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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Reading between the lines...

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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Location: United States

After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Reading between the lines...

I'm a big fan of reading travel reviews.  I read them on airlines, hotels, destinations, cruise ships...let's see...even destinations within a destination, such as major tourist attractions.  I'd read one on myself if I could...might make me a better person.  Funny, you get some that are just about as negative as you can get....then you get the ones that are so glowing, it makes you wonder if someone's grandmother wrote it about their own place.  Then you get the fluff in between.  Here are some recent reviews I've read and my own translation of what they really meant.

For a hotel:
  • Centrally located and in the middle of all the action.  Noisy and you won't get any sleep if you are a light sleeper.  There will also probably be college age drunk kids running around.
  • Close to public transportation.  The buses/trams run REALLY early...and late, and you'll hear every one of them, as they go by.
  • Staff doesn't intrude and is seen only when called.  You'll be hard pressed to get maid service or a late night snack.  I've actually wandered the halls of such a place, looking for someone who could find me an extra blanket...yes, it was late, but there was a night desk and no one to be found.  I never did figure that one out.
  • Quaint farm B&B.  You'd better have a car, because it'll be close to absolutely nothing.  If you don't mind bugs, cats howling as they hump each other all night and cows and roosters playing alarm clock, then this won't bother you at all.  We recently stayed at a B&B, that had all of the above.
On the beach: 
  • Invigorating surf.  Yeah...invigorating it was all the riptides tried to carry us out to sea.  We ended up playing it safe on the sand.  Research what kind of beach area it really is.  With kids, I just like having lifeguards nearby too...interesting thing in Europe, you are mostly held responsible for your own kids' safety while in water.  You will find many hotels without any kind of lifeguards as well.  Know before you go.
  • No frills or fuss and efficient.  This was about Ryanair....and they weren't lying either.  This basically means bare bones.  Let the nickel and diming begin!
  • Friendly and knowledgeable.  Have you ever had a tourguide who gave you a headache?  Knowing everything about everything is great, but you have to balance the talking with just letting the people drink in the scenery.  He was also overbearing to the point that I would run the other way if he headed my way during our rest breaks.  His wearing of the lederhosen also scared the children and for some reason formulated some disturbing images in my mind...maybe it was his knobby legs and not the lederhosen...per se...I digress.
Rental Cars:

  • Super fuel-efficient.  That and the size of a shoebox.  Tall people need not apply.  Even the kids had to stuff themselves into the backseat.  Always know the model make and name beforehand...specifically.  There is a reason why that shiny rental car you saw on the website is so cheap...."objects on screen are smaller than they appear" or something to that effect.
  • Other: 
  • Wonderful back-to-nature hike with a mountaintop picnic with champagne and all the hearty offerings.  Well, once we hiked up the big hill, not mountain, we did get champagne, but also day old bread with some old stinky cheese, bubbly water and when we weren't swatting the little bugs (or eating them), we did take some fascinating photos.  Take note that a European picnic lunch is not what we envision as an American picnic lunch.....always have plenty of water (the still kind if you so desire), and if you don't do the European thing and drink fizzy water like 99% of them do, write that down again for future reference.  It's also good to have snacks along if you are not going to indulge yourself in the local sausage, pate or whatever.
    What about you?  Do you have any reviews to share?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes actually: When you come to Europe and get a hotel room:
Double bed In Europe? This is not your idea of the one mattress variety so when you see reviews going on about the beds being two twin mattresses? You didn't get ripped off that's normal. Only the newer upscale hotels really get into the "American" mattress.
Breakfast served Traditional German is yogurt, bread, cheese and deli meat. You might get lucky with hard boiled eggs and most gasthauses serve you coffee individually not a big pot.

Your reviews made me laugh! But you have to read between the lines, research the location, and be aware of the culture. ;) Happy Travels!

April 3, 2011 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

How funny, because one of my next posts was going to be "Confessions of a European Hotel Room", and I was planning on addressing the bed issue! Glad to see I am not the only one thinking along that wavelength!

Thanks for sharing your photo tips on your blog....I am a no-nothing in that area and could do well to read what you wrote!

April 3, 2011 at 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Carol in the Styx said...

I wanted to say that I really love your blog! I am not military and am not in Europe. I am just an Alabaman but I dream of this life that you have and thankyou for sharing it with me!

April 3, 2011 at 2:15 PM  

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