I know you’ve been trying to reach me a lot lately, and that’s fine. I don’t mind.
And … yes, I know I should have gotten back to you sooner, but I honestly wasn’t really sure what to say.
I woke up on the proverbial wrong side of the bed … and pretty much stayed there all day.
Our regular Wednesday trail walk did a little for my mood — when I wasn’t rolling up my sleeves and then pushing them down because I was alternately too hot or too cold — but it didn’t last very long.
I was moody, crabby, irritable, cranky … whatever words you like for someone who’s just a pain to be around.
Looking at the beer list over our head — the one that started with “Get Maxxinated!” — Suzi said she found the one for me, which is interesting, since I don’t drink.
After an excellent lunch of chicken schnitzel and mashed potatoes, I had my mask on since we were about to leave, but my mouth didn’t need to be visible for Suzi to see what I thought of her suggestion.
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.
If you ask the average American what they know about South Africa, I’m going to guess the answer will probably be apartheid and Nelson Mandela.
Maybe you’ll get some people who remember then men’s soccer World Cup in 2010, or even those who — especially if the saw the movie “Invictus” or read “Playing the Enemy,” the book upon which it was based (I’ve done both) — are aware of the country’s famed Springboks national rugby team.
But apartheid and Nelson Mandela is probably what you’re going to get, mostly because that’s what we’ve heard about South Africa.
Blink, and you’ll miss it.
Look anywhere but the side of the road, and you’ll miss it.
Try very hard to run the car in front of you off the road because they’re trying to figure out where to turn and you just have to get where you’re going right now, and you’ll miss it.
I once had pancakes in the Shannon Airport.
They weren’t diner-quality, nor what Suzi makes on our griddle at home — even though she doesn’t think hers are very good — but they were perfectly fine.
And since that an early morning flight from Ireland to Boston and the time-zone change it entailed were probably going to wreak havoc on my eating schedule, I can appreciate that they were more filling than whatever I would have otherwise picked up at the coffee shop.
I ran to pick up my phone, even though 99 times out of 100, if it’s not Sunday night at 7, it’s a junk call.
It not being Sunday night at 7, it was a junk call.
But the location on the caller ID got my attention.
“Discover Beautiful Rhode Island,” the sign said.
Having lived in Massachusetts since early 2003, Rhode Island being beautiful isn’t exactly something we had to “discover,” as it’s less than two hours away and we’ve been there numerous times.
Newport has been a regular Christmas Eve site, and last year, we made sure to get there early so we could enjoy the Cliff Walk.
I like to think I’m a good person most of the time: polite, well-mannered, pleasant and respectful of others.
But sometimes, I’m just not having it, where I really just don’t care if you think I’m a good person or horrible.
Standing in a torrential downpour that has soaked all the way through my jeans, shoes and socks is one of those times.