|Bye bye salmon, onion, goat cheese bagel and little red motorcycle!|
The long awaited day has come. For weeks I've shoved to the back of my brain how I was going to get everything back to the good old USA. As a former airline employee, it was shunned if we checked a bag. We were so proud to say, "I can go 10 days to Europe with just one little rollie!"
WELL! Three suitcases, a backpack filled with 11 French hats, and a tube of rolled up paintings later...I'm here to say that I definitely looked like the tourist on John Candy's European Vacation. By the way, the bus drivers do NOT help load your bags. When the taxi driver dropped me off at the station, it was quite entertaining for all to watch as this elderly woman (ME) meticulously strapped these pieces together, attempt to walk two steps, only to have them tumble down again over the crowded cobblestone walkway. I could see, out of the corner of my eye, an indifferent little Frenchman in his Persol sunglasses, leaning against the railing as he watched me struggle. Frustrated, I whispered under my breath..."you could help, ya know" ... after which he reluctantly stepped toward me. "Oh no...don't bother." I thought as I raised my seething head, made the sign of the cross as if to scare away the demons, then smiled and said, "That's ok. I'm fine. No thanks." (ooo. That didn't sound nice.) I MUST PRACTICE MY DAMSEL IN DISTRESS ACT!
AND for the second act: getting the bags into the belly of the bus. It was a true grand finale when I pulled back, grasped the handle and slung my body with all it's might to get that 50 pound bag onto the bus; throwing my delicate frame into a flaming arabesque twirl off the curb and back on again. The people cheered an ovation with their hidden grins. BUT, I was once told by a well respected co-worker..."never let 'em see you sweat!" So, with head held high and a laugh at myself, I stepped onto lyne 40 for the last time to the Marseille airport.
Not for one minute have I regretted this trip; traveling solo, learning curves, new cultures, conquering fears, silent nights and overcoming anxiety..finding out that I could do it. Friendly people, not so friendly people, goose legs and black pudding (blood sausage), goat cheese and olives, ancient fountains and foreign films, eating alone but drawing the scene, lovers and tourists, bus ventures and caves full of art, ochre cliffs and lavender fields....those are a few of my favorite things.....
when the dog bites...when the bees stings....when I'm feeling sad......OH....THAT'S A SONG!!!! (sorry) Well....I simply remember my favorite things..and then I don't feeeeeel so bad.
Thank you all for joining me on this trip. It was great having the company. Keep singing. Onward and upward.
Next! Maybe a little red motorcycle?