The Good Guys: Part 2

Traveling is awesome. Can you imagine trying to fulfill your wonderlusting desires in 1915? In just 100 years we have technological advances that allow me to book a flight to London while in Munich boarding a flight to Paris. From the internet to credit cards to flat bed seats, things are really looking up for us.

And that brings me to the latest edition of the Good Guys. Man, I have really, really been blessed to have such wonderful people walking across my path! These GGs that I’m recognizing today have been integral parts of my travel success and enjoyment.

Let’s start with my last night in Brazil. I needed to go to a Brazilian Steak House becuase who goes to Brazil and doesn’t go to a Brazilian Steak House (side note: The one I went to was JUST LIKE Fogo de Chao). I was seated next to this table of four and heard American accents…well, Texas accents to be specific. I remarked to them that I was nice to hear familiar sounds, to which the deepest Texas accent said, “Well just com’on over sugar. You can hear even more if you’d like.” And this was the first step into one of the best nights I had in Sao Paulo. The group turned out to be my flight crew for my flight home. After dinner, we went to listen to some live music and the pilot took care of me and the girls all night! On a night that I thought I would be getting to bed early and just having a tame ending to my first Cescapades stop, I ended up hanging out until 2 am having the time of my life! Thank you American Airline good guys for inviting me over to sit. Not only did you majorly boost my opinion of your airline, you also pulled this girl out of her shell on a night that I really needed it! You are officially on the list of Good Guys!

Moving over a few continents, we come to┬áBrenda in Dubai. Man, I adore this girl! We met thanks to the Etihad Airlines glitch flight (Chicago to Abu Dhabi round trip, $200). My mom and aunt were with me (the original GGs) and we have some plans to hang out with members of the Nomadness Travel Tribe, of which Brenda and I are both members. Well, long story short, Brenda became fast friends with my family and within one day, I knew that if Brenda was there, the girls were ok. She honestly took better care of them than I did and it was awesome to see the ladies get to interact with my friends. When I told Brenda about my travel plans, she went out of her way to send a list of Paris hotspots and even paid for me to take a guided tour with a company she loves. Brenda, you’re a GG, and I cant wait to fall in love with your favorite city!

But being a GG doesn’t take much. Like Christine, the woman across the aisle from my on my Frankfurt to Berlin flight. So many delays caused everyone to be testy, but when we got off the flight we shared a laugh about the nature of German businessmen and she made sure to take me in her cab to get me to my location safely. Or there were Elodie, Diego and company in Munich who invited me to tag along with their oktoberfest festivities. Or the WONDERFUL airbnb hosts I’ve had in Berlin and Amsterdam who every so graciously made sure my stay was awesome!

Being a GG isn’t hard. We can all do it. So next time I’m home, I’m going to escort some lost tourists to Times Square. On second thought, I’ll just help them buy a CTA card.

Beautiful day trip to Brussles

The Europe leg is definitely the most rushed part of my Cescapade and that was completely due to my “planning.” At the time of booking, it was planned to be the only trip, other than GlitchGate, and then I was going to go back to New York and get a job. Because a month of traveling is enough for anyone-especially an unemployed anyone, right? 

  

#awesomehuman and his Mom

  
After spending New Years with one of my favorite humans and his Mama, Finn and Hezza, I got inspired to work towards my 40 x 40-a familiar phrase among the wonderlusting  folk that refers to hitting 40 countries by the time you hit 14,610 days…accounting for leap years, of course. I had only done 9 (10 if you count Northern Ireland as it’s own country) so I had a long way to go. I was almost 32 and accounting for potential years I would be pregnant or with small child and out of commission-again with the planning-I figured I probably need to hit about 8 countries a year on my good years and 2 on the off ones to make my goal. 4 good years, 4 off years and 2 baby years put me in good shape so I needed to hit 6 in this one trip.  Abu Dhabi was booked and there was talk of Iceland, and so a trip to Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Czech Republic (France is a repeat so it doesn’t count) began to take shape.

Operation Eurotrip was alive with a mission to basically get into as many countries as possible. The flights into Oslo were extremely reasonable (thank you Norwegian Airlines) so it was the clear starting and stopping point. Then came the fun part. In addition to the places that made the final cut, Sweeden, Greece and Poland were up for review, but something had to give. Brussels even almost got the axe but got saved by an amazing hotel at a great price! I narrowed it down to 10 cities. Let that sink in. 10 cities, one city twice, in 19 days. Whew..I can do this! 

  

Turns out, this is hard! It’s now Sunday and in the last week I’ve been in 5 countries. I’ve been on 3 airport shuttles, 2 planes, 1 train, a handful of roller coasters, a boat and tomorrow I leave on a bus! And I’m loving it, I truly am, but even the good Lord needed a day of rest! 
   

While it may look creepy, this man is actually running the ride!

  

Demnark! On a boat!

 
 So here I am in Brussels. And on my way here I pulled out my map of all the pre-starred, check-listed, fully planned things I needed to do during my 17 hours here. I reviewed my must sees and my should dos and by the time I got to my hotel I had a plan. 
But then I saw that a former-Belgian friend on FB mentioned a few areas not in my list. And the lovely clerk who checked me in mentioned the sauna and hot tub are open til 11. And then I got out and realized that it’s Sunday and many of the things in my plan just aren’t open today. 

So I stopped at the first restaurant I saw and filled my belly with some delicious Ethiopian food…probably the best Brussles has to offer. And I’m gonna snake my way to the monuments and see what I can see, and hopefully a few pieces of chocolate or a waffle makes it way to my mouth before that hot tub starts calling my name. And then I’ll probably be in bed by the time the is day football games air here. 

 

Almost in bed before football

  
And that’s ok. Sometimes plans don’t work out. And sometimes the best things in life happen by mistake. So here’s to taking a vacation from my vacation.
#journeyon