Skip to main content

ABCs of Travel

If you wondered if I'd dropped off the face of the earth, yes, I did sort of.  I caught a respiratory flu and that laid me flat.  I was in bed with fever for a week.  I was so sick I didn't even read a book or watch a video the first three days.  For me to lie in bed and never pick up a book is unheard of.  After the fever went it took me another week to regain my strength.  I went to the office a couple of hours the second half of that second week, but I really felt like something the cat had drug in.  Thankfully I'm back in the land of the living and feeling much better.

I thought I'd copy a blog post idea from Suzanne such traveling is such a normal part of my life.  Feel free to copy the idea!

A: Age you went on your first international trip: Well, I was born in Nigeria and my first trip to the United States was when I was maybe 18 months old?  I really don't remember the trip, but I knew we flew in a plane.  That was probably the first time my parents had crossed the Atlantic by plane.  Previous trips had all been on board ship.  So my brother has crossed the Atlantic by ship, but neither my sister nor I ever got to do that.  And it looks like our trip started by leaving Jos on SIMAIR.  Notice that my mom is wearing a corsage and it looks like I am, too!



B: Best foreign beer you’ve had and where:  I don't drink beer and find the smell to be one of the most repulsive I can think of.  But, did you know that Niger manufactures their own brand of beer?  Flag beer.

C: Cuisine [favorite]:  In 2007 we went to Thailand for a conference.  Our hotel had huge buffets every night.  One table was usually western style food and the other table was Thai food.  I chose the Thai food almost every night because:  1.) when in another country you should try the local cuisine and 2.) it looked delicious.  Wow, I was not disappointed, and Thai food is now my favorite. They also had yummy fresh fruit in Thailand.

 

D: Destinations: Favorite  Hmmm, I don't know.  This is hard to say.  I guess probably England.  There is just so much to see and do there.  I love exploring the history of the country and it's also just a really beautiful place.  Though Switzerland was right up there, too. 

 

Least Favorite  I can't think of anywhere I've traveled that I really hated.  I guess Quebec was not my favorite just because it was sooooooo cold there.  And I was trying to learn French which wasn't my favorite thing to do.  And we had to use public transportation, which is incredibly difficult for grocery shopping and doing laundry.  But it wasn't a horrible experience, either.  I can't find any pictures of our Quebec days on my computer.  But believe me, there was a LOT of snow.

E: Experience that made you say wow:  I think the first time I saw the Grand Canyon (OK, it's the only time I saw it!), "Wow!" was definitely heard coming from my mouth.  It's the kind of place that you take a bunch of pictures because it's so awe-inspiring, but they're all so pointless because the beauty just can't be replicated by a camera.  



F: Favorite mode of transportation:  I'm torn on this one.  I like flying because it's quick, but I really, really hate being crammed into an airplane with 200 other people.  I think I like car best because it's private and you get to decide where to go and when.   You get to see a lot and really experience what a place looks like when driving.  That is, if you're not sleeping or got your nose stuck in a book, which is usually what I do when I'm not driving. 



G: Greatest Feeling While Traveling:  I think for me it's the sense of excitement that comes from doing something you've never done before and going somewhere you've never been before.  Or maybe you've taken that trip numerous times, but there's excitement about seeing your loved ones or a familiar place again at the end of the trip.

H: Hottest place you’ve ever traveled to:  Ha ha, yeah, I live in it.  Niger.  Hands down.  Nothing else even comes close.


I: Incredible service you’ve experienced:  This is hard since I've never had a luxury trip.  Honestly, the most incredible service I've experienced is in the homes of people who support us and who baby us while we're with them.  What an incredible gift people have given us who have put flowers in our bedroom, fixed delicious meals, taken us shopping, or treated us to a special outing.

J: Journey that took the longest:  Traveling from Niger to Thailand was an incredibly long trip.  We flew from Niamey to Morocco; from Morocco to Dubai; and from Dubai to Bangkok.  But the most annoyingly long journey was out of New York heading back to Niger.  To make a VERY LONG story short, we sat IN THE AIRPLANE ON THE RUNWAY for six hours before we ever took off.  Which meant two days in Paris that weren't expected.  So, that was definitely the longest trip.

K: Keepsake from your travels:  I'm not much of a collector of souvenirs.  But I do have an elephant collection, so I try to get an elephant wherever I go.  I have a Delft elephant from Holland and some special wood elephants from Thailand and Kenya.

L: Let-down sight, where & why:  John and I went to the Louvre in Paris.  It's a pretty cool museum, but when we got to the Mona Lisa I just couldn't help thinking, "Why?  What's the hype?"  Traveling with this little guy (who is no longer little!), was pretty fun, though.  Although traveling through France and Switzerland with a toddler was a challenge as most restaurants don't have high chairs, hotels don't have cribs, etc.  And we didn't own a stroller.  So it was interesting.



M: Moment when you fell in love with travel:  I dunno.  When you've been traveling since you were less than two years old, who can name a time of falling in love with travel?  I do know I loved taking road trips during school holidays to visit cousins.


N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed at:  When traveling from Kano, Nigeria to NY on KLM, we used to get a free overnight in Amsterdam at the airline's expense.  I stayed in a really nice hotel there ... no idea what it was called, though!  The hotel grounds in Thailand where we stayed were really nice.  The hotel itself was pretty nice, but all of the swimming pools and being on the beach was what made it nice, not the rooms themselves.  Looking out our window, you can see three pools and the beach.


O: Obsession- what do you take photos of while traveling:  I try to take pictures of where we stay, what we did, scenes along the way.  I almost never take pictures of the food we eat no matter how amazing it was.

P: Passport stamps- how many & from where:  Really?  I have no idea.  I've filled up so many passports.  My current passport is new and only has a few stamps in it, though!


Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where:  I'm coming up with nothing.  There's this restaurant in Denver called Casa Bonita.  It's a fun place to eat, but I think it could also definitely classify as quirky.  


R: Really frightening- a place where you felt unsafe or uneasy:  John and I once took a wrong turn on the outskirts of Chicago.  We got our out-of-state licensed car and ourselves out of there as fast as we could.

S: Splurge- something you have no problem spending on while traveling:  Well, we're usually on a pretty tight budget, so splurge isn't a word we use much!  But I'd say shelling out the fee to visit a sight we really want to see.  If we both agree that it's worth it, we'll pay that fee.

T: Touristy thing you’ve done:  We rode the double decker tour bus around Oxford and acted like tourists. Now John just blends in there and knows the city like a native.

 

U: Unforgettable Travel Memory:  Maybe that time I took a taxi to a hotel with a man I'd never met.  I know, I know .... how stupid was that.  Girls, traveling alone .... never, ever get in a taxi with a man you don't know!!!!  Thankfully it turned out well and as we planned and agreed on, we just shared the price of the taxi from the airport to the hotel.

V: Visas- how many and for where:  Kind of like stamps in my passport... I don't know, but over the years too many to count.  The most important visa is my permanent visa, or resident's permit, to live in Niger.  That's a separate book and is not in my passport.

W: Wine- Best taste of wine while traveling and where?  John and I are pretty much tea-totallers.  Our hosts in Oxford have a glass of wine every Saturday night, but we ended up not being there on a Saturday night when I was visiting.  So, nope, don't have anything for this one.


X: eXcellent view:  It's really hard to beat Colorado for an excellent view! My niece was staying with some people in Colorado and my parents, my sister, and I got to stop and spend the night with her.  We got up early to see the sunrise on the Sangro Cristo (Blood of Christ) mountains.  They turn red as the sun comes up.  I'd love to have this view out my window!

 

Y: Years Spent Traveling:  Like I said before, my first trip was before I was two.  I'm not telling you how old I am now, but it's been a lot of years and a lot of trips.  Countries I've traveled to include:

AFRICA
Nigeria
Niger
Benin
Burkina Faso
Senegal
The Gambia
Morocco
Kenya
Ghana
Togo
and with airport layovers in
Tunisia
Mauritania
Mali
Ethiopia

EUROPE
England
Switzerland
France
Turkey
Holland
and with airport layovers in
Belgium

ASIA
Turkey
Thailand

NORTH AMERICA
United States (almost all 48 continental states)
Canada

Z: Zealous sports fans and where:
I might travel to Cleveland to watch my nephew, Seth DeValve, play a Browns game.  But honestly, other than that, I'd never plan a trip around sports.  But Daniel and Kelly took us to a Nationals baseball game that was a lot of fun.


Now it's your turn.  Tell us about some of your travels!

Comments

Titus2Mum said…
Loved reading both yours and Suzanne's and now I'm thinking what a wonderful idea and I should do it - if only I had a bit of spare time on my hands.
And Nancy glad to hear you are feeling better :-) My prayers were with you.
Blessings
Britta
podso said…
Enjoyed reading about your travel and glad you are better. We went to the Casa Bonita years ago when we were newly married. We went back a few years ago to find it virtually unchanged from the early 70s and just as "quirky," as you say. We also traveled in England and Europe with a baby and a toddler and also when they were 3 and 5. In England a gentleman at the Foreign Missions Club where we stayed, felt sorry for us and bought us a stroller. Lastly, I think we were in Thailand with you but it's hard to believe that was 10 years ago!

Popular posts from this blog

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  




I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

Meat Roll-ups

Tonight I made meat roll-ups.  And I got to use some ingredients that made food prep much easier than normal!  I did make two batches of rolls so that John could have a lactose-free meal.

The first thing to do is to brown some hamburger.  With the main batch I stirred a tin of mushroom soup into the browned meat.  For John's batch, I stirred in flour, some almond milk, and seasonings just enough to moisten it, but not to make it really runny.  In Niger, I would make it the second way since we don't have tinned soup.

Next I made a batch of biscuit dough using Bisquick.  Of course, in Niger, I have to make the biscuit dough from scratch.  I mixed it up with the almond milk.  Once the dough is rolled out in a strip, spread the meat mixture on it.  Roll it up like you would cinnamon rolls and cut into slices.  Lay the slices on a cookie sheet and cook in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes.



While they're baking, I browned fresh mushrooms in butter (in Niger I would use tinned mushroo…

Happenings in November

Well, here we are, more than half way through December, and I'm just now getting around to telling you about November.  It was a fun, busy, and eventful month.  We were still on vacation and we got in a lot of good family time during the month.

We were still in Ohio with Suz and Theo at the beginning of the month.  Suz and Theo were working hard to get Hezekiah to gain weight.  He kept losing weight for the first few weeks of his life, but he's doing great now.  We tried to spend as much time as possible with Tera so Suzanne could concentrate on adjusting to the new baby ... but mostly just because we wanted to and we enjoy her so much.  





We also tried to get in as many baby snuggles as we could.



Whenever we are in the area, my dad's cousin, Jeanne, invites us for a meal. She is actually closer to me in age than to my dad, so I've always just considered her a cousin and don't try to figure out if she's a second cousin or a first cousin once removed.  Whatever the …