Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Littlepage Women Sweep the Medals!!!!

With great sadness, our incredible trip came to an end last night in New York. We were all overwhelmed with deep depression and could barely bring ourselves to pack up all of our extremely nasty (and probably flesh-eating-virus infected clothes) for the trip home. It is so hard to go back to the real world after such an amazing experience. It seems like just a few days ago we were starting out in San Francisco ... and now it is all over. 40,000 miles traveled (and that does not include the uphill climbs), 11 countries, around the entire world!!!
And when the final scores were announced... it was a clean sweep for the Littlepage women (all three generations). In first place, and crowned "The World's Greatest Travelers for 2010" was Rainey and myself, in second place was Heidi and Lily and in third place came my mom and her partner, Barbara. I am so proud of my family!!!!
Thanks to everyone who has been following the blogs and giving us moral support as we circumnavigate the globe.... If you want to read more about the trip from other people's perspectives, please read any of the following blogs which will each provide a slightly different view of the event:
Lily’s bloggity blog is:
Heidi’s blog is:
April’s blog is:
Barbara (Mom’s partner’s) blog is:

Signing off....until next year....

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Central Europe - Part 2 - Coming into Paris

Our trek across Central Europe ends....
I am soooooo sick of my luggage that I might just leave my suitcase by the side of the road and walk away from it forever…. This is by far the hardest part of this trip– mainly because you have to carry all of your junk from country to country. While most train stations have lockers, the subways in Paris were the final straw (with staircase after staircase after staircase). Next year I am bringing ONE change of clothes and nothing more (...or at least that is my sworn promise to myself today as I curse every extra pair of socks that I brought this time).

But it was a GREAT leg … West from Vienna to Linz to Strausborg to Munich to Freiburg to Basel to Paris …!!!! Some highlights from the second part of this stage:

In Freiburg we took a 6:30 AM steep up-hill hike to a look-out tower (which has 250+ stairs to the top… of course… it would not be a Bill scavenge unless it included stairs). But once up there, you get an amazing view of the entire city. And it is scary and a bit unnerving as the very top sways in the wind. We also had to uncover the legend of the Bachtle (which are these streams that run all through the town and were used to water the animals and put out fires). The folklore is that if you put your foot in one, you will marry someone from Frieburg and live there forever. I refused to put even my big toe in it: just in case the marriage part of the legend was true.
We timed the trains to have just over 2 hours in Basel: which was enough time to do all of the scavenges. Basel is a town that sits on the corner of Germany, Switzerland and France… you are constantly crossing streets and moving from one country to another. We took trams all over the city and hit several museums: one of which had an impressive collection of Picassos. This statue of a cat that spits water at y0u - that sits in the courtyard in front of the museum - tickled me.

Paris brought with it food scavenges of snails and duck liver pate. I love escargot… foie gras makes me gag.

We had to find the “Flame D’ Liberte” which is a statue that mirrors the top of the Statue of Liberty in New York. It also sits right on top of where Princess Diana died: the car accident happened in the underpass directly below this statue. People still leave things at the flame in memory of Diana and you can look over the edge and see the spot where her car hit the embankment.
And .. of course… the two best known Paris sites: the Eiffel tower: which lights up – every hour on the hour – with lights that twinkle all over it and a late-night show at the Moulin Rouge. It takes less than 15 minutes before you forget that the women are topless and just get caught up in the feathers, sequins, high kicks and false eyelashes. Lily LOVED every minute of it!!! At the end of the show, we had to get one of the showgirls to teach us some new dance steps and then we had to perform the new moves IN PUBLIC (no hiding from your own insecurities on this trip...). The video is hysterical - see below.
An interesting one… find the odd statue in Montmarte… which turns out to be an iron man who is literally walking out of the wall. He has one leg and hand out as well as his face. Someone has painted his fingernails hot pink, which gives the whole thing an even weirder twist. Honestly, this is one of those things that if Bill did not make you spend an hour looking for it... you would never find or see as he is in small square in the back end of a largely residential neighborhood. But I really liked it.

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