Sunday, November 9, 2008

Eh... I was going to say that I'm not a nostalgic person, but I guess I am. I think it just depends on the subject matter.

This afternoon, I spent a couple of hours sorting through some boxes that I haven't opened in 15 (or more!) years. Most of it was junk; old bills, empty checkbooks, long-since expired credit cards, etc. But there were a few gems in there, including a pre-scrapbook scrapbook that my mother had put together for me that followed a very short trip that my father and I had taken to Rome and Athens in 1987.

I never forgot the trip - father and 16 year old daughter flying halfway across the world to 're-do' trips that we had made when we lived in Saudi Arabia, while I could still fly for free on TWA (part of my dad's retirement package). It took about a day and a half to get to Athens, and a day-ish to get back from Rome, and I think we spent a grand total of 5 days in the Mediterranean. We weren't going to see anything new, but to revisit places we had traveled to for many years when I was younger. I guess it was a bit of a nostalgic trip, in and of itself.

My mother didn't go (I honestly don't remember why, now), but she had prepared an itinerary and shopping list for us, complete with entries copied from guidebooks. (My parents LOVE to travel, and I have indelible memories of my mother in a London Fog trench coat, with thin brown Isotoner gloves on, pointing at an entry in a guidebook, or at a spot on a map. The typed itinerary was to replace the gloves and trenchcoat on this trip.) She clearly had a good time writing the itinerary; the day that had been scheduled to go to the Forum, collesium, and other ancient Roman sites was referred to as 'Rubble Day'. There were also a number of joking asides about how I had a fancy prep-school education but likely couldn't read the German descriptions in the museums.

Anyway, the trip is one of those things that I remember fondly, but the details had grown hazy over the years. I remember traveling with my father on many occasions, but this trip had sort of blended into many. The album my mother made for the trip makes this trip a one-of-a-kind. Between the TWA 'special service' tickets (i.e. employee tickets), the money changer receipts at both the Rome and Athens airports, as well as the tickets for entrance to the different monuments, the entire trip is there.

My mother is not the 'scrap-booking' sort of person, so the fact that she put this together at all amazes me. Maybe it was to make sure that I appreciated the trip.

Let's just say that if I didn't appreciate it as a 15 year old who was used to flying around the world for nothing, as a 37 year old who hasn't left the US since she was, well, 19, I appreicate it like hell. (And before you think that sounds as obnoxious as it reads, I grew up overseas, traveled overseas, and really didn't see anything of the US until I settled in Utah; my husband and I have traveled all over the western US since then, and maybe because I DID travel so much overseas, I am fascinated by all we've got to see within our borders. (Yes, the Great Wall of China is cool, but so it the continental divide, especially in Yellowstone, and being able to see it with our 'family' (our dogs and our cat), at our own pace? I love it. I love the fact that I was able to travel overseas so much, but I love being able to travel 'at home' in the motorhome even more.)

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