Sunday, July 11, 2010

She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain

But will she be wearing pink pajamas when she comes?  That's the question!

Planes, trains or automobiles...(might as well add cruise ships).  When you travel, what is your preference, especially during the summer vacation?  Astrid and I have just returned from a week's drive to SW France (1960 miles) to visit some Dutch friends who moved there...and then to do some sight-seeing along the western and northern coasts the long way home.  [Dare I mention we totally bypassed Paris on the way going, close enough to taste her!]

Back when I was moving myself lock, stock and barrel from America to The Netherlands, I went back-n-forth I don't know how many times on whether or not to ship my 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid (all paid for) or to sell her and use the money to buy a car here.  It would have cost $1000 to ship her to Rotterdam (and who knows what else to release her from the dock!).  Much cheaper than buying a new car.  However, there were too many if's and but's...about Dutch specs, regulations, etc., etc.

So, long story short, I sold the car in Atlanta and used the money to buy a brand new
2010 Daihatsu Cuore, lime green, which we now affectionally call Granny Towanda.  Granny as in Granny Smith apple green and Towanda as in Fried Green Tomatoes.  That little lady sure knows what she's doing, I tell you.  And with The Netherlands being a small country (compared to America), it's nothing to hop in the car and  discover nooks and crannies even Astrid has never seen after her 50-something years here.

The two other times I went to France were by airplane (I'm not counting all the transfers from Amsterdam to Paris to Atlanta).  Then we took the taxi or the train into the 'Cig Bity.'  To have the luxury of our own car now, taking our own time to see as much as possible in one week, was like heaven on earth.  To stop when we wanted to, to choose Bed & Breakfasts, to change course midstream...all possible when traveling by car.

The above train, BTW, is an
HO scale model train from the Steam Festival we attended in nearby Dordrecht in May.  Trains totally fascinate me.  European trains in particular are total no-brainers in many situations.  "Leave the driving to someone else" makes a lot of sense sometimes.  You get to relax and see something outside the window other than clouds.  Definitely a fun way to see the countryside.

But then, of course, sometimes all you want to do is just get there.  NOW.  I do NOT want to drive the car back to America or take the train, if I could.  A cruise ship wouldn't be so bad, even without port-o-calls.  That would be one heckuva 'at sea' journey, but with a couple of good books, I wouldn't mind it a bit.  It might cost more than I I'd check out the price of a freighter.  I rode a freighter once from New Orleans to Lima, Peru, through the Panama Canal...only 16 passengers.  Now that was fun.  Ten days of endless ocean...followed by wobbly sea-legs a few days after.  I was young and crazy but I'd do it again.

A bit of a ramble never hurt anyone, as far as I'm concerned.  Don't forget walking, of course.  Or biking.  Astrid and I rode our bikes 20 minutes the other night to a café for supper.  A bit slower than 6 white horses but it burned more calories.  However, who's counting...and who's wearing pink pajamas, right?

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