A Travellerspoint blog

Bittersweet End to Part I Europe 2010

Wow...three weeks have flown by. Kailee will be taking a flight in the morning and re-joining her family for the remainder of summer break. I will be headed back to work for my normal schedule and Trinity will be hanging out at home while I'm working missing everyone back home....

It's been a great summer so far. Having Kaillee here was was a wonderful addition to Trinity's visit and I'm sure that Trinity is going to miss her tons.

We still have to finish PCS'ing Trinity here at the base; I only wish she would stay and continue to explore Europe with me. I guess that I have to be content with the time that I do have with her, but it seems so very long between the end of summer and Christmas when I will see her next :o(

We have much more to see and do this summer and I hope that we can fit it all in with work....silly how work gets in the way sometimes! Trinity and I are planning to take an extended weekend in Ireland before she leaves and I am hoping that we can make a few other trips before that. Wish me luck with the planning and organization.

I'm fortunate that I have friends flying in from the states at the same time that Trinity will be leaving. It will distract me and take my mind off the fact that she is gone home for a while. Teresa and Jen will be arriving the same day that Trinity leaves. We haven't finalized any plans yet but it should be an enjoyable couple of weeks of exploring and hopefully some wine tasting!

I will try to update soon.....

Posted by Khandilee 05:17 Archived in Germany Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

An American In London....

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View Europe 2010 on Khandilee's travel map.

Ahhhh...the sweet sounds of the city; a jack-hammer against the hard concrete, sounds of hammers hitting metal; the clang of metal banging together at heights well above ground, and the whir of a saw. In my dreams, it reminded me of the show Stomp. As I woke, I realized that it wasn't the sweet choreographed sounds that I was hearing from Stomp but the annoying sounds from the construction site just outside my hostel window. This was repeated every morning in London....an alarm clock of construction sounds beginning around 0700.

Thought of changing hostels were disregarded when I thought about packing up all three of us girls and trekking across the London crowds to find something new....so we stayed.

I think I fell in Love with London this week. There is something about being able to feel lost in the hustle of the crowd that draws me in. Thoughts of how much it would cost to rent a flat crossed my mind. The fact that you can get anything you want or need just around the corner is enticing to me. There is an abundance of culture and your never far from an event or something to entertain. London reminds me of San Francisco which will always be one of my favorite places.

We never made it out of London during our trip. I would love to return to see the British countryside and probably will some day.

Two shows were booked and enjoyed. Stomp and Wicked. I think we all agreed that we enjoyed Stomp best. It's so full of energy and excitement. Wicked was good as well, on a different spectrum. I only wish that I could have had a bit better seats and I think that Wicked would have came far up on the 'wow' factor.

London Pride was amazing fun; made more so by new friends we met. For a great little drag show go see Bette @ Molly Moggs This little pub was ultra friendly.

Miles of walking through the city streets, our feet were not happy. I never feel like I get to see as much as I would like; I guess that is reason enough to return.

The 4th of July was spent without fireworks this year but I don't think any of us even gave it a second thought; we were too busy enjoying the London sites.

Trinity's birthday was celebrated (somewhat weakly) with an amazing cake purchased at Caffe' Concerto. It was the most beautiful and delicious cake I have ever purchased. It was shared with new friends at the hostel...

A few tips that I want to note (mostly so I don't forget for my return trip):

- Cheap and good lunch food can be had at the local groceries. I like Simply Food the best (Victoria Station). M&S was also good as well as the local Tessco
- Great cheap clothes shopping can be found @ Primark on Oxford Street
- Get the Oyster Card....no worries about transit.
- Discount theater tickets can be found all over town, but make sure that you check the prices against the theater first.
- Sandeman's free Tours again.....great! If your hostel offers a pick-up for the tour, you can save about 30 minutes of walking by finding out where the full tour meets and taking the Underground! If your like me with sore feet from walking the 30 minutes spared will be worth it.
- Silly American that I am; please note that the London Bridge is NOT the Tower of London! We walked all over to find the London Bridge only to realize that it is a tiny little bridge over the river with no real interest. The Tower of London is further down the river. Spend some time here...it's a great place to people watch.

Link to London Pics
Link to London PRIDE Pics

Posted by Khandilee 05:12 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

Euro Summer 2010

Trinity and Kailee in Germany

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Trinity and her girlfriend Kailee made it safe to Germany after a long international flight. We were all exhausted as the girls had traveled overnight and I had worked. We ended up falling asleep early after their arrival.

The following day (@0300), we were headed on an early bus to Paris for a day-trip. It was a long 6 hour ride there and back. We were lucky enough to have 2 seats each so we could at least stretch out and relax on the ride.

Paris was much nicer this time than the last....I might actually even like Paris....a little bit ;o) I'm sure that the lack of snow and cold had something to do with it.

We took a free tour with Sandeman's and had a great time. Our tour guide was a cute Irish gal and we laughed through the entire tour. It was a fun time, and I recommend Sandeman's to anyone wanting a great youthful tour of any city. (I also used this group for a tour of Amsterdam and it was just as good) The tour lasted about 3.5 hours though and we were all beat by the time we were finished walking all over the city.

We then made our way to see the fabled Eiffel Tower.... The girls were going to go to the top but the line was so long that I didn't think we would make it back to our bus in time. We opted for pics at the base, while it rained on us intermittently.

We rested at home for a couple days while I was *sick and headed out to Alghero Italy. It's on the island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean between Spain and Italy. It was beautiful. I have to say that I wasn't very excited about going back to Italy after last summers excursion but I really enjoyed myself. It's a beautiful old town with tons of character. The atmosphere was very casual. Like always in Italy, we ate LOTS of quatro Formagio Pizza...one of Trinity and I's favorites.

We rented bikes for 2 days while there and were able to traverse most of the city. We spent one afternoon on the beach and got a little sun (fortunately, none of us overdid it). Kailee got to try crepes and tons of Gelato was consumed...a first for Kailee. I think we managed to work off all the calories with the bikes. After two days on the bikes, our backsides were telling us 'enough'!!

We are now back home and relaxing for a couple of days then off to London...

Links for Paris and Alghero Pics

Posted by Khandilee 05:06 Archived in France Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Nursing at LRMC

Things are changing. The patient load is becoming a little more of what I guess I thought it would be like to work at LRMC. For a time, about all we were getting were local patients. Lots of diverticulitis, lap-chole's, and the like. Now...well, things are changing.

Over the past two weeks our caseload has went from a mixture of locals and a few soldiers from down-range with either minor injuries or medical conditions to an entire new game. I was feeling like it was any other hospital throughout the US with the only difference being that the average age of patients was about 26. We are seeing lots of wounded soldiers now. Amputations, burns, multi-trauma. And they are so young....I have a Canadian patient who is 20 that is breaking my heart!

It's difficult because from a professional level, I am enjoying the learning and the experience. But on a personal and emotional level, it's really difficult to see and deal with.

I hope every night that I can say the right thing and be supportive enough. The wounds that we see are only the beginning. Although most of these boys are dealing well, there are always a few that seem to be having trouble. Recognizing this and being able to support them is important to me. I haven't been there....won't be going there (down-range) and cant even begin to understand what it's like there. I'm not certain that I can offer the proper support that's needed. But, I try...

That's all for today...just needed to vent a little.

So, when you see a soldier returning from the war...remember to say 'Thank you', or give them a smile as you pass them on the street. I still don't believe in what we are doing over there but I support our soldiers!!

Thanks too to all of the NATO troops. You guys ROCK! Thank you for standing beside the US, fighting the same fight and trying to make a difference.

Posted by Khandilee 07:51 Archived in Germany Tagged business_travel Comments (1)

Amsterdam

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View Europe 2010 on Khandilee's travel map.

I feel lazy....

I just spent 3 full days in Amsterdam and didn't see half of what I probably should have. I spend most of my weekend wandering around lost from coffee shop to coffee shop. NO, not those kind of coffee shops!! I simply walked slowly by those, deeply inhaling....scared to go in for fear that temptation might get me into more trouble than I was ready for.

My first impression of Amsterdam was 'Damn, it's filthy here' ! I found out later that the garbage workers decided to go on strike this week. According to the locals, they want a 1.5% raise and the government is only willing to give them 1%. All this nastiness for 0.5% !
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My trip to Amsterdam (unknown to me), fell during the 2010 Giro d'Italia. Some sort of big bike race, read about it on the link if your interested. I will suffice it to say that all it did for me was create more garbage/filth, and cause a transit nightmare! The main road to my hotel and the only route that I was really familiar with was completely shut down on Saturday. I ended up doing a lot more walking than I had planned.
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I had planned to head out to the Keukenhof Gardens in the morning and spend the afternoon taking a free boat ride and seeing the Anne Frank Museum then an evening of beer tasting. My plans were changed as it ended up taking me until 1230 to even get to the gardens. I spent a couple hours winding my way around the gardens feeling pretty lonely, everyone was snapping pics of each other with a great background. It was pretty but sadly, there are no pics of me (actually, there are a couple of self-shots but they are really bad and won't get posted here!) Here are a few of my favorite pics from the Gardens. I love the one of the dog...for whatever reason, it reminds me of Astro the Dog from the old cartoon The Jetson's!
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By the time I got back into the city, it was nearly 4pm. I headed to the Heineken Museum for the tour. I've been told that this is a great experience so not to be missed. It was a good time and I ended up getting an extra beer for being a good student and answering a question correctly! YEah, me! I'm not a huge fan of Heineken beer but I do have to say that it was pretty damn good fresh and ice cold from the factory!

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An evening tour of the Red-Light District was informative and fun. We ended with Jagermeister shots and a young Londoner hitting on me...maybe I should have ....nah.....maybe....damn, I should have had one more shot.....!!
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A few other sights:

Random Amsterdam CIMG3684.jpg

Hooks at the top of the older buildings used for hauling up furniture!CIMG3677.jpg

Toilets everywhere for the men....I think they forgot that women need to pee too!CIMG3764.jpg

The boat that I waited nearly an hour for to take me across the canal during the race CIMG3743.jpg

Wooden Shoes and Dutch Dancers: CIMG3741.jpgCIMG3725.jpg

Graffiti (you know I have to include it.....) CIMG3667.jpgCIMG3669.jpg

Leidseplein Square Chess: CIMG3660.jpgCIMG3659.jpg

Other: CIMG3675.jpgCIMG3661.jpg

I have decided....I am tired of traveling alone!!! Someone....please come and travel with me!!!

For more pics click HERE.

Posted by Khandilee 05:09 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

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