As you might have guessed, one of the absolute best things about being a teacher is having the summers off. Now, we work mighty hard during the year, and the responsibilities and challenges of working with children (and their lovely parents) all year definitely lends itself to requiring an extended break at the end. So it’s not like this whole summer thing is just fluff. We seriously need it.
Oddly enough, every summer I have a little bit of trouble adjusting to not working. It takes me about three or four work days to realize that I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn or rush around like a madwoman “getting everything done” during my “free time.” Usually it takes until I’m on the plane back to the US for me to really realize that it’s vacation time.
This year is a little different though. For the first time since I’ve been a teacher (the first summer in eight years), Alex and I are actually going on our own vacation before we head home to the States! On Thursday we’re leaving for two weeks in Europe! We haven’t been back since we left Munich in 2005, so we’re both overly excited to visit our home away from home!
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been three whole years since we were in Europe – it still almost feels like we live there and we’re just on an extended vacation (I guess that just shows you how at home we felt there). Plus, so many of our friends still live in Munich so not only do we get to go back to our old home, but we get to see tons of wonderful friends while we’re there. Aren’t we lucky?
While we’re hanging out in Munich, we’re planning to spend a little bit of time in northern Italy, yet another one of our all time favorite regions of the world. Hopefully we’ll head down to the lakes region for a few days to visit with one of my oldest friends in the world, Susan, who was an exchange student from Milan during my senior year of high school, and her partner, Daniele.
Basically my plans for the entire time we’re in Europe consist almost entirely of eating (during quality conversations with all my friends, of course). Creamy gelato, crispy schnitzel, salty prosciutto, chewy brezen, fresh mozzarella, real chocolate, almondy mandel-hoernchen, sweet strawberries, crunchy organic granola, oh the tasty treats that await me! My mouth is watering already! And it will all be so cheap, compared to how much that kind of food costs here in Bangkok!
After two weeks of gorging, anticipating that I can actually fit into my airplane seat, we’ll be on our way back to the States for just over a month making all our routine stops. A few weeks in Connecticut and New York with my family, a few weeks in Oregon with Alex’s family, then in a bizarre twist of planning, back to New York (so Alex can take a formal exam for his ESL teaching certification) for a few more days before we head home to Bangkok.
And, clearly, by the time we get back here, we’re going to be just as exhausted as we were before we left. Who planned this crazy adventure anyway?