A Day To Wander

I’m sitting in the “business center” of the hotel which is basically just an airless room with a computer and internet, waiting for it to start up.

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First it wasn’t on, now it is just spinning – taking forever to connect.  I don’t know if I want this frustration this late in the day.  Ahh, it finally connected.  So, today is it.  Things really did speed up as we got to the end.  I’m sorta ready for it to be done, though I wish the ending were more instantaneous instead of the rough ride home.  Today was our day off from any plans other than seeing the clock tower at noon.  All we planned for today was sleeping in and shopping and whatever sight seeing we could get in yet.  The “plan” then was for a relaxing stress free day.  Let’s see, it played out like this.  I conked out until 1:00 am this morning and then proceed to do the wake drift wake pattern finally waking around 5:00 and up at 5:30.  Breakfast was like 7:30 or so.  For all we cared we could’ve stayed until 9:00.  We didn’t, but we could have.  Hearing that some stores open at 9:00 we started walking to the plaza.

We hit some stores, marked some in our memory for the way back and wandered our way to a farmers’ market – probably only opened on the weekends.

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We found a place for lunch and a pastry shop in which to buy something for tomorrow’s breakfast.  Since the plaza was already beginning to fill up, we found a spot and set up our cameras and waited.  When the Glockenspiel finally struck 12:00 and chimed, we had both video and photography going.

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Lunch was around the corner at a deli.  We both had wraps of some kind and I grabbed what I thought was a bottle of raspberry tea.  Oh snap – it’s the “sparkling” kind!  Bah!  At least it has flavor.

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Now I have a hankering for tea.  Sigh.  We went on to finish our shopping and headed back, ladened down with our purchases.  The sun had broken through the thick cover of clouds, but even so it was much much cooler.  Even though the sun was on us on the walk back, it was very comfortable.  It beat running to catch the bus like yesterday afternoon while all ladened down with gear and under a hot sun.  (Had we not caught it when we did, we would have had to wait another hour until the next one).

Even with the walk back (or, maybe because of it) and another stop for more Gelato, when we got back to our room, we both started to zone out.  It was then that we decided to start packing for tomorrow morning.  What a disaster.  Why didn’t I have this problem in Peru?  Somehow I got everything in my overnight bag too.  We had had one of the clerks at the front desk call the car company with our pickup time for tomorrow morning.  Since we have a morning flight and it was recommended that we arrive two hours before our departure time, we decided we wanted the car to arrive at 6:30.

We went back out in the afternoon, long about 3:30.  By this time it had warmed up a bit and the sun was out full force.  We wandered by the same route as the bus had taken, going through a botanical garden and by a large sculpted fountain not really paying too much attention to where we were …

 IMG_8247DSCF1161 - Version 3IMG_8286… though in the end we would unknowingly make a big circle and end up right back where we had started.  We ended our wandering early at an Italian restaurant.  Yup, that’s right, Italian.  We both got pizza which was HUGE.  I got Hawaiian – how’s that for being international?

 DSCF1168At least I knew what I was getting.  The pizza was great.  I finished all but a few bits of the thin crust.

 DSCF1173Back at the hotel and more packing.  Now I can pack the breakables in my padded camera satchels which go in my overnight bag, while the cameras go in one camera bag that stays with me.  Now we’re just wondering about customs and everything surviving the trip – chocolate included.  Some things had to go in my suitcase, like the tin with cookies from Rotenburg and the tin with truffles in it as the scanner can’t see through tins and thus would be confiscated at the gate.  It seems strange that we’re at the end of a nearly two week trip after planning for well over a year and thinking about it for five.  And, after everything that happened beforehand and us both getting sick at the beginning, is it … did it turn out to be what we wanted?  My sister asked me that question tonight.  Yeah, I guess.  I didn’t have the same expectations for this trip as I did for Peru – good and bad.  Maybe I didn’t have them because I knew they were unattainable.  Maybe I just knew it was supposed to be a different trip, regardless.   The adventures we had with driving, the flooding, dealing with the people – that’s all part of it.  The book, if it even captures one tenth of what the trip was like – adventure/ fun and all, will be a big deal.