Tuesday, July 5, 2011

To the Continent!

Some of Sara’s family came to visit us here in Scotland, and from there her parents took us on a fantastic trip to the continent- Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Hungary!  It was an amazing trip; too much to cover in a single blog post, so here are some snippets:

We went to the Highlands

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Spent some time in St Andrews

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From there we went with Sara’s parents to the continent.  In southern Germany, we saw castles…

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We hiked through the Alps in Switzerland…

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…and saw much, much more! 

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Kate “helped” us navigate…

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We’re very thankful to have experienced such a great trip!

 

On a slightly different topic…  I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a while, as we are regularly embarrassed by American tourists here in Scotland, but since they were just as bothersome to me on this trip, now seems as good a time as any.  So if you'll excuse the sarcasm and allow me the catharsis, I present:

How To Be An American Tourist.

  • BE LOUD.
  • Wear obviously brand new, bright white tennis shoes.  Also, consider wearing tacky t-shirts with an American flag or an eagle: your patriotic fashion will be appreciated by everyone.  It's even better if you can find matching shirts for the whole family. 
  • A few days into your trip, be sure to sport that gear you bought at yesterday's tourist trap.  What Austrian wouldn't appreciate the wit of your "There are no kangaroos in Austria" t-shirt?
  • Talk either about how cheap or how expensive everything is, despite your fundamental ignorance of currency conversion.  Further, shopkeepers enjoy hearing about how cheap their wares are, and by implication, how rich you are.
  • BE LOUD.
  • Showing your annoyance, request ketchup in most every restaurant you visit.  Ignore that waitress's subtle hint that such is not customarily provided in that part of the world. 
  • Do the same with ice.
  • You should absolutely wear a fanny pack.  Preferably brightly coloured.
  • Did I mention you should BE LOUD?  Everything you say- especially in public- should be at a volume noticeably louder than every other non-American around you.  Of course the fellow diners on the other side of the restaurant want to be able to hear your petty and pointless antidote about running out of hairspray.
  • Learn basically nothing about the country you’re visiting, and refuse to read any historical details in any museum or site you might visit.  If you didn’t pick it up in your regular diet of American pop culture, it’s probably not worth knowing. 
  • Assume everyone speaks English; become slightly peeved if someone does not and then SPEAK (in English) MORE LOUDLY to them.
  • Complain- again, LOUDLY- how various things are much better in America.

2 comments:

David Monreal said...

Shawn,

You're pictures look so incredible I thought they were photoshopped. Will you ever return to the states with so much history and culture at your fingertips in Europe?

David

The Egan Family said...

I, for one, appreciated your sarcasm, particularly because it is warranted! Americans just don't do subtle. Also loved the photos both here and on FB. Kate is adorable in every country!