Thursday, November 26, 2009

Why Should I Be Thankful.......? Hmmmmmm..........

I am thankful for…….

H omes away from home, Vienna, Valencia, Ortesei……. And not hotels.

A family to travel with.

P op-pop Glavin’s daily comments/emails/feedback.

P earse, and all his randomly funny comments.

Y ou who are reading this!

T he random moments of bliss we experience every other day in the streets.

H appy street performers who do the act for joy and not money.

A nn Glavin, the human compass.

N ever getting kicked out of the hotel.

K ids speaking English that are my age.

S eamus and his unique personality (which usually gets on my nerves).

G lavin family skype session.

I talian pizza, which we will eat a lot of.

V ideo cameras, so that we may show people pictures in motion of our trip.

I nteresting dinner conversations.

N ever having fish.

G etting comments/emails/feedback from people that we meet in Europe.

E xit signs out of a museum.

V endors who try to get you to eat their food.

E xact change, so we can get home a little bit faster!

R eading. NOT!!!!

Y ou don’t think I forgot about the Deelys did you? THEM TOO!!

O wning a business (parents at least).

N ever getting up before 9 unless there is a flight/train.


Where's the Thanksgiving Turkey?!?

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. My family has gone to 12 different countries already and we are only approaching month five (December 5th). We have definitely had our ups (world track championships) and downs (dads wallet gets stolen on subway), but all 5 people are still here. We may have turkey, but most likely chicken will take the turkey’s place this year. My family will be on SKYPE and ICHAT all day so we can talk with people from home. Christmas is around the corner too; my family will be in Grindenwald, Switzerland. It will be a lot of fun; I have never skied on Christmas before, I hope that I can this year, should be interesting to see whether or not we actually do. I am thankful for many things like a healthy family, people who care about me, a whole year in Europe! For meeting new friends and keeping old ones, Mr. Morris my tutor over the sea, and most of all… my parents for taking us on our adventure. Good night BACELONA! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukah! Have a Krazy Kwanza!


Thanks to Dad, we are in Europe for a year
Happy Thanksgiving
A lot of metros in a lot of cities
Never travel without peanut butter
Knowing how to pack light
Scooters we bought in Vienna
Glavin family
Inviting people to Europe
No school alarm clock
Going to the World Track Championships

Reading Pop Pop’s daily emails
Once in a lifetime chance…
Chocolate Mozart everywhere
Kindles Rule
Skyping with Family & Friends!!

The Glavin’s Have So Much For Which To Be Thankful

T he trip of a lifetime with my family to Europe

H ealthy and happy children as we traipse all over 2 continents.
A nn Deely Glavin’s amazing organizational and map reading skills.

N ight train experience from St. Petersburg to Moscow with a real Russian in our car

K ind and considerate strangers who take pity on weary travelers arriving in a new city.

S imple moments like dinner with a priest, Fr. Cocucci, from home

G od’s many blessings in our lives

I srael pilgrimage in October, a “trip of a lifetime” inside a “trip of a lifetime”

V alencian visitors Sam and Mom-mom from America and mtg. Andrew and Doreen

I talian Alps visit in August to secure the ski house for the winter

N on Alcholic beer in Germany, Poland, Israel, Spain…..It’s almost real, honest

G lavin’s and Deely’s who stay in contact on SKYPE

D enis Kennedy for his willingness to lead Total Scope, Inc while we travel Europe.

A ustria, the first home away from home

Y ears of memories and stories with the 3 boys

2 hotel rooms in most of the cities visited, “Is Pearse with us or his brothers?”

0 regrets on embarking on this amazingfamily adventure

0 Hard Rock CafĂ©’s missed

9 million “yes” responses to the question “You know how lucky you are?”

Monday, November 23, 2009

“I’m Leaving on Jet Plane” and “Burnin Down the House”

Well “Glavin Party of 7” moved into their Madrid Hotel rooms Saturday night just in front of the Maria Lopez Wedding. The Bride looked beautiful and the groom had already begun taking orders as he responded to “Honey could you move out of the way they are trying to get by!” The last hours in Madrid included a walk into the Plaza where street performers worked the crowds for cash and coins and Sam’s hurried walk reminded me of the early days of our trip into Vienna. I assured him that the sights and sounds of the city would wait for him to arrive but his nervous and yet exploratory energy is what makes sharing our European adventure all the more enjoyable. Mom-mom on the other hand is pacing herself knowing through the wisdom of age that the “Madrid Bear and Strawberry Tree” will be ready for the “photo op” in 30 minutes or in 3 hours. Frankly, if the statue fell over from too many tourists pushing on it I’m confident mom-mom would just say “Oh Well.” Such is the patience that comes from seeing a world though 70 year old eyes.

Sunday is travel day for our Broomall Glavin and the Coopersburg Glavin. Sam is ready to “hang” just a little longer and Mom-mom is ready to reassume her role as caretaker of so many. We’re surprised she didn’t adopt a charge in Valencia since she was there for over 8 days. Surely there was an old person or an infirmed person that could have used the caring and loving touch of Sarah. You don’t need to know Spanish to understand love!

We descend the Metro steps, hand bags and roller suitcases in hand. There are 7 of us but we have 5 roller bags on the move. The collection looks like the original box of Crayolas with bags colored orange, green, red, black and brown. No one is confused that we are Americans on the move. Pearse is excited to see that we have “escalators going down this time” and I am grateful that the platforms aren’t filled with folks as it makes for easier entry and exit from the cars. Seamus and Eamon are tired because the Lopez wedding was just outside their room. “Apparently”, says Eamon, “You can’t leave a Madrid wedding til you here ‘We are family, in Spanish 50 times (estamos familia)’” Its so hard to be his age!!!

Mom-mom marvels at the vast metro system and how we navigate it with apparent ease. Ann shows her the map and the route and mom-mom looks and says “Might as well be in Greek, Ann.” Ann shoots me the look as if to say “Now I know where you get it from.” Sam is busy playing with the boys and guessing which way the next car will come from “left or right?” The kids do anything to avoid the inevitable truth that if the airlines cooperate the Broomall and Coopersburg Glavin’s will be gone in a few short hours.

After the 3rd metro and the tricky passing of the bags and the Glavin’s thru the turnstile we are in the Madrid airport with 2.5 hours til “wheels up”. The long walk to Terminal 1 is filled with 1000’s of meters of terrazzo tile and moving escalators which we learned, mom-mom hates. I decide I’ll spare her my “tragic escalator story” that my friend Mr. McTaggart just told me about seeing as how it involved an 80 year old woman, a casino and a future prosthesis.

The energy is palpable as the UsAir agent takes the passports from mom-mom and Sam and orders me out of the line for “security reasons.” I quickly glance right and left and think “oh yeah we really look like terrorists” more like a Norman Rockwell painting called “Goodbye at the Airport.” There was a mad scramble by Eamon to locate his i-pod that wound up being in Mom-mom’s “like new” red bag. (long story) which he recovered in a nick of time as the bag was just headed down the conveyor. He was relieved and I was grateful. Can you imagine 6 months with a teenager without his i-pod?

The moment of truth comes quickly as mom-mom utters the simple sentences “you guys need to catch a train, its time we go to the gate, and we’ll be fine.” We pose for the last pictures, watery eyes on a few and we watch as Sam jostles for his plastic bin at security, quizzical as he shoots a look at the agent. I can’t help but yell “Sam you don’t have a water bottle in there do you?” He laughs and waves back as the security pass thru gate reads “green” and he’s good to go!

As John Denver pined “I’m leavin on a jet plane?” We’ll always remember the days that Sam and mom-mom came to Madrid-Valencia-Madrid and shared some time with team Glavin and our Uncle Andrew and Doreen.

As we exited the high speed train at the Barcelona, 3 hours further into Spain, we marveled at the 305km/hr speed it reached. My cell phone rings, the number unrecognizable, and I hear “Mr. Glavin, there’s a fire alarm at the Edgmont House and the Fire company has been dispatched!”

Tune in tomorrow for an update on what we hope isn’t the talking Heads version of “Burnin Down the House.”