My first full day back home has been pretty productive. And by productive I mean I just woke up at 2pm and have been eating everything in my fridge. Yesterday was a very long day of traveling, but I finally made it home at about 10pm last night. Although I am completely exhausted from this trip, it was probably one of the best times of my life. Who knows when/if I will ever get the opportunity to travel to Europe again!
The entire experience wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but it was probably at least 100 times better! Let me first talk about a few major culture differences I noticed (in pretty much every city we visited).
#1. They didn't serve any of their drinks with ice. Everything came in glass bottles and was served with a glass to pour it in. This includes water (you had your choice of still or sparkling) and soft drinks. Most of the time, you had to specifically ask for tap water (so it was free) and some restaurants wouldn't serve it. So basically you had to pay for water at restaurants and did not get free refills.
#2. There was a lot of PDA. Every where you turned, everyone was being very affectionate with their significant other. I mean, good for them for being so in love, but it was still a little disturbing to see it when you turned every corner.
#3. Ranch did not exist. No one in Europe even knows what ranch is. So as a frequent pizza ranch-dipper, you could see where I was a little disappointed.
#4. Restaurants (mainly in Budapest and Vienna) took their sweet time serving you. It was a miracle when we would be approached within the first 10 minutes of sitting down. Everyone there is very laid back and never in a hurry, which we soon learned to do as well. A simple lunch break would take almost 2 hours!
#5. Public transportation was their main source of getting around over there. Each city probably had at least 4 different types. It was difficult because everywhere you wanted to go involved at least 2 types of transportation with different stops. It was just very different from the U.S. because although we do have some public transportation, we mainly drive our own cars everywhere we need to go.
But getting used to those things weren't too difficult. One of my absolute favorite things about each city in general was the architecture. Every building was so beautiful and different. They all seemed to have history or a story behind them and had a lot of character. Nothing like the buildings we have here in KC, Omaha, or Maryville.
Although I had an amazing time on the trip, it sure is nice to be home. I can finally do laundry and get to sleep in my own bed! I definitely could not have asked for a better group of people to go with or a better person to take us! I am so grateful for Allison and everything she did for us over the last 2 weeks. It would not have been the same without each and every person!
Well now I am off to finish up my three loads of laundry and attempt to unpack everything (yikes)! Thanks to everyone for keeping up with our blog!
- Maddie -