brazil had great beef and the best coffee I ever had. I brought 10 kilos of coffee back from there. The pineapples in Hawaii were fabulous as was the fresh Kona coffee that was everywhere. Oh dear, I’m starting to see a theme here.

    1. Something about coffee?

      I’m intrigued to hear that you fell in love with Brazil. We have good friends who are from there and I’ve always thought that some day I’d like to travel there with them (I love going places with people who know the place). Now I’ll be thinking about it very seriously.

  2. What a good idea, Tracy! I love to travel, too, but do not get to do so for many reasons. But that will be changing in the near future, as I’m actually headed to Bath in late February/early March. I’m going to the “Characters From the Kitchen” blog now and will look for other British bloggers. Thanks!

  3. Always a hot weather place where I can spend the entire day without doing anything else but reading: Bahamas, Caribbean, Madagascar, Maldives, you name it!!! Usually travel magazines. 🙂

  4. I’m with you on all the comparisons and details except one, Tracy. If we converted to the metric system, I’d be in so much trouble.
    You make me want to travel to every place you describe. You have a talent for rich, strong and very real details. Excellent!

    1. Thanks, Marylin. I want to travel to every one of those places, too. I wish I could! But for now, I’m happy to have the connections.

      Conversion would have to take place the way it was originally planned (back in the 1970’s–remember, we were gearing up to convert at the same time Canada did?) A dual system for the span of a generation, to take care of everyone who didn’t learn it from little on….

      If they had converted back in the 70’s, we’d all know it by now. It’s so much easier to do the math.

  5. Oh my gosh, Tracy – thank you so much for the invitation to your blog party – and I’m late – how rude is that? I’ve been out Christmas shopping along London’s South Bank today and came home to read your post and find myself blushing at your kind words. What a great and generous way to meet fellow bloggers. I am raising a glass to you and all your friends: cheers, my dears – it’s lovely to meet you all 🙂

        1. Oh, Gluhwein.

          Somebody needs to write a carol about THAT! (it’s not an American tradition–I don’t know how many people even know what it is over here. But I”m mixing me up a batch of it this holiday season, to go with my German Adventkalendar–the one that has a tasty little chocolate goodie behind each door!)

  6. Dear Tracy,

    I am very honoured that you included me in the European Blog party and thank you so very much for the kind words about Just Add Attitude.

    It’s great the way blogging connects different parts of the globe.

    With many good wishes.
    Bxx 😉

  7. Tracy, I love how you bring different people together on your blog, and now this one with an international flavour! I know Jenny already of course and I look forward to getting to know your other friends here and travelling over to their place to visit!

    I remember when we went over to the metric system here and then when I lived in the States I had to use different measuring and weighing systems according to which recipe book I was using! Even now when I go back to old recipes I see my old handwritten notes in the side where I converted everything from pounds and ounces into grams and then again into cups!!!

  8. What an excellent idea, Tracy. I must confess that I follow some of my blogger buddies because they live in places I either want to visit or return to. Their photos, food, style and … did I mention that you had me at “wine” and “chocolate.” 😉

  9. I always look forward to your blogging parties Tracy, it’s such a treat to meet new “friends” in the blogosphere! I believe that I now have to take a trip to Finland for some inspiration for delicious food. Thanks once again!

    1. When I was your age, Heather, I did real-life parties like these (putting tons of effort into introducing my very cool friends to other of my very cool friends). Now that I have less energy, but still the will, I’m so thrilled to find that I can do the same kind of thing online. You and Laila are made to be friends. (P.S.–she, too is one of us Minnesotan’s!)

  10. What a super fantastic post! This was a great way to travel when physical (or financial) travel was not possible. Maybe another idea for a post would be a cyber cultural experience. I absolutely LOVE reading poetry posted by others or music clips. It saves me having to surf the internet (or book / music stores) to find good sources. Thanks for my trip to Europe today, I really enjoyed it.

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