“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.”

Today is warmer than the last few days. The air smells of spring. The breeze is so slight it barely moves the end branches of trees. When Henry is out, I stand on the deck in the sun and watch him. He runs all over the back of the yard with wild puppy abandonment. He frolics.

One of my last trips to Europe was to Iceland with my mother and sister. We arrived in the darkness of an Icelandic winter morning. While we waited for our rooms to be ready, we sat in the lobby. My mother kept looking out the windows. At around nine she turned and asked me if it ever gets light. She also watched the bus stop across the street. There was a small glass enclosure around three sides. The people waiting for the bus were huddled. They looked frozen. Later we decided to go to town. I told my mother we’d take the bus. She looked horrified and asked if we had to go across the street. We did. My mother froze. We walked all around Reykjavik and did a bit of shopping. My mother despite her frozen state actually found an Irish pub. She was delighted to warm up with an Irish coffee, a couple of Irish coffees.

My mother and I went to Italy together. We stayed in a small hotel in Rome. During the day we wandered the city. My mother was a great traveling companion. At dinner one night I ordered bruschetta. She had never heard of it. She loved it and ordered it just about every night after that. We’d get back to the hotel and sit and have a drink before going to our room. Each night my mother ordered cognac. I had never seen her drink anything but whiskey and coke, a sort of weird cousin to a Cuba libre. When I mentioned that, she said this is a vacation. Anything goes.

When my mother visited me, I’d give her a cup of coffee and a biscotti at breakfast. She never drank coffee or tea. The coffee was for dunking purposes only. She did love biscotti.

My parents and I traveled together many times. I’d plan where we were going. I think my favorite trip with them was to Vienna and Budapest. My favorite day of that trip was Easter Sunday. We heard the Vienna Boys Choir at mass and saw the Lipizzans in the early afternoon. We stopped for a Sacher torte. Later we sat in a park, drank wonderful iced coffee and listened to Mozart, Schubert and Strauss being played by a small orchestra. My father loved the whipped cream on the coffee and smacked his lips every time he tasted it. That night we ate dinner in our hotel, the Palais Schwarzenberg, the most expensive hotel I’ve ever stayed in. The dinner menu had no prices. A man in a weskit worked the elevator, an old fashion one with a gate. The dinner started with a gift from the chef, quail eggs. The meal was sumptuous. My dad paid. I said let’s got to the lounge by the bar, and I’ll treat for after dinner drinks. We ordered Irish coffees. The bill was close to 60.00 for the three drinks. My dad thought that was funny. I wondered about the cost of dinner. He wouldn’t tell me.

I am blessed to have these wonderful memories of me and my parents traveling together. It was always fun.

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10 Comments on ““Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.””

  1. BG Says:

    Wow, I really appreciated your travel descriptions in this one, Kat, because I always wanted to travel to Europe and Vienna would have been my first choice. Your writing is so vivid that it almost took me there. Since I’ll never get there on my own, it’s the next best thing!

    Although I always meant to travel internationally, it was not to be. My memories are good ones but mostly filled with typical vacation trips by car around the country, either as a kid or later with my own kids. (Although I did get to Canada a couple of times — does that count?) A lot of fun and fond memories, but I’ll always wonder about Europe.

    • katry Says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the trip with us. Vienna is a beautiful city. We did so much sightseeing there we packed every day.

      Canada definitely counts. That was my first foreign country. We went by car to Niagara Falls. We were on the Canadian side which has a better view than the American side.

      I’ve been all over Europe. I used to go to a different country every year. Portugal is my favorite.

      Have a great evening!

  2. BG Says:

    Been there, done that, many times. In fact, it’s my normal state of mind.

    • katry Says:

      The forgetting of words is what drives me crazy. Remembering them hours later never helps either.

  3. Coleen Burnett Says:

    Hi Kat!

    Someday I will take a road trip up your way. I will take you to your favorite local place for dinner. When we return to your house, we will sit on your deck, have a beer (you?) and a soda (me) and I will tell you my stories on traveling with a dear friend…much hilarity has been had by both of us!

    Honest…some of them I can actually tell…the statute of limitations has run out… 🙂

    Moving soon… catch you in my new location. Not too far away, thank heavens. Not permanent either. But it will do temporarily…

    Guess I’m off to new travels…

    Waving and sending hugs to Henry,


    • katry Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      I’ve been keeping track of your moving woes on Facebook. I’m glad you found a place.

      No beer for me, but I can manage a cocktail, something summery. My deck is a wonderful spot to sit and enjoy the day. Sounds like a plan.

      Let me know w en you’re settled.

      (my keyboard key of my dog’s first letter isn’t working so I’ll pass your wave on to enry!

      Take care and waving back!

  4. olof1 Says:

    We’ve had a couple of days with lots of rain and wind but today the sun shines again. It’ll only be temporary but I’ll take it 🙂

    I always enjoy Your travel stories and I can start laughing for myself when I suddenly come to think of Veiculo Longo 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      That is my favorite Dad story. It still makes me laugh too.

      It is raining right now and will rain all day. It is warmer than I expected it to be. I do have to go out and do a couple of errands including dog food.

      ave a great day!

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