Monday, July 25, 2005

Thank you, Nida

With somewhat of a heavy heart we leave Nida in a couple of hours. This has just been a tremendous place. We are so grateful to Danielle and Ryan for sharing one of their favorite places from their world tour and urging us to come here. We can wholeheartedly recommend it to anybody else.

What makes Nida so special?'s the deal. All you who know us know that we are a Type A personality married to a Type A plus personality (I'll leave it to all of you to decide who is who..... (though honestly, I personally believe we take turns)). Relaxation is not one of the things we're good it. We constantly have to organize and plan. I know that many of you have been wondering whether or not we'd be able to be spontaneous enough for this trip. And it is a tough road to walk at don't want to be so regimented that you can't act on new opportunities and ideas, on the other hand, at least in July and August if you don't do some planning ahead you will find that buses and trains no longer have seats and that there are no rooms to sleep in.

More to the point for us, we've really struggled with the fact that (especially in northern europe), living (and sleeping!) is expensive, so you feel like you can only be in a town a limited amount of time and that you need to use that time productively to see all the things you're supposed to do. We've worked hard to feel like sitting in a park reading a book is an okay use of time...and we don't always succeed.

So I guess that's one of the reasons I like it here so much (aside from the fact that it's so gosh darn pretty). This is the first time in almost more time than I can remember that I have felt totally relaxed. We have walked, and biked and explored, but we have also slept in and read and relaxed and lounged. And we have felt good about all of it. And for that, I'm very grateful. I'll try hard not to lose that as we continue...

A couple more closing thoughts:

1) we are total cribbage fiends. we starting playing with each other a bunch after Lori started organizing game nights back in Portland at the Lucky Lab (we think she was just trying to lure Jon in..) and it's been a common social thing for us to do with each other back home in MN. But we've really gone crazy with it here. We play on buses, on trains, at bars, at restaurants, and now, on beaches. We play sets to 7 games, and while Brian is killing me 4 sets to 1, he's only beating me on games 33 to 32. I just have to get better at that endgame!

2) Of course, after 4.5 days of the sky looking like this, and of downpours that even Noah would have had trouble with, we woke up on our last day to beautiful sunny skies. We took advantage of that for a last dune trek (and fun) and will leave with sunny memories. I'm not bitter though, because we always found enough dry (if not sunny) skies each day to do something, be it a hike or walk or bike ride.

3) Finding out after you have purchased canned foods that your new flat doesn't have a can opener can be a bit of a challenge, but not if you're willing to be creative. Despite the a few touchy moments, we got the can open, Brian kept all his fingers, and we decided that probably wasn't the best way to attempt this in the future.

4) One of the things that make the area so pretty, is just the traditional houses. They often are colorfully painted, and have all sorts of detailed woodwork. Other examples: 1, 2

Off to Poland via Vilnius now...

Hugs to all


No comments: