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Thanks for coming along!

 

Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller – Ibn Battuta 


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Uber Blunder

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It was September 2018.  My husband and I were looking forward to a dream trip to Spain but we almost missed our flight. Here’s why:

We’d decided to be cool and trendy and book an Uber for the drive to the airport. This was a new experience for us, as we’d previously relied on kids, or friends and neighbors for transport, but this time we had to leave at 5:00 A.M. and hated to bother anyone.
uber photo“Uber’s a great idea.” said our kids.  “Here – we’ll help you set it up.”
After a group effort, (John and I require help with this kind of thing) we were able to download the app and even schedule an early morning ride. We felt very high-tech.
Fast forward to the day before our departure. My husband was chatting with our good friend and across-the-street neighbor, Paul. When he found out we were paying someone to take us to the airport, he said, “You should have asked me.  I’d take you.”
“No no,” my husband assured him. “It’s all set up. We’re good.”

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The next morning we sat outside waiting for our ride. It was cold and dark and very lonely. 5:00 A.M. came and went with no sight of an Uber. Concerned, John double-checked the reservation and to our horror, we discovered our ride was scheduled for 5 P.M.!

Panic! It was too late to call the kids who live 30 minutes away. We could drive ourselves but didn’t want to pay for two weeks of airport parking. It would take too long to call another Uber, the clock was ticking  . . . .

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We called Paul – poor guy who was previously sound asleep – and belatedly took him up on his offer. Thankfully our good friend crawled out of bed and came to our rescue.  runningUpon arrival, we flung ourselves out of his car, raced through the terminal and made it just in time.

As for Uber, Lyft, etc. I’m not giving up. But the next time I call them it’ll be for something less crucial – perhaps an appointment with the dentist.
If I miss it . . . Oh well.

For more Travel Blunders click here.

Adventures in Oregon

 I live in Oregon, Oregon’s my home. I love the trees the hills,
the places I have roamed . . .
    Song by Black Hawk County                                                                

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I’ve never stopped missing Oregon. My husband and I who hail from Portland, have just returned from our annual pilgrimage there to visit friends and family. John and I are both from NE Portland and love to spend time revisiting our former haunts. It’s always fun to wander the halls of the old schools – Madison Hgh, Clackamas, and Jason Lee Elementary – which played such a huge part in our lives at the time but now seem tiny and insignificant. Old neighborhoods are familiar yet different, not to mention the weirdness of driving past childhood homes now occupied by strangers.
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The Mysterious Caves of Drach

 

I was sitting in a cave. It was dark and quiet except for the murmur of lake water lapping against the shore.  Limestone stalactites dripped from the ceiling in fantastic shapes, and a slight breeze stirred the humid air. So far this had been a travel experience I wouldn’t soon forget . . .

Published on My Itchy Travel Feet. For the rest of this Library Lady article click here.

 

Travel Blunders

Hey all, I’ve recently added a new category to my blog – it’s called Travel Blunders. Here I share some of the embarrassing and ridiculous things that have happened to me (and my husband) on our travels. Hopefully,  reading about our faux pas, will prevent you from doing the same kinds of things. Here’s the first installment:

Faceplant in Finland

Helsinki Finland was a place I’d always wanted to visit.  One of my co-workers grew up there and we loved to hear stories about her childhood in this fairy tale place.  When my husband and I finally had a chance to visit, we went armed with her best travel tips. Take the ferry to Suomenlinna, visit the Rock Church, and sample the pear ice cream in Market Square. One thing she failed to say was,  “Watch your feet”.
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Women Dancing!

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Pictures by PIXABAY

What brings people of different cultures together? How does a roomful of strangers from countries as diverse as India, England, Ghana, Spain, and the US form a bond? Would your first guess be women dancing? Not mine, but let me tell you why it’s true.

 

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I recently had the opportunity to go on an international cruise and was fascinated by the variety of dress, language, and culture on board. I’ve always been a people person, but while I love making new friends, I’m a little hesitant to reach out when the cultural differences are so strong. Thanks to the language barrier, conversation isn’t always an option and you never know how this person with completely different life experiences might react to your overtures of friendship. So I continued to enjoy the diversity from afar.
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A Different Kind Of Cool Library

Human Library, Living Books


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Have you ever been to a Human Library?  Here you can check out Living Books, and on Saturday I did just that. The Salt Lake County Library System gathered a variety of people, i.e., books who were willing to share their life experiences and brought them together with readers who wanted to hear their stories.

A Muslim Raised in Apartheid                                     A Non-Tiger Mom

I chatted with a retired soldier who had been involved in every American conflict since Viet Nam.  One man, a Muslim, told of being raised in apartheid South Africa, and another who was known as the Tom Brokaw of Iraq, recalled fleeing for his life after speaking up one too many times. I talked with a woman about the terror and the joy of escaping a life of polygamy, then discussed educational theory with a non-tiger Mom. There was an urban farmer, a polio survivor who climbed mountains, as well an author, a songwriter an artist,  a member of the LGBTQ community and many more.

Musician                                                                 LGBTQ Community

The Living Books festival originated in Denmark in 1993. The city had experienced a strong societal shift due to a large number of immigrants,  and the new and old members of the population were not getting along. The first Human Library was aimed at giving people a chance to sit down together as neighbors. It was an opportunity to break down barriers and prejudice, and it serves the same purpose today.

“This event gave people a chance to talk with someone they wouldn’t ordinarily meet,” said the Imam of the Salt Lake Islamic society. “When you bring people from opposite ends of the social and political spectrum together in a  non-judgmental setting, a lot good can come of it.”

“We’ll do this again next year,” said Liesl Seborg,  coordinator of the event.  “Hopefully everyone will come back and bring their friends.” And that’s what it’s all about – friends.  The people who attended today have some new friends to show for it, and judging by all the animated conversations and smiling faces, the event was a great success.

DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER