My home computer is set up with a small box in the right hand corner of the screen with a random slide show of all pictures in my photos folder. This box is always visible. As I type Word documents or surf the internet, a pictorial representation of my past rotates almost in my subconscious. The pictures that are most frequent in that rotation are from my previous group trips. So last night I decided to spend some time flipping through the past 9 years of pictures… what a ride.
It’s incredible to see how many different people I have been traveling with all these years. We have shared some remarkable experiences together. It was also interesting to see how much we have and have not changed over the years. Some people look exactly the same, others completely different. I definitely had a laugh at my modified looks for some trips where I changed my name and wore a wig. I will chalk it up to my unofficial witness protection program vacation identification… those of you who went to Prague will remember Sky, she had a good time.
I am in high prep mode for the upcoming trip to Thailand and I always look back at what worked and what didn’t, when I plan for our next adventure. Since I announced that Thailand is my last group trip, I find myself “looking back” a bit more than usual. I wonder what each person’s highlight was from the previous trips and really hope they enjoy their vacation. If anyone who went on my trips has a highlight they want to share, please comment on the blog. This is a list of my top two highlights from each trip:
November 2002 – Rome, Italy: The day trip to Florence and the price of the trip! The year after 9/11 flights were crazy cheap. Everyone paid $795 total for the international flight, 5 nights hotel right next to the Spanish steps, private bus airport transfers and a half day tour of Rome. Plus everyone who signed up for the USAir frequent flyer program got double bonus miles and an automatic upgrade to silver status.
October 2003 – Caribbean cruise (Wild DC on the Sea): The extra time at port in Cozumel and the group dinner table. Partying with the group and the crew in Cozumel was unforgettable. Having a group that was large enough to be fun and yet small enough to have one table together was great. Every night at dinner we would catch up on what everyone did that day.
October 2004 – Dublin, Ireland: The great find a castle adventure and the club connected to our hotel. Dublin was a fun group where everyone spent a lot of time all together. It seemed almost every night the whole group stayed together and enjoyed the Dublin nightlife.
October 2006 – Prague, Czech Republic: The half day tour of the brewery and Konopiste Castle. Another fantastic group and we spent all of our nights handing out together. Who could forget the crazy hot dance floor at the 5 floor club where we danced until we were soaking wet.
October 2008 – Athens, Rhodes and Santorini, Greece: Unexpected Karaoke night in Rhodes and the crazy night out in Santorini. On our night out in Santorini half of our group was dancing on furniture and the owner broke all the plates and glasses in the place in celebration of the $$ we spent. Lol
September 2009 – Barcelona, Spain: The Jean Leon Winery tour and the night we took over a VIP section of a club without paying.
May 2010 – Amsterdam, Netherlands: The night out in Leidseplein and the extra day in the Hague (courtesy of the Iceland Volcano). It was such a great relaxing day at a beach. Who knew there was a beach in the Netherlands?!
I can’t wait to reflect on my top two memories from Thailand. Coming in 2011.
You have had some incredible experiences! For people who really appreciate traveling, it opens up a whole new world of different cultures, languages, and lifestyles. Good luck in your upcoming trip to Thailand. I hope that you make even more everlasting memories. If you’re still looking for places to stay, be sure to check out my site http://surerentals.com . Best of luck in your travels, enjoy!
HMMM….so many good memories, but these are some of my faves!
Rome – Finding Triskelli wine on sale in one of the wine stores in Rome. We had it with dinner one night and loved it! We have been looking high and low for it every trip to Europe since then! Our room @ the hotel!!
Prague – the French place next to the hotel (The Bastille?), with the Czech bartender that made great mojitos.
Greece – TOO many! Oia shopping and sunset were fabulous!!
Amsterdam – First day bike tour with my friend Andy. Relaxing in front of the fire pit @ El Nino in the Hague.
Some of my favorite memories:
Rome: That gelato place right near the hotel where we went at least once every day (and most nights twice!!). Also, that fabulous outdoor market on the last Sunday we were there…it seemed like it went on for miles and Jason still wears the shoes he bought there (got an awesome deal). Also, I have fond memories of David Mack partying every night while we were there and actually seeing Rome in 1 day (the rest of us paced ourselves and saw everything we wanted in the 5 days we were there).
Wild DC on the Sea: I could be wrong but wasn’t our waiter’s name Shaik (as in “Shake it to me” as he introduced himself). I remember awesome sting ray city, duns river falls, and hanging out until 2 at Carlos and Charlies with my groupmates. Also, I remember the food was really great, but the company was even better.
Dublin: Definitely the castle tour as you mentioned. The beautiful sky bar on the Guinness museum tour, the Jamison tour, and the Trinity tour. I still laugh that our friend Dan H. had to ask me to get the bartenders to put currant in his Guinness because hey liked it but they only put it in the girls beers..not the dudes. : )
Have fun in Thailand!!
Thanks for the comment Karla! We have missed you and Jason on recent trips and will miss you in Thailand. Nice memory of Dan’s girly Guinness. lol