Thursday, August 4, 2011

Look...another year, and another trip!!


Three weeks from today we leave for Europe!

Yes, time flies when you’re having fun, or when you’re so amazingly busy that you can’t keep track of things like the day of the week.  But in the interest of keeping everyone informed, here’s some of what we’re doing, and when we’re doing it.  Of course, those of you who’ve followed along on trips past know that we can often change things at the spur of the moment; hopefully, Tony the Tour Guide can keep up with us!

Three weeks from today we fly over, and get into Brussels Friday morning.  We then spend the next couple of days camped in Bastogne—

We hope to accomplish several things during the first weekend, including exploring the countryside, heading into little towns and cities where U.P. natives like Marquette’s Eugene St. Onge, Ishpeming’s Carl Swanson, Munising’s Eino Kinnunen, and Eben’s Toivo Alto fought and died--

We’ll also be meeting up with old friends, making some new ones, and, perhaps most importantly, at least for me, stealing a few precious moments in Chocolate Heaven—

The Super GB store in Bastogne is calling out my name.  Really, it is.  You CAN hear it, right?  It’s not just me??

Once we leave Belgium we spend a day in Western Germany, following in the footsteps of Marquette’s Robert Trottier and Traunik’s John Zbacnik.  Then, we head into France for a few days...not the part of France we usually visit, but this one, instead—

This is Alsace, the region of the country that borders Germany (in fact, it’s changed hands between France and Germany several times thanks to several different wars).  There we’ll (hopefully) be learning more about the exploits of Marquette’s Donald Young and Republic’s George Ritola.  Donald Young, by the way, wasn’t the only member of his family killed in the war.  His brother John died on Okinawa, while his brother-in-law Nels Hume was killed during the attempted crossing of the Rapido River in Italy.

Oh, by visiting Alsace it’ll also give us a chance to buy French chocolate!

From there, we spend the last four or five days in southern Germany, spending a night in Munich—

Where we’ll buy German chocolate and a box or 3 of Kolln’s Shoko-Kirsch Musli, which is basically a granola with cherries and shaved dark chocolate piled onto it (see why I wanna buy a few boxes)?  We then wrap up our trip with a return visit to the Bavarian Alps—

Taking a couple of side trips into Austria, including one to Salzburg—

Where, believe it or not, we’re gonna look for a brothel.

No, really, we are.  But you’ll have to wait for the whole story about that until September 3rd.  We then leave to come home September 4th, when we wake up at 5 a.m. Munich time (11 p.m. Saturday night back here), go from Munich to London, then London to Chicago, then Chicago to Marquette, making it back home (we hope) a mere 22 hours after we wake up.  (Assuming, of course, everything goes to plan, and we (as always) hope it does.)  We will have one slight change from trips past, though, in that we get home the day before Labor Day, which means we have a whole day to reorient ourselves and TRY to come back to reality before reality so rudely forces its way back into our lives.

That’s what we’re doing beginning three weeks from today...wish us luck!


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