Our trip came to an end with a final picture of our little group. In which I should have opened my eyes and taken my hair out of the ponytail.
The three people I had just had a fantastic four days with. Before I left I wondered if I would like the group I would be with, wonder if it would all go okay.
Everything went great, better than I could have expected.
Mauro was a really great guide, he knew a lot about all the places we visited and loved to share information about his country. Upon leaving I got a hug from him, he gives good hugs, good strong hands and since I’m a single gal I’ll take a hug anywhere I can get one.
I also got a hug from Carole who I hope to see in Canada next year. She is doing a train trip through the rockies and I will take the opportunity to go see her and laugh about the Stephen King Hotel (at the time it was NOT funny).
Carole and I got along great, we are about the same age and similar circumstances. We are both single and like to travel, there is even talk of us possibly going to Iceland together! I believe we will be friends for a long time, one of the perks of travelling is adding to your family of friends.
One of the great things about having Becca visit from London is I get to enjoy a glass of red wine without feeling like a crazy alcoholic Basset Lady (the dog can be very judgemental).
Over the years I’ve had quite a relationship with red wine. We’ve had some very good times and stayed up way too late together. We’ve had a great time on a weeknight, leaving me berating it the next day. I’ve had so much fun on a weekend and then not talked to it for weeks or months, needing a break from the relationship. Oh red wine you can be a handful.
It lures you in and then slams you in the head the next day. Yet I always go back. Oh long lost friend how have you been???
This time Becca and I were good, we enjoyed a few glasses each night but didn’t go over board. The first night we had two bottles one with a cork that took us FOREVER to get out. I couldn’t open it so Becca tried and she had difficulty as well. This made me feel better as she has tennis arms and can usually open a bottle of red like nobody’s business! It was due in large part to the fact that I don’t have a good corkscrew. Apparently this is what Becca will be getting me for Christmas.
So the next night after a lovely dinner we stopped to get a bottle of wine for the evening. Red wine goes hand in hand with good girl gab and she was finally opening up a bit more about her new guy. Who sounds like an amazingly nice, thoughtful, fun, charming fellow!
The only requirements for the wine were it must be red and it must be a twist cap. We didn’t want a half hour struggle to get to the good stuff. So in the liquor store we perused the aisle looking for a cute label (we get sucked in by cute labels), red and twist. The guy working was looking at us like we were idiots, we’re used to this. Mission accomplished we took our new friend home where we enjoyed a lovely evening chatting and laughing.
With the very judgemental basset looking on with a disapproving look. I swear he actually shook his head at us.
I’m feeling super optimistic that this will be a great day!
IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!
There is no “I” in team but there is an “I” in Claire! So today I get to enjoy the day my way. The good thing is that it involves things that the people I’m spending it with will enjoy as well.
First I get to sleep in, I have the day off!!!!!!! Then I get to make a cup of tea and read (then watch “Live With Kelly” a guilty pleasure). Around noon my day really picks up because my good friend Becca is coming to visit! I haven’t seen her since January and am really looking forward to spending time with my travel buddy. Also she has started dating so I get to hear all about the new boy (I love new relationship gossipy goodness).
It may not seem possible but around 5:00 my day gets even better I get to see my FAVOURITE BOY…… KINGSLEY! I haven’t seen him in what seems like ages. The basset had surgery a few weeks ago but is back to his troublesome self and I’m sure he’s looking forward to hogging the bed. After obsessively hugging and rubbing the dogs belly and walking him, he will have a nap. Then Becca and I will head out and do what we do best, laugh, talk and have a really good meal with a few glasses of wine.
Does a day get any better? Maybe but this is going to be one fine day!
(Also I got a birthday card from my best friend, Thank you! Love you! AND my Mom took the time to mail me a card before she left for vacation to let me know that even though she isn’t here she’s thinking of me, today I can’t remember why I complain about her. Don’t worry she’ll come back and remind me.)
The friend that I want to Prague with I have travelled with before. Several times, we have been to Peru, to Vietnam, to Cambodia, to Bruges and I have visited her in London several times. We used to walk home from work together but in 2007 she packed up and moved to London. I miss our walks home. When we met we were both in similar places in our lives. Both had left relationships that were no longer working. We both wanted to travel and were both trying to figure out what our next moves were. Turns out first on the list was Peru, still my favourite of all the trips I’ve done.
Travelling with a friend is a great experience and we are a team when we travel (TEAM SQUIRREL! long story). We know things about each other that we would not have learned any other way and we travel well together. No matter how easy going friends are and how similar their expectations of a trip there are there are always moments and times where one or the other gets snappy, moody or a disagreement happens.
Both of us get grumpy if we haven’t eaten. We have learned to air concerns right away and not let them build. We have learnt to communicate so that we understand why somebody might be acting a certain way. Like all relationships friendships take work but the reward is more than worth it. When a problem occurs, we deal with it and then drop it. Move on and focus on the task at hand and the adventures ahead. The problems are not what I will remember, although we’ve had our fair share. I will remember all the laughter, unexpected fun when things don’t go to plan, the shared experiences of seeing so many amazing places. Yes we have laughed, cried and yelled.
As travel buddies go she is the best. Easy going and adventurous. Knows what she likes to see and do but also takes my likes and interests into consideration. Also puts up with me when I’m grumpy, moody or turning into frustrated five year old. The majority of time it is an easy friendship full of laughter and joy.
Team Squirrel! I hope will have many more adventures.
Here are more pictures of buildings in Prague: