I don’t know why..wait..oh yes, I do….I decided to take my 86 year-old mother on a whirlwind European vacation with us because she said she wanted to go when my sister went last year.
Our thirtieth wedding anniversary was approaching, so of course, why wouldn’t we take my Mom and our adult daughter with us on a 2 week trip to Budapest, Prague, Vienna, Dublin and a few other small towns thrown in? So romantic.
We nixed the river boat tour as too little time in each city and too much time on a boat, especially since my daughter and I can be prone to sea sickness. What we didn’t realize was that a bus tour meant loads and loads of walking.
I almost killed my mother.
it would have been okay, except every day at least one of this intrepid group of four from age 23 to 86 decided that we should all do the extra tour of the day. And the remaining three did not wish to be unsociable or, God forbid, miss any one little highlight of the tour. Every one of us was pooped every single day. Up at 6 AM or earlier and very late to bed. We were going to have fun, damnit.
We even met up with our older daughter and her fiance in Budapest to add to the romance of 30 years of marriage. I will admit that Nanny passed on the pinball museum that day, which actually may have been one of my favorite pastimes. After walking a billion blocks to the museum in some heavily UNpopulated area, we played pinball for over 2 hours on all kinds of machines from the past eight or nine decades!
And then we got lost in Vienna.
Now, normally i would embrace that. It’s fun to be lost in a foreign city. As long as you feel safe, it’s intriguing to find yourself in areas of the city that aren’t on the tourist map. But it’s downright cruel to keep your 86 year-old mom hiking through the streets of Vienna without a map, a plan, a coffee,a sausage or even a Viennese pastry.
We couldn’t find a taxi, a cafe, or any reasonable place to stop. And we couldn’t abandon her in a park and say we would come back for her because we had no idea where we were leaving her.
As she got redder in the face and was puffing along, I began to get worried. I think I actually broke into a furniture store that was closed when a gentleman came out…I just grabbed the open door and went in to an apparent board meeting. The look of panic on their faces was alarming, to them…not me… I was worried about my Mom.
Kindly, in perfect English, the nice man gave us directions:
“Go up this street until you can’t go anymore, then turn left and you will be at your destination.”
We almost turned left before we couldn’t go anymore….which actually meant running into a stone wall……..and there we were.
We’ve been home a month. We discuss the concerts, the architecture, the tour guide who told us all about living under Communist rule, and how exhausting but amazing the whole vacation turned out to be. But we never once have discussed getting lost in Vienna. I was pretty sure my Mom wasn’t impressed with our trekking across Eastern Europe.
“You Just have to Laugh…..”
©2015 Cathy Sikorski