Thursday, March 24, 2011

Friday Field Trip: The REAL Slight Detour (Part 1)

"Writing, I think, is not apart from living.  Writing is a kind of double living.  The writer experiences everything twice.  Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind."  ~Catherine Drinker Bowen, Atlantic, December 1957



Hey, campers! Welcome to our Friday field trip! Today we're making a u-turn in time, to the backpacking trip that helped inspire Before Ever After. 

This was a spur of the moment adventure that I took with a good friend during a time when we were both sick and tired of our jobs and had just watched the movie Before Sunrise. The film hopelessly infected us with a bad case of wanderlust. We flipped a coin on our lunchbreak to decide whether to take a camel tour of Mongolia or make our way around Europe. (I'll give you one guess which trip won out.) We hopped on a plane without any firm plans other than the fact that we needed to be in Athens on the date printed on our return ticket. 

So, are you ready to see the REAL Slight Detour? Oh, wait. Before we leave, there are a few new rules that you need to be aware of:

1.  There will be no laughing about 90s hairstyles or wardrobe choices. 
2.  There will be no laughing about 90s hairstyles or wardrobe choices. 
3.  There will be no laughing about 90s hairstyles or wardrobe choices. 

Hey, you in the back of the van - I can still hear you snickering!

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, follow the red umbrella!


Remember this picture. This will be the cleanest I will be on the trip.

Can you spot me? I'm the white splotch sitting in front of the decayed tooth, er, Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

In my "Before Sunrise" sundress at Versailles. You will see this dress many (many, many) more times before the tour is over. Don't judge me. ;-)

Hmm. I wonder why Dan Brown didn't include this statue in the Da Vinci Code?


Or this one?

Luckily, unlike my main character, Shelley, I didn't have to race up the more than two hundred steps to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica to take this photo.

I was young.

Notre Dame required a more dignified pose.

The bridge in the background is where we spent a homeless night in Lucerne when we got kicked out of the train station when it closed for the day.

Meet our guide. We met him when we arrived in Austria and joined "Bob's Bavarian Mountain Tour." He offered to take us around Austria in his dad's convertible, but the van he drove had its own charm. (He's standing on the van in this photo - which explains the perspective of the shot. Why he is standing on the van is another story.)


That's all I have for you now, but make sure to come back next week for the second part of the tour!

46 comments:

kellyhashway said...

How cool of you to share these photos! It looks like a great trip. I'm looking forward to the second part of the tour.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks, Kelly! (My kids, however, think that I couldn't be less cool now that I've posted pics of myself impersonating European statues...LOL)

Deborah Lawrenson said...

I love posts like this, that show the story behind the story - and your laconic commentary is just perfect. Can't wait to read the novel!

Cathy K said...

Wow, fabulous photos Sam. But you've really done it now because you've reawakened my insatiable wanderlust, just when I was congratulating myself that all this writing writing writing might actually satisfy my quest for far off places! Lucky for me I haven't a single cent available for travel this year, nor likely the next (did I just say lucky? hmm, I'm slipping..)

Scrollwork said...

"I was young."— my favorite pose. I know you don't live life asking "What if" but imagine how BEA would've turned out if the coin directed you to Mongolia!

Donea Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donea Lee said...

How brave! And amazing! That has really got to be a once-in-a-lifetime special memory for you. I would love to just quit my job and hop a flight to Europe and see where it takes me. Sadly, this type of thinking is about the time my own silly practical side kicks in. LOVE the pictures. :)

(Florida) Girl said...

Very cool. Now I need to watch this movie.

Loved, by the way, this quote.

MuMuGB said...

Looks like it was a great trip! And you haven't changed a bit...I look forward to reading your next post. You made me want to pack my bag and go. If only!

Andrew Leon said...

Just be glad it's not 80s styles you're warning us of.

Somewhere, I have a picture of a friend (that I took) picking the nose of a bust of Jefferson in the Capitol building...

http://strangepegs.blogspot.com/

Jennifer Hillier said...

I loved this post! What an adventure. I wish I'd done that, before I got married and had a mortgage and life crap got in the way...

Thanks for sharing!

Irene Cortez said...

Beautiful pictures! Now I think I see why you're so inspired to write your novel! I wish I could be in the same exact spots you've been to! :-)

Connie said...

Hey, I've been to that train station in Lucerne! My aunt and uncle lived in a village nearby. When I went to visit them, that's where I got off the train.

Kate Evangelista said...

I love it! And...I'm envious by it. Sometimes, I think, am I waiting for my life to start? Or am I too scared to step out of my front door? I dream of those places. :-)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Deborah - Thank you! :D It's a shame we didn't have digital cameras back then. I would have had better photos to share.

Cathy - Haha! I'm just returning the favor. The adventures you've written about have made me desperately want to travel too!

Scrollwork - LOL! Max as Mongolian. Hmm... ;-)

Donea - Glad you enjoyed the photos! The trip was truly special and absolutely CRAZY. I don't think I'd have the guts to do some of the things I did back then now. LOL. :D

Florida Girl - Yes! Please watch it! I think you'd enjoy it. It has a sequel called Before Sunset.

MuMuGB - My dear, you already live in Europe! You're just a chunnel away from rest of the continent. Lucky girl!)

Andrew - LOL! (And, um, you should see the pics that DIDN'T make the cut for this post...)

Jennifer -Thanks! Hey, it's never to late to go an adventure. The world isn't going anywhere :D

Irene - Thank you! And take it from me - wishing for things is the first step towards making the things you want come true. :-)

Connie - Oh, wow! How cool is that? And isn't Lucerne just magical? It's like a page out of a fairytale.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Kate - Your life has already started. You're already on the most AMAZING adventure as it is! :D

meaganfrank said...

So fun Sam! The pictures, and your writing voice...I just love it! I liked your quote choice at the start too, but it made me think...don't writers experience things 3 times. Once when we see it, twice when we slow it down to compose phrases about it in our head, and third when we put the letters and word to paper.

I am really excited about your book!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks, Meagan! I definitely agree that the writer experience things thrice. Well said! Next time, with your permission, I will be quoting you instead! :D

ocmominmanila.com said...

I love Before Sunrise! Ethan Hawke has been our (my HS girlfriends and I) crush ever since. We do live in the same era. Haha.

What ARE you doing in that photo with caption "or this one?"

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Have you seen the sequel? It was pretty good too!! :D In "or this one?" I'm copying the statue in the background. LOL!

cassiemannes said...

These are amazing photos - makes me want to get out of my bed and away from my cold and hop on a plane to Europe. I actually am obsessed with 90s outfits and hairstyles. Wonderful.

Definitely want to read the book now!

KLZ said...

I LOVE Lucerne.

You have inspired a bad case of wanderlust in me now.

angel011 said...

It looks like you had a lot of fun on this trip!

~Wendie said...

My friends and I used to do this as road trippers - it really was spur of the moment and since it usually involved our boss/best friend, we were allowed an extra day off from work! We once left work (the middle of LOng Island, NY) and drive south to crosss the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel, turned around and drove home. I have a shot glass and a picture!

Sophia the Writer said...

That is an AWESOME story. Wow those photos bring me back to my European-visiting days...ah to be young again.

And the Sagrada Familia is incredible.

Kathy said...

I loved this post! Ah, the 90's! I love Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, very romantic. My sister was the traveler I have always been the homebody, but you do make it look apealing. I found you on Cathy Kozak's blog and am so glad I did. I look foward to your novel. I imagine the waiting must be just like the feeling you have when you are waiting for your babies to be born! I look foward to your future posts.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Cassie - Thank you! :D I'm glad I took this trip in the 90s and not the 80s - otherwise, I would have had to bring another backpack for the hairspray and shoulder pads ;-)

KLZ - Lucerne is absolutely one of my fave places on the planet! (Even if did wind up spending the night shivering on a wooden bridge. LOL)

Angel011 - We did! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Wendie - Oh, wow! How cool is that?? Lucky girl! :D

Sophia - Thank you! So great to meet you! Hope we can exchange travelling stories one day :D

Kathy - Weren't those movies great?! Sigh... (And yes, waiting for the book to come is just like being pregnant - except this is taking MUCH looooonger. LOL) :D

Ms. C said...

Thanks for visiting my blog earlier, Samantha. I'm a new follower of yours now, too :)

I love these pictures! I've visited that bridge in Lucerne, too... though I can't say that I've spent the night there! I'm heading over the Europe next week and looking at your pictures have made me so excited for my upcoming travels. Thanks for sharing :)

Ms. C
http://www.coffeetalereviews.blogspot.com/

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Hi, Ms. C! Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your trip! (And don't forget to take lots of pictures!) :D

Sam

It's a Book Thing said...

Great Blog! Love the post from "sunday". How gorgeous!

looking forward to reading more!

P.S thank you for stopping by our blog

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Hi! Thanks for swinging by! Thrilled you enjoyed the "Sunday" post :D

Marla said...

You have some fantastic pictures here. Your journeys look like they were so much fun.

Thank you for stopping by Starting the Next Chapter and for becoming a follower. Also, congratulations on your forthcoming publication! You must be so excited. :) I have added your blog to those that I follow and look forward to reading more from you in the future.

Marla from Starting the Next Chapter

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Hi, Maria! Great to see you here. Thank you so much!: :D

Malen T. Leon said...

Very interesting! Can't wait to see the second part! :-D

ocmominmanila.com said...

My gosh, I was too busy wondering what that weird pose was that I didn't notice the giant statue at the back!

mymommyconfessions said...

So sorry for snickering at the back of the van like that. Just couldn't help it! Hehehe!!

Love the photos! Love your captions! I wonder when I'll be able to see Europe?! Must include that in my bucket list. :D

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Malen - Glad you enjoyed the field trip! :D

OCMom - ROTFL!!!

Mia - Aha! So that was you! Haha! :D When it comes to travelling, I always follow my Dad's advice - you can't put a price on memories.

Jamie Poag said...

Samantha - I have something in common with your Shelley! On my last visit to Paris, which happens to be my favorite place in the world, I did get dragged into a race up that mighty staircase. I think I made it about a quarter of the way up before I was huffing, puffing, and all too willing to admit defeat!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

LOL, Jamie! So cool that you did that! My hubby and I did climb it when we went back for our honeymoon, but it wasn't a race as much as it was a painful schlep. Haha! :D

Meryl Jaffe, PhD said...

Looks like this was an awesome trip. The photos are great!
Meryl
http://departingthetext.blogspot.com

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks, Meryl! We had a great time :D

Serendipity's Library said...

Great post! It appears that you enjoyed yourself. Your 90's hair had nothing on my 80's hairsprayed mess.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

LOL, Serendipity! I have my 80s pics safely hidden away in a bank vault in Switzerland ;-)

C.M. Villani said...

This reminds me of the european trips I took when I was younger! Nothing is as fun as wandering free when you're young surrounded by all that antiquity and beauty. :D

Gorgeous shots by the way. And the silly poses are the absolute best! :)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Sigh. Oh, to be young and carefree again. Now where's that Tardis?? :D (I have even crazier shots - too weird for the blogosphere. LOL)

C.M. Villani said...

Lol. why does that not surprise me? :D Tardis indeed! now that would be handy. buu t until that day I'll just have to settle for planning my next trip back to Venice. :D (okay maybe more like daydreaming then planning but still. )

P.S. *Tackle hugs back!*