Travel Stories

What is Your Recipe for Lemonade?

We have all heard the saying “When life gives you lemons, make Lemonade”. During this unprecedented time I started thinking about this idea of trying to stay positive, uplifted, optimistic, loving and caring for everyone. We all have a different recipe or version of lemonade as we all have our own ideas and perspectives on what is happening in the world. Or not happening right now! For me I am in self isolation and as a solo nomad this really isn’t that much of a change, except I am absent the love of pets.

Recipes for lemonade vary as do people, passed down from generations, and different cultures. Some recipes need more sugar, some recipes you need to cook the simple syrup instead of just pouring in copious amounts of sugar, some use artificial sweetener, some infuse the simple syrup with herbs. The sweetness that some people share with friends and family during trying times is helpful especially if its genuine and not artificial. I prefer a tart, refreshing lemonade especially on a Hot day! By Hot it could be the tempers of everyone right now or the humid, hot Texas days that begin early Spring. I do enjoy a healthy discussion with some tartness! There are recipes that add other fruit or flavors for variety of taste and color. Is that what we need right now? Variety or color? Old Fashioned recipes? A simple life? Perfect recipe? Is there anything PERFECT in Life? Patience to allow the flavors to marry or combine before we can enjoy. Here in the South there is a version of mixing tea and lemonade, and in the summer months, when peaches are fresh and flavorful we add them to the mixture. Adding a shot of Garrison Brothers Bourbon for a John Daly that helps ease the pain of any tumultuous times!

Whatever your preference for making lemonade, I hope I have given you some ideas to think about. Go make some lemonade, whatever recipe is your favorite, sit on the porch or balcony and enjoy your day/life. Just for a minute maybe you would like to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Look and listen to the opinions of someone else, just for a moment.

Hugs and Cheers from Texas!

Travel Stories

Reflections from 10 Countries in 2019

I can hardly believe that is already May, 2020, where as the time gone? I don’t want to post the ugly statistics of my first full year of international travel, that would make it so cold, impersonal. Rather I want to share the “Real Experiences” that I enjoyed! Here is hoping for more travel in the near future. As some full time house sitters are choosing to find permanent spots to live I however choose to “Keep my Dream Alive”!

So in no particular order, but rather as I remember them, here they are:

  • Ajijic, Mexico stepping into a crowded restaurant I scan the area for a table, as a solo woman does when she is hungary. I am asked “Would you like to join me?” There at a 4 chair table sits a single, mature woman. Do you hear the voices? the ones in my head? Normally I would say “Oh no that’s ok” but this day, starved, I hush them and say “Ok thank you”. Well as the small chat leads into the story telling and explanation of our lives I learn that she has lost her husband to cancer and we have experienced many of the same feelings, events, struggles, losses in friends, our lives as we knew them. Suddenly, after a 2 1/2 hour lunch we exchange contact information with the empty promises to “stay in touch”. Wow, did that just happen?
  • Airport Pickups – I am greeted by homeowners that I may or may not have seen via videos or pictures and yet we recognize each other straight away. Hugs, help with luggage, greetings it is always a joyous occasion no matter the country or time of day!
  • The Italian train ride from Magenta to Milan in the last car of the train where the bicycles ride, I find myself in a car full of food delivery young men! You see them everywhere with the big, square, insulated bags on their backs, riding on bikes through crowds. Most of the train cars are not marked(or you don’t have time to see the little bicycle drawing) and always they leave the station quickly so I get on the car that has stopped in front of me. Quickly I realize that this car is not a regular car with rows of seats and a luggage rack in the back, but a car for cyclists to pack their bikes side by side with a few seats by the windows. After I gather myself and luggage I realize it is not worth the struggle to push my way to the next car that is full of passengers so I sit myself down next to a young man and begin the small chat. Where are you from? Where are you going? Am I on the right train? laughing all the way. I immediately think he is a leader, he is instructing and giving advice to the other young men from Nigeria riding the slower train into Milan to work. Delivering food to people who really don’t care about them but only concerned about their delivery of food, hot and fresh from Just Eat or Uber Eats. He tells me he will help me when we get to Milan, what does that mean? And will he REALLY?. I am thinking how hard can it be to exit the station and find the bus to the airport. Well let me tell you if I had not had this angel I would have missed my flight which was 3 hours away. As we exit the train we immediately go up an escalator and around and through and up again. He takes one of my rolling bags in his left hand, his right hand is holding his bicycle and all the while pleasantly guiding me. As we exit the station we walk swiftly down the crowded street, dodging fashionably dressed italians that could be on their way to a photo shoot, but certainly not on their way to lunch (again, I am starving). As we finally approach the main train station in Milan I am led around the left corner of the beautiful, ornate, historic building to see buses! Finally the buses! The young man then confirms which bus is going to the airport by asking a man at a small booth looking at his phone, he confirms the bus directly behind him. I hand my money to a young woman, who by the way does not make eye contact but takes my money and quickly hands me a ticket, then is on to the next sale. “My young man” loads my luggage for me, we exchange hugs and kisses (italians do two, side to side) and I give him all of my coins with more gratitude then I can explain. I had an angel on my side for this one. I wish him much success, truly I do!
  • Friendly Neighbors all over the world! My first Boxing Day invitation was from a beautiful woman in the UK. My first soccer game in the streets of Spain with two cute boys wanting to practice their english. My first afternoon tea, where else but England!

Travel Stories

My First Published Article-Whoo Hoo!

As some of you know in September I had the honor to speak and attend the first House and Pet Sitting Conference in Swindon, England. It was an amazing experience to be around the leaders in our lifestyle. Well as it turned out there was a representative from International Living in attendance. About a month after the conference I received an email from someone asking me to write an article for the Savvy Retiree, a monthly newsletter which is part of International Living. Now I will be honest with you; first thought SCAM, second thought I was a terrible public speaker so what would make them think I could write an article? and third thought OK I will give it a go and at that point $ was a very far gone thought.

Here is the link if you would like to read what someone paid me to write: https://savvy-retiree.s3.amazonaws.com/Savvy-Retiree-December-2019.pdf

Did you enjoy reading the article? Let me know your thoughts!

Travel Stories

Turino, Italy

This is my second trip to Italy, the first was May of 2013 when I visited Rome and hiked the Cinque Terre. This trip I was not interested in big crowds of tourist but wanted to fill my 4 day gap with Italian charm and this city met all my expectations. A taxi drive from the airport to the booked AirBnB I was a bit concerned, why? Because the buildings looked old, run down a bit, laundry hanging out most of the windows, no old world charm but rather well lived in neighborhoods. I was quickly delighted upon arrival at a newer building on a corner, across the street from a neighborhood park. My room was the entire penthouse! Well it was the converted attic and it was everything the pictures reflected; new, clean, open and modern. Dormers with glass doors offered a view of Turino and the Alps beyond.

Right around the corner there was a “locals” open air market with everything from fresh veg to socks and cheap plastic toys “made in China”. Amazingly easy to access bus, tram or trains on the intersection of two main streets. No Uber but I soon discovered Free Now, the new or new to me Uber and with a 1st time user discount my ride was almost Free ($1.40) to the city centre.

As I do in most large cities, a walking tour was booked for 2 hours on Sunday. As I was the only booking the guide offered a 4 hour tour on Monday for the same price, yes of course! Joining a german couple and the guide, I was amazed at the history that I knew very little about regarding Italy’s first capital city. There are even palaces that can be booked on AirBnB! Perfect weather for a walk around this city that is perfectly laid out in the grid manner making it so easy to get around while walking or driving. Roman ruins are that are still standing after 2,000 years. The ice cream dipped in chocolate on a stick was invented in Turino (at Pepino’s which is still open) as well as zabaglione that I had to have with Moscato added for a kick! Invented by the Franciscan monks to help the men’s vigor after a long day at work! It is said that the original name has been Sambayon, in honor of Saint Pasquale Baylon

Travel Stories

A Gathering of House Sitters

IF YOU WERE UNABLE TO ATTEND THIS EXCITING, INFORMATION FILLED WEEKEND EVENT YOU NOW CAN HAVE ACCESS THE ALL THE VIDEOS! ANY AMAZING VALUE AND SOOO MANY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE OFFERED TO EVERYONE HERE…..

https://transactions.sendowl.com/stores/12093/168773

The weekend of September 21 & 22, 2019 found house sitters gathering from all parts of the world for the 1st House and Pet Sitting Conference in Swindon, UK. It was an amazing group of kindred souls with so much experience, wisdom, happiness and stories to share. There were talented speakers giving advice to the newbies as well as to the experienced. I highly recommend attending next year’s conference wherever it may be in the vast world.

If you are curious, here is my speech…..

Inspire and inform how I overcame the challenge life has thrown at me & how house sitting has helped me do that!
“At approximately 11:30 am on this exact day in September,  8 years ago I was at the lowest point in my life and believe me, I’d had some pretty low moments before that.  I was at home alone with my husband of 16 years and he had just passed away, taken by the small cell undifferentiated cancer that he had fought for the previous 2 years. I had no idea how I would go on…..Have you ever reached what seemed like the lowest point in your life?

Life can be full of unexpected turns and awful surprises.  But it is often out of such trauma that growth occurs and courage is built. You see my talk is about Courage and Growth.  Earlier this year when this whole conference thing was but a dream I threw my hat into the arena, put myself “out there” and said I would talk if they needed speakers. Well I am pretty sure I had a weak moment and maybe some wine! So I didn’t hear back—Yeah! right?  But wait, then I get the email from Ian accepting and making me the offer to speak.  What do you think was my first thought? Oh Shit now what?!  BETTER FIND SOME COURAGE GIRLFRIEND! 

Let me tell you about some of my challenges, and what I’ve done to overcome them.  I grew up in the deep south/USA, Alabama, Florida, and Texas….I’m not sure if y’all spotted a little bit of an accent…

I was part of the generation of women who were expected to get married, have babies, and have a job (not necessarily a career) and certainly not TRAVEL.  So I did “the right thang” because don’t we all want approval by doing the right thing? Approval from family especially momma and daddy,  friends and society.  So I married a good man (with $), built a house together and had the beginnings of a career.  Well, one day he came home and said “I don’t love you and I don’t want this life, home with the white picket fence and 2.3 children”.  So guess what? I left him with the house and the dog!

Next, I found a man that did love me, we had a son, which he always wanted and then he left!  So I worked on a career to support myself and my son.  Then one day along came Scott.  Well when you least expect something is when it happens right? 

He was first a good friend and most importantly good friend to my son.  Very important he made me laugh, he was such a Great Man and I mean that in every sense of the word Great! Love then grew out of our friendship, I had found the courage to love again. He truly was my best friend, my soul mate the love of my life.  We were together for 16 years then one day he was diagnosed with cancer, 2 years later I find myself all alone, All by myself! 

I knew I didn’t want my losses to define who I was or who I wanted to be. 

So I began the cycle of self-therapy—1st alcohol to kill the pain, then food because alcohol makes you hungry, retail shopping because you gain weight with all of that drinking and eating. Next were the self help books any and all that I could download on to my i pad. Have any of you heard of Brene’ Brown? She has written books and talked about the connection between Courage and Vulnerability.  I highly recommend you read her books or watch her Ted Talks or her Netflix special.  I can’t quote her talk (or I would have to pay her royalties) but I will tell you, she was part of my journey to get here And continues to be an inspiration.

From all of the self-help therapy I started asking myself questions:  What kind of things do I enjoy doing? What gives me pleasure? What makes me smile/laugh? What do I want to do with the rest of my life? I am young (relatively) and healthy! My answer was TRAVEL. I had always been jealous of the people who got to backpack across Europe or were able to take a “break” year in their 20’s. So now as my gap year is drawing to an end I am asking myself the same questions. Guess what the answers are the same.

So what do I do best? Take care of things, tasks, problem solve and take care of people.  How can I use this to survive? and most of all enjoy my life? So

 whats the first thing we do when we look for an answer to a question? We Google it right?  That was 8 years ago and look how much more info is available to us now.  So back then if you Googled budget travel (my husband was a high school teacher we didn’t have any money)  I discovered books on Amazon and one day found Nate & Jodie’s book International House Sitting – How to Travel the World and Stay Anywhere, for Free. Wow, House and Pet Sitting perfect.  I can take care of pets and homes and have a free place to stay while traveling.  I am OCD, will I be able to control my want/need to organize the homes? And clean before the housekeeper arrives? Can I do this by myself? 

Oh hell yeah! If I take my own pillow!

Being a “PLANNER” I put into place a Plan!  (still hadn’t learned that God/universe whatever you believe in- laughs at those who plan)  I started slow, sitting in my hometown/county for friends that knew I was OCD and would be forgiving.  I found out that I was really enjoying being in a different environment with the unconditional love of pets,  receiving praise and appreciation and requests to return. 

Enter Self Confidence! What Self Gratification! 

While still working, I started using vacation time to sit in the US. because what was one of the statements from the doubters? Why would you want to travel the world when you have 50 states here to see? East coast, West coast and some in betweens proved to be expensive and honestly, not so very exciting, at least not for me, but I was able to rack up some credit card miles!

Next step, fast track retirement, I had become so bored, frustrated, trapped and experiencing anxiety that it was time….

Sixteen months ago I “ran away from home” and now I sit full time internationally combing the things I truly enjoy and love, taking care of pets/homes and travel, far more rewarding than any job!  So far internationally, I have completed 20 sits, visited 6 countries.

My style of travel is not as a tourist but as an ambassador from the US/Texas.  I try to represent the real Americans, the ones that have love and kindness to share.  I want to learn about the countries and cultures that we never see or hear represented by the media. As part of that I have added teaching english to my lifestyle.  I have been to Poland and Hungary with the Angloville program.  Sometimes I enjoy a little human interaction and you talk about a fulfilling experience! Learning first hand how these countries lived under communist rule and are now Free and Happy.  What they eat, how they live their lives, we are all not so very different, we all just want to live a happy life. Now I have friendships all over the world (or at least the part of the world).

I have stories now, about other countries, other cultures and people! I now have more pets then I could ever imagine and I don’t have the food or vet bills! I love them all as if they were my own, each with a unique personality that makes me smile.

Let me share just a few stories with you; “The Homeowner that picked me up from the airport waiting patiently for me to clear immigration and greeted me with a bottle of cold water, drove me back to the house and we shared my first Fish n Chips or the anonymous man that walked by me at the train station in Poland and literally took my luggage out of my hand and carried it up the stairs, put it down and walked away! Waiting for nothing in return.

I was in Ajijic, Mexico and I walked into a Chinese restaurant for a quick lunch, there were no tables available and a woman seated at a table said “are you alone” and i said yes so she invited me to join her.  Being who I am now I said “ok, thank you” we introduced ourselves and started the small talk which for me is stating that I am a full time house sitter and that usually gets the conversation really going.  She got her food and I ordered.  Well as the conversation went on it got a little deeper and you know what? She had lost her husband to cancer only 2 years prior.  Our stories were so similar that we really connected and 2 1/2 hours later we hugged, said our goodbyes with promises to stay in touch. Thats the way I like to travel, connecting with people building my own community.

The support of the house sitting community gives me so much courage and but has also helped me grow in more ways then I ever expected or could imagine—-Homeowners give me the self confidence to go on (I actually think some homeowners are living vicariously through the sitters)  It is tremendously rewarding when I complete a sit and the pets are happy (sad to see me go) Homeowners are pleased and they invite you back. 

There FB groups, House Sitting Magazine, video chats and reading the travel blogs that put the self doubt right out the window. House sitters are such an amazing support group.  If you have a question or concern someone is ready to answer because they have lived it! SOOO many years of experience in this group! And let me mention my favorite is the MEETUPS, with Mapahub you know where all the house sitters are all over the world and when, it allows you to arrange a get together with other sitters that may be sitting close to where you are sitting! A real way of connecting and putting a face with a name!

My other area of growth is in technology, it continues to grow and change which is a good thing.  In the corporate world I was on the computer a lot but updates and problems were taken care of in the corporate headquarters. With help and support from others I have learned so much and created a webinar, a website/blog which is always a challenge and “a work in progress”.  Let me say I did not do it alone, so when you need help don’t be afraid to ask for it!

I have more travel apps then I really need, but technology is such a great asset to have when traveling alone. And frankly all of this technology helps to keep your mind in a growth pattern. Growth has come in the form of acceptance; the love and generosity of people, to trust my instincts and trust in the universe to provide what is needed and when.

Let me just say that there are enough negative things/ideas/people in the world you don’t need to do it to yourself. Until you put yourself out there you won’t be able to receive the love & support that others are giving you.—Our thoughts are our Energy, let the Universe return to you positive energy.

We all have something or someone to propel us forward in our lives—mine was loss! Mine became House and Pet Sitting.

I wish I had more time not more money (well a little more $) 

I hope I have enough time to at least make it around the world once.

So I challenge you —- don’t become complacent! Get out and Enjoy LIFE! 

The major house sitting sites were present to give out swag and discount codes! Sooo much hard work was put into making this a HUGE SUCCESS!

Unfortunately, I had to leave early on Sunday to catch a car ride to the train station which was delayed by a 1/2 marathon in Swindon (only to find the train was cancelled) but with no other issues I arrived at Heathrow Airport in plenty of time for my flight to Malaga, Spain where I am enjoying a repeat sit for the next three weeks. Having a repeat sit is always nice for recovery time. Hoping to see all my new friends somewhere in the world sooner rather than later.

Travel Stories

Barbados – Not what you think!

Why would I EVER want to return to Barbados?

The way I enjoy traveling is not as a tourist! Don’t get me wrong, it is a beautiful island with beautiful people but sooo expensive which makes sense, its an island and everything except rum and chicken is shipped to the island. Groceries are very limited to choice and there again expensive. I do love going to grocery stores to see what the locals buy to nourish their souls, the Bajans eat a lot of fish, fried flying fish to be exact as it is plentiful, cheap and the national fish which can be seen on their flag.

Not having a car is a huge hindrance causing me to feel very isolated.  Walking is my preferred method of getting around but this island is NOT walker friendly. Streets are narrow, if there are sidewalks they are broken and uneven.  As an island, it is all downhill until you return with groceries in the heat!  Taxis are plentiful as an occupation for many of the locals, but expensive as gas is $3.88 a liter. Big Don became my preferred driver, arriving promptly as requested and always with a generous smile and positive attitude which I appreciated.

I did however take a tour so I could see the island where I won’t return.  Ted’s Tours was the best choice, Ted, the owner drives the bus and gives you your moneys worth  $65US for a 5-6 hour tour around the island which is 24 x 14 kilometers.  Ted tells stories of his family along with history and current politics while answering all of those common tourist questions such as “where to eat?” He provides nonstop humor for all ages, drinks at several stops, perfectly timed bathroom breaks and snacks.  I highly recommend the tour Ted’sTours.com.

The weather in July is hot, humid and windy with occasional rains that don’t last long enough to be beneficial.  The beaches are very pretty with white fine sand and blue Caribbean waters.  All of the beaches are public so you are free to walk as far and where you like.

Being isolated was compounded by the television which consisted of the popular American channels. Sooo sad and depressing! I am quite sure that I gained back the weight I lost in Mexico.  The good news, I quit drinking, Who can Afford It?

For the good news, I must say 4 dogs was a bit daunting in my mind prior to arrival but turned out to be the best, sweetest and easy going group of 4!

The house had no a/c but was in a very nice neighborhood providing me my first pool during a summer sit.  There was of course a daily water aerobic class of one, me!

When I was accepted for this housesit I felt such excitement, honor, privileged and proud to boast that I would be sitting in “Barbados” which provoked comments of congratulations and jealousy.  As it turns out no jealousy was required because there have been better sits, there will be better sits and I know in my heart there will be even more sits that I will consider “The Best”.

Travel Stories

Berne, Switzerland

Switzerland is a bit different from Poland but as I have been hopping from one culture to another I find that adapting is easy. I fly into Zurich and have two nights in the airport Hilton as I am a Hilton Honors member. Now let me just say that this must be the best Hilton I have ever stayed, super service, beautiful bar/restaurant area open and raised with a semi circular view of the area. The rooms are sooo comfortable and nicely decorated with a great work area. It begins to snow and coats the landscape with white. The Hilton is close to the airport so with a shuttle drop off it is very easy to catch a plane or a train which I do both. Catching a train to Bern and my house sit with Anka, the most precious Yorkie mix living in a chalet type home on a hill above the Bollinger train station. Anka and I take two walks a day and with it being spring in Switzerland the walks are filled with blooming flora.

The language is a bit of a challenge, the people speak either swiss/german, swiss/italian or swiss/french. The food prices are a bit higher than some areas I have visited but could be worst as you will find out in my future posts!

Taking a train into Bern is quick and easy with the reward of a busy city with history. Overall, its really all about the people and pets that really fulfill my life and journey. This sit was very special because of the homeowners/family and Anka stole my heart.

Next adventure is Warsaw!

Uncategorized

Heavy Cracow

Arriving at the Cracow train station you are immediately transformed to a much larger city than Gdansk. Busy with school aged tourist on spring trip there is no help or wifi. According to my AirBnB host the apartment is a short walk through a beautiful park, not with luggage! So a cab is in order and he is not friendly or helpful. Dropped at the address but no clear check-in instructions I begin asking for help from anyone coming out of the building. I get inside the building but there are no numbers on doors to indicate apartments. Finally, someone that could help directed through the hallway to the outside courtyard with a door that I once again used the passcode to get inside a small entryway with a door on either side and a stairway. I knew I had an apartment on the ground floor but no code to use on the key box and my phone is not working. I am now hot, tired and hungry. The neighbor across the hall is a very nice man and son that literally moved in on the same day. They offer food, drink but I just need their wifi password! After finally reaching the owner of the apartment he gives me the lock box code, really you could have made this a lot easier, so not a good review awaits. But wait it gets better, read on…..

After a cool evening walk to “cool down” I retrieve a pizza (thick square and rather tasty) and a well deserved tiramisu, oh and a bottle of wine. The morning comes much to quickly but the days go quicker so no lounging in bed. A shower in the ultra modern bathroom is a flood out of the doorway into the entry and having only ONE towel is another feather of frustration in my Krakow cap. The AirBnB host says he will have someone come. Does he send someone, not sure. I have arranged a tour to Auschwitz but it proves to be a major mix up, the tour company says to meet at a specific hotel but not where at the hotel so I miss the pickup. Trying not to be angry I decide a walk to the Castle and old town will be better anyway. The next day is a tour of Schindler’s Factory and that may be enough.

The Schindler’s Factory Museum is so well done you feel like you are living the horror that the jewish and polish people dealt with during, before and after War World II. I highly recommend to purchase tickets online ahead of time. For a private tour check out AirBnB Experiences and hopefully you will have the choice of the young woman that led me through this time in history.

So for the brighter side of Krakow, my mentee in the Angloville program just happens to be from Krakow, she calls it “her city” so we meet for dinner and a walking tour of the lessor known areas. Made me so happy!

Maybe this city deserves a repeat visit.

Travel Stories

Poland to Teach English and Explore!

When you arrive at the Gdansk airport you are in another world, new and modern but still finding its way in the world. The cab driver receives a call on his cell phone from a friend living in America, so we all chat on the ride to the Old town. Gdansk was destroyed in the war, World War II, but it has been rebuilt to remind you of they way it was, beautiful and historic. The old town centre sits along the river with the reflections of the old and new for a lovely walk. The real attraction is the clock with it lovely sounds of time passing us all by. Restaurants and bars abound in the old (or refurbished) buildings that also serves as homes to the generations of polish. There are museums that should not be overlooked and serve as our window to the past that should never be forgotten.

Staying in an AirBnB as I have become accustomed to doing, I find myself in a modern apartment building owned by a man who also owns a local restaurant in the old town centre, he gives me a business card with a discount so of course I enjoy one of the best meals in Gdansk!

I quickly realize that I did not plan enough days in this beautiful surprise of a city. There are many museums and much history to learn. First thing in the morning I must pack again, request an Uber ride to the meeting place of the Angloville group where we will board a bus and travel outside of town to teach english.

Packed and Uber ordered. My Uber driver is a young polish man very interested in my lifestyle, as I am finding most people are. We arrive at the meeting place for the Angloville group and he is very intent on making sure this is where and who I am scheduled to meet!

The highlight as well as my main purpose to this amazing part of Poland was to teach english to a select group of young, talented professionals. Staying at a resort hotel and conference center 1 1/2 hours south east of Gdansk introductions were made to volunteers as well as participants in the program. Having not been a typical extrovert talking non stop to strangers proved to be a bit of a challenge and Exhausting! But by the end of the week lasting friendships were made. So much fun so I agreed to another session in Warsaw and Budapest, which I will write about soon.

Back to Gdansk at the end of the week and much to tired to explore but one more day before departure. I soon learned not to rush my journeys, stay, savour the moments and people we meet along the way.

Off to the train station where I learned a valuable lesson….. let the kind man help with your luggage. Down some stairs, over and up stairs why strain yourself when help is offered? There is a young man with a small boy who offered to help and I say to myself “let him so the boy will see his father as a good example.” Then the man says something in polish to the two teens across the walkway, he then tells me “they will help you on the other side” and they were happy to help even though they missed their train, saying there would be another but I was the first Texan they had ever met!

Next stop Cracow…