Thirteen steps to Europe

Up the stairs we went, settling in for our adventures.

This week, it was Romania from Transylvania to the Black Sea, followed by Zermatt in the Swiss Alps to Lake Geneva. Before that, we took the finest trains from Sofia to Istanbul, Vienna to Trieste, Pisa to Lake Garda, Athens to Thessaloniki, the Black Forest to Hannover and Barcelona to Mallorca. 

Not for real, of course — although Barcelona, Switzerland and Germany are on our wish list for … someday — but the room I once pretended was a portal to sporting events is now our passport to some of Europe’s greatest sites.

I ordered pizza from one of the restaurants near our house, trying to time it so I could be home in time for the news show we watch at 6. After dinner, Suzi and I settled into our usual spots in the TV room — me on the corner of the couch, her in a chair — and she would find the night’s entertainment online.

Although Michael Portillo’s railway journeys replaced streamed National Theatre plays as our Thursday-night viewing of choice, the rest of the routine basically stayed the same.

I ordered pizza from one of the restaurants near our house, trying to time it so I could be home in time for the news show we watch at 6. After dinner, Suzi and I settled into our usual spots in the TV room — me on the corner of the couch, her in a chair — and she would find the night’s entertainment online.

Basically, the only thing that changed was the name. “Theatre Thursday” became “Pizza and Portillo.”

Because we like alliteration.

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In lieu of getting Christmas gifts for each other, Suzi and I have bought one big thing we agreed to get together the last couple years.

For the most-recent Christmas, it was a five-season DVD set of Portillo’s trips through Europe. We don’t watch a ton of DVDs anymore because a lot of what we want to see is streaming, to the point where I’m not even sure the player in our TV room is hooked up.

And the Portillo DVDs were from Europe, which is in a different region code, meaning they weren’t compatible with our player, anyway.

However, Suzi remembered that our computer plays DVDs from any region and could connect by cable to a TV — the latter a remnant from pre-app days when I used to watch Yankees games using the same method.

This required moving our activities to my sports room in order to run the cable down the hall, so up the 13 steps we went. 

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We had our pizza. We had our Portillo. Even though we were usually watching at 7 p.m., we decided to change into our pajamas because it would be fun and silly.

And the futon in the sports room isn’t the most comfortable, so we threw on a couple more pillows.

So now we have pizza, Portillo, pajamas and pillows … because we really, really like alliteration (and that’s even before Suzi started making noises about getting a papasan chair for the room).

We started the sports room as a way to furnish an extra bedroom in our house and so I could have a space for some of my sports stuff, but unless we want to watch different things on TV and what I want to watch isn’t just something I can stream on my iPad while we watch the downstairs TV, we don’t actually use it very much.

And after a few weeks of watching travel DVDs there, something hit me completely by surprise. 

Because it’s not a place we spend a lot of time, having that as the site of our Portillo-watching made something that was already a highlight of the week feel more special, more like an event.

“We’re thinking of going to England next weekend. There’s tea in the cupboard, rain in the forecast, and we just bought a subscription to BritBox.”

— “The key to escaping lockdown? Sleep in your guest room and pretend it’s a trip.” The Washington Post, April 26, 2020

I get it. It took me 10 months, but I get it now.

Mallorca sure looks nice in the photo by Marci Marc on Pixabay at the top of this post, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Thirteen steps to Europe

  1. Pingback: The week gone by — Feb. 14 – A Silly Place

  2. Pingback: Getting out by running an errand – A Silly Place

  3. Pingback: The week gone by — Feb. 21 – A Silly Place

  4. Pingback: The week gone by — March 28 – A Silly Place

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