by Mr. N


My mom wrote about Yesterday. I wanted Today.

I was just looking at the word as I typed the title. It honestly looks kind of weird knowing what today means. Well it’s me, Mr.N, for our 205th day of sabbatical (we missed 200-day). Only ten days left, and so we begin the final countdown. And how better to fill the day than with making memory lists! (Note: None of them are in order of favoritism. They are random.)


What songs will define and remind us of this trip? This list defines the songs that will remind us of the hard times, the good times and even the just okay times. Most of them make us feel happy in the sad times and keep us happy when we’re having a good time. This is a partial look at our sabbatical soundtrack:


You will probably be surprised in the dramatic differences of genre. While Miss A and I prefer pop, this is a list we can generally agree on (I said generally. In other words, the feelings expressed in this blog post do not necessarily represent the feelings of this particular author.) But, whenever we hear these songs on the radio, we tend to get into them for one reason or another – even if only to debate the merits of the song. Miss A and I also know a lot more Michael Jackson and Madonna than we did before the trip too. They like to play them everywhere we’ve been.


Things we will miss the most. We have had a wonderful trip and it’s hard to leave wonderful things. Here are some of the things we will miss:

  • Good interesting food
  • Sitting/being outside
  • Views
  • Meeting new people
  • Trying new languages

Of course this DOES NOT include people. If it did, this list would be at least 400,000,000 names long.


Things we won’t miss (there are a few). We’ve loved our trip, to say the least, but there have been ups and downs and we certainly won’t miss these things:

  • Bugs (Italy has some BIG ones!)
  • Foreign traffic signs
  • Plumbing and Washing (also not having dryers)
  • Public toilets
  • Uncomfortable beds


Favorite foods and/or meals. From country-to-country we’ve passed through, we’ve tried their best foods, and our favorites (many to be someday featured) are:

  • Langos (Hungary)
  • Tapas (Spain)
  • Italian food in general (pasta, fennel breadsticks, truffles, steak, pasta, pasta, pasta)
  • Paella (Spain)
  • Chicken cacciatora (Italy)

Favorite Views. From Spain to Hungary and up to Germany, we’ve seen amazing views, but the best are:

  • Nerja (Spain)
  • Umbria House (Italy)
  • Cinque Terre (Italy)
  • Buda Hill (Budapest, Hungary)
  • Getaria (Spain)

Favorite Day. This needs no explanation. We each have many favorite days, but these ranked in the top five.


Favorite Cities. We’ve been to nearly every capital of every country we stopped in, and many other towns but our favorites are:


Places to go back. We enjoyed them so much, why not enjoy them some more!


Ways of life to take home. We learned some things, or just had more time to do these things, but either way, we want to start doing these at home:

  • Walking
  • Eating healthier
  • Spending more time together
  • Trying new things more often
  • Having more patience


Best wine. I obviously didn’t write this one.


Favorite Winery. Miss A and I partially helped with this list.


Favorite Museums. From art to history to strange oddities our favorites are:

Favorite Italian hill towns. All of them are beautiful, unique and entertaining.

  • Assisi
  • Volterra
  • Montalcino
  • Civita
  • Spello


Favorite foreign words. Some are just too perfect (and others a little juvenile).

  • Egészségedre
  • Tak tak tak
  • Cin cin
  • Weinprobe
  • Ausfahrt
  • Mamma mia


Most influential people we met randomly and for only a short time, but that still impacted us. This does not include our Polish friends, they are on a completely different level!

  • Beatrix
  • Zabel
  • Anton & Astrid
  • Leon
  • British guy in Cadiz with the dog named Lucy


Favorite Memory.  Self-explanatory.

  • Getaria day (my mom’s)
  • Budapest ruin pub date night (my dad’s)
  • My golden birthday in Prague
  • Miss A’s 8th birthday (Miss A’s)
  • Lunch at Zabel’s (all of us)


Favorite city by country. The best of the best from this trip.


Scariest moments. The worst of times.

  • Car accident (everyone was fine)
  • Miss A’s fall on the stairs
  • The train incident in Poland (I almost got left on the platform!)
  • Near car accident in Czech
  • Miss A’s “tarantula” in the shower (it was not that big)


Happiest moments. The best of times.

  • Skipping through Montechiello (Miss A & I)
  • Getaria (my mom)
  • Poraj BBQ (all of us)
  • Madrid tapas crawl (all of us)
  • Perugia (all of us)


Favorite Castles, Churches, and Palaces.


Plazas and Squares. Never quite shaped like squares, “Hmmmmmmmm.”

  • Krakow’s Market Square
  • Plaza Mayor in Madrid
  • Plaza de España in Sevilla
  • Prauge’s Old Town Square
  • Vienna’s river front


Favorite Stores.

  • Zara
  • Osborne’s winery shop
  • Miss A’s flamenco dress store in Arcos
  • Spartaco Montagnani (bronze smith)
  • OBI (because I like to say the name!)


Best places we’ve stayed. Living like a royal (at least that’s what I pretended).

  • Crystal Suites Hotel
  • Mercure Centrum Warsaw
  • Grand Hotel Union Ljubljana
  • Alanda Club Marbella
  • Getaria


Worst places we’ve stayed. Must…Escape…

  • Brno
  • Exclusive Apartments Wroclaw
  • Czestochowa Mercure


Favorite souvenir. To remember….

  • Flamenco dress (Miss A)
  • Bronze Etruscan charms (all)
  • Chess set (my dad)
  • Berlin ampelmann sweatshirt (mine)
  • Amber ring (my mom)


We could make lists for hours, but this should be enough to help us remember some things. And that was today. Our 205th day.





11 thoughts on “Today

  1. ChgoJohn says:

    A great recap, Mr N. This is something you’ll refer to again and again in the years to come. Tell Miss A I’ve not doubt that tarantula was HUGE. They do grow them big in Italy. As for you, my thespian friend, given your love of pasta, you can come with me to Italy anytime. We’ll do very well together. 🙂
    By the way, did you get to see the Colosseum when you were in Rome? How cool is that?


  2. Eva Taylor says:

    What a great post Mr. N., I’m quite impressed on the quality of writing considering your young age! I was very glad to read that your didn’t love that Justin song, I can’t stand him either! I will listen to your list shortly.
    It’s nice to see that Hungary makes the list several times. You are scaring me with the big bug stuff…we’re heading to Spain in September so I’m hoping they will be long dead by then. Tarantula in the shower?? YIKES!
    It is scary to have an accident in another country, I’m very happy to hear everyone was OK. I have no idea what that crazy road sign means! Is the car farting? Or do the motorbikes go so fast that they bump into the car they are following? Seems crazy!
    It’s too bad you had some bad apartment/hotel experiences but considering how many places you guys stayed in, three is pretty good!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Good Morning Mr N, please go easy on the Biebs, he’s one of our national treasures 😉 – I think Love Yourself is hilarious (and super catchy!). I really like what you’ve done here with these lists – punchy, memorable and to the point. Also helpful references that you (and we) can return to time and time again. My favorite lists were ‘ways of life to take home’ and random influential people (I know exactly what you mean by that – I wonder if that’s Lucy in the photo with Miss A). Miss A’s tarantula moment was funny and I’m with you on uncomfortable beds; how good is it going to feel to snuggle up in yours again? Thank you so much for this great post and for sharing some of your key memories and moments with us. I can see that you have been deeply touched by your travel experience. Enjoy your remaining days to the very fullest!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Debra says:

    Your lists are filled with references I’ve enjoyed reading your family posts throughout this sabbatical period, Mr. N. I’ve so enjoyed revisiting with you in this post. It’s delightful to consider what adventures you’ve enjoyed, and you have done a marvelous job of listing what you’ll most remember, miss upon coming home, and plan to revisit! I think you will definitely enjoy being back in your own bed! Hopefully some of the American comforts will make coming home a little easier!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Eha says:

    Dear Mr N: oh boy, I shall have to read this missive about twenty times over before I can make a ‘somewhat’ intelligent comment – thanks heaps and heaps! Terrific!!!! We both have common favourites: Buda Hill I can remember from the list and how . . . [Oh methinks your Dad realizes that ‘weinprobe’ happens to be a favourite word of mine also’] . . . . ten days left, THIS TIME . . . go back, pick up your normal life and slowly, slowly begin to dream again . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  6. madre says:

    Mr. N: My Today is beyond words just for having read your post. I’m filled with amazement, wonder, love, laughter, tears and so many hugs for you that I am about to burst!!! xoxoxoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. balayer88 says:

    What a life changing experience and adventure! You have made so many memories! I have watched each of you grow in so many ways! You have encouraged me to go to some of these places, they are beautiful and so culturally diverse!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. sallybr says:

    This was an amazing post, Mr. N!

    I laughed, I got emotional, and must say one very important thing: knowing Ms A, I KNOW for a fact the tarantula was H.U.G.E. I’ve always felt some type of virtual connection with Ms A, and our approach to eight legged creatures, also six legged creatures is quite similar. Ms. A, I hear you and I am glad you survived the traumatic shower experience. You rock!

    Liked by 1 person

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