Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Field Trip: The REAL Slight Detour (Part 2)

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy

Hey, Campers! Glad you could join us for the second part of the "real" Slight Detour, the backpacking trip that inspired Before Ever After.  If you missed the first part of the tour, you can hop aboard it here. I'm not sure if everyone on the van knows each other, so this might be a good time for you to say hello to  the person sitting next to you (read: why not leave a link to your blog after your comment? Sorry, I don't know how to set up those fancy linky-thingamajigs yet.)

For this trip, I thought it would be fun to let you in on some little known facts that could make you rich should you ever become a contestant on Jeopardy. If you win, no need to thank me. Cash will suffice. 

Are you ready? Follow the red umbrella!

Vienna, Austria
Good news! On this leg, we no longer have to sleep on a bridge like we did in Lucerne. Your accommodations have been upgraded to a...belfry.

Vienna, Austria
Europe's second largest cemetery, the Zentralfriedhof, can be found in Vienna.This is not the Zentralfriedhof.

Venice, Italy
Venice has less than 20 plumbers. This is not why it is sinking.

St. Mark's Square is the only place in Venice where it is legal to feed the pigeons. The pigeons are not aware of this law.

Florence, Italy
The clock at Florence's Duomo runs counter clockwise.

The Vatican, Italy
In Italy, it is good luck to hear a cat sneeze.

Rome, Italy
Italians invented the ice cream cone.

Athens, Greece
Greece is the leading producer of sea sponges.

Athens, Greece
The word “tragedy” is Greek for “goat-song.” Early Greek tragedies were held in honor of Dionysus, the god of wine. Actors in these plays wore goatskins.

Ios island, Greece
Sleeping on the beach is not a good idea. Even if you are drunk. And broke. Don't do it. Don't.

Ios island, Greece
You have to pay to sit under these umbrellas. 

(I did not believe the hairy shirtless man who told me this. He asked me if I wanted him to prove it. I snapped said yes. He told me to come with him. I agreed. I hopped on the back of his motorcycle. We sped away. Far, far away. I thought I was going to die. I didn't. On the other end of the beach was a sign. It said you had to pay to sit under the *bleep* umbrellas.) 

And that concludes our tour, dear campers. I hope you had fun. Remember, "a man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it" (George Moore) and when in doubt, PLEASE just pay the hairy shirtless man his dollar. 


Jessica Bell said...

haha! Yep, that sounds like Greece to me :o)

Connie said...

In the Caribbean you have to pay to sit under the umbrellas too. I chose to wear thick sunscreen and play in the water.

Hi, fellow bus riders. My blog is

Anonymous said...

I'm in awe of the fact that you got on the strange man's motorcycle. I never would've done that. You have quite the adventurous spirit!

Hi fellow travelers. My blog is

Kara said...

I like the photos - but I love the comments! And I agree with Kelly - you really must have an adventurous spirit!

(Florida) Girl said...

Kudos for getting on the back of a shirtless man's motorcycle. That takes guts.

Deborah Lawrenson said...

What fun! I too have memories of sleeping out in Greece - but we had our own motorcycles (tiny mopeds, actually) as getaway vehicles!

Like the blog background now.

Brynne said...

I love the lightness of being you bring to your your life! Thank you for taking us along, sparkly-eyed girl!

Andrew Leon said...

But how do they know if you paid? Do they give you a little ticket to stick to your forehead like the slips you have to leave on the dash of your car?

And I'm not going to kudo for getting on the back of the motorcycle. I'm glad that worked out, but, um, don't do that again. :P


Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Fun blog! Count me in. I always wanted to do more traveling. Unfortunately, I don't covet being groped by TSA, so I'll be happy to travel with you vicariously.

Oh, and FYI, You don't have to do anything to provide links to your posters' websites. Just click on their face or name and magic happens. In case my magic is broke, my site is

stacey said...

LOVE it, thanks for the words to live by. I hereby promise I won't sleep on a beach, drunk or broke, LOL.
Love Italy, hearing cats sneeze, the George Moore quote.... Love it all, really!

hi, fellow riders.... if my magic is broke, too... (yes, i'm the one in the back you can't get to stop giggling.... ESPECIALLY when you ask me to play The Quiet Game), I'm at:

MuMuGB said...

Sounds like fun. You have pay to sit in the shadow on a beach in France too. Not cheap. I can't believe you went for a ride with this guy...glad you survived!

Fellow campers. My blog is

EQ said...

SAM:Very nice photos!

locke said...

Samantha, this is your mother. Why am I hearing about the shirtless man only NOW? But seriously, I absolutely enjoy reading the comments from the happy campers on your slight detour.

Kenya D. Williamson said...

So, where am I supposed to sleep when I'm drunk and broke?! :)

I enjoyed your photos/tour, Sam! When Alex T hands me my check, you're entitled to 50% -- give or take 45. ;D

Here's me:

Meryl Jaffe, PhD said...

Great photos. I used to live in Vienna. I love visiting cemeteries, but never went to that one. I am sorry I didn't.

Good luck with your book. I will look for it and buy it in the book store!

Kate Evangelista said...

Europe is always something I long for. Places that I've only read or heard about. Sometimes, just sometimes, I look at my suitcase and think: Let's go.

Meredith said...

Mmm, Italy. I want to go back. How awesome that you got to go to Greece! Even if you had to pay that dollar...

Jennifer Hillier said...

I love these posts! I laughed out loud about you getting on the motorcycle in Greece... how infuriating that he was right!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Jessica - Haha! You're the expert, my dear! :D

Connie - Good choice! LOL :D

Kelly - I'm not sure "adventurous" is the right term. "Insane," perhaps? Haha!

Kara - LOL. It's a miracle I survived my twenties!

Florida Girl - Believe me, it had nothing to do with guts. I was just being
crazy stubborn. :D

Deborah - I certainly could have used a getaway vehicle back then. LOL!

Brynne - Awww...thank you. That means a lot :)

Andrew - Haha! Don't worry. I won't! :D

Susan - Thanks for the tip! :)

Stacey - Aha! I KNEW it was you giggling back there! :D

MuMuGB - Who knew the shade could cost so much? LOL :D

EQ - Thank you!!!

Mom - Because now I can laugh about it. Haha! See? :D

Kenya - Haha! You drive a hard bargain, my friend :D

Meryl - Thank you! So cool that you lived in Vienna!!!

Kate - You told me you believe in signs, right? Listen up: THIS is your sign. :)

Meredith - And I haven't even told you about the part of the story where my friend and I had to hide in the bushes on the side of a cliff from a bunch of drunks... :D

Jenny - Haha! I know!!! That was the WORST part about it!!! :D

C.M. Villani said...

Hahahaha! Ah the undenyable signs of youth. Getting on to a strange man's motorcycle in another country! I'm with Kelly...awe complete and utter awe, Girl.

Well at least now you can tell your little ones - If there is ever a shirtless hairy man that asks you to get on his motorcycle just say NO THANKS!!! hahaha.

Serendipity's Library said...

Sounds like an wonderful adventure. I am planning a trip to Greece with my daughter for my 40th birthday. So thanks for the tip about pauing the hairy shirtless man! Great Post. Love the new background although I was enjoying the cherry blossoms. And thanks for introducing me to the rest of these fine people....some I know but to those I don't know.... Hi stop by anytime

angel011 said...

Sounds like you really had some fun... And it's a good thing nothing bad happened to you with that shirtless guy.

Oh, and hello to all of you nice people, I'm the quiet one looking through the window, being car-sick and a dramamine queen, sorry about that.

In case the magic button doesn't work, you can come and visit me here:

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Christina - Hmm. I think the version of the story the kiddos will hear will be purged of all youth-related insanity. LOL! :D

Serendipity - Oh, wow! Enjoy your birthday trip! (p.s.the background is a scene from the book :D)

Angel011 - Hahaha! *Hands over a barf bag and a mint* ;-)

Tanya Reimer said...

Ha! Great tour. Love the part about 20 plumbers in Venice. I learnt something new! I have slept on the beach, broke and drunk. I agree don't do it. hehe.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Haha! Thanks, Tanya! I hope that little bit of trivia comes in handy one day. LOL :D

Joy Page Manuel said...

How can one not be inspired after being to those beautiful places?! Wow, you are so lucky! Visiting Italy is still on my to-do list. I bet enjoying the cuisine merits a different entry, huh? That must've been extremely heavenly :-) Thanks for sharing Sam! That was a fun tour for me!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Hi, Joy! The food was beyond amazing! Glad you enjoyed the tour. :)

Anonymous said...

I slept on the beach in Boracay when I was drunk and broke. I had a hotel though yet I still slept on the beach. It wasn't so bad. Don't tell my daughter that story though!

On HSM (hairy shirtless man), more than the serial killer possibilities, my bigger concern is: did you wrap your arms around his hairy shirtless, and I'm assuming sweaty, torso? Is your mom still reading?

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

OCMom - We have to make a pact that our kiddos will not hear about these stories until they are well into their 40s. As for the HSM, I did my best to hold on to dear life by my...fingertips. (And yes, mom is ALWAYS around. LOL) :D

Tina said...

Your photos and all your comments are just great. I LOL'd several times...and that is always fun. I especially liked this: "Venice has less than 20 plumbers. This is not why it is sinking." Too funny. My husband (a plumber) would have liked that. Visiting from Lady Bloggers. :)

Cathy K said...

Lovely, just lovely. To the opening quote I would add that the journey is also 'pre-lived' in anticipation of itself (you can quote me on that one!). Greece is one of my all time favorite places and did you know that Canadian poet and musician Leonard Cohen lived 10 years in Greece on an Arts Council grant? Oh for the good old days...

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Tina - Hi! Thanks for stopping by! It's great to meet another Lady Blogger. Will hop over to your blog now. :)

Cathy - "Pre-lived in anticipation..." Ooooh! LOVE that. I will definitely be quoting you on that one :D (And no, I didn't know that about Cohen. So cool!)

Mama Mia said...

I had to re-read that part about you hopping at the back of some hairy-shirtless-man's motorcycle...OMG! I just cannot picture it! I!

But, wow! That was definitely one heck of a European adventure! So fabulous really. Love it!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

LOL, Mia! My only excuse is that I was young. Believe it or not, that wasn't even the craziest thing that happened to me during the trip, but I think I'll save that story for another day. HAHAHA! :D

C.M. Villani said...

LOL - sometimes hearing your youth related insanity is a good lesson for your munchkins...when they're older. Much older. :)

Anyway I completely forgot to tell you that your pictures are lovely! I loved Italy....haven't made it to Greece though yet. I'll have to put that one on my bucket list because it looks absolutely gorgeous!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Key words: "Muuuuuuuuuuuuch Older" :D

Chris@Taiwan^^ said...

Hi, we are the marketing company, Topology Travel which specialized in marketing Travel in Real Taiwan to the world.
We are currently in the process of publish and share the travel quotes with meaningful pictures where we hope to have pictures from a wide range of people that love and are involved in travel. I recently came across your blog and would like to get your permission on using the photo in your blog to share in our Facebook page. We would of course include the photo resources at the bottom of each photo we use to share in Facebook. Please feel free to visit our website at and Facebook at

Best Regards,