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Monday, June 25, 2012

Graz, Austria

When I think of Austria, I almost think of coming home again.
For several years since I have been married to my husband we have traveled here to visit with his family. I love the moment of driving into the city of Graz and getting that feeling of familiarity and feeling an instant joy about seeing loved ones. I see the excitement in my 6 year olds eyes of the anticipation of seeing her beloved cousins and I feel myself breathe a sigh of instant contentment with the thought of a relaxing vacation.

Our journey begins here....


Tradition is to go to the outdoor market in downtown Graz.
 We have our favorite items that we always get.

The hills are alive......<3 <3 <3 <3

A visit with family

time

Cousins :))

JoY!

I love how it can be a year since these cousins have seen each other,
and they seem to just have seen each other yesterday.

 

Quality time with Grammy






Zotter chocoloate factory...We have to go everytime we visit family in Graz.
We are holding up our tasting spoons :))..yum



All suited up for the Kletterpark


















Saturday, June 23, 2012

To scan or Not to scan

This is the question.

The day we headed for the plane I hadn't really given too much thought about being asked to step into the scanner. In the past 5 years of international travel I have never really even been pulled aside. I had to get rid of a water bottle once because I forgot I left it in my bag  (if this counts)

My husband has had to think about the subject more recently when he has made a choice to use an insulin pump. His doctor told him under any circumstance that he was NOT to go into the full body scanner in the airport. The scanner would destroy the pump.

So he knew going in.... that if it came down to it,........ he had to be patted down.

We all knew it was his fate since on every trip we have gone on, without fail, he has been pulled aside and questioned, or they would rummage through his bag. It has became such a regular thing that I even plan extra time ahead of time, just to make sure we don't miss our plane.

So when I found myself at the security gate and got a finger pointed at me to go through  the full body scanner, I suddenly had to make a choice. I looked at my husband and he, like clockwork, was also asked to step aside.

I quickly without thought said, "No" "I don't want to go through the scanner."
In my mind I thought," how bad could a quick pat down be?" My husband has to do it, and ultimately I remember reading that its really your  "own" choice.

Wasn't I in for a surprise. Then  I found myself waiting behind the gate for 10 minutes while they searched to find someone to do the pat down {Thank goodness! my mother is with us on this trip and waited with my children on the other side of the line} Although they did get to see a show as this woman patted me down and whispered in my ear.

It really was creepy. She started at the top of my head and went all the way down my body. She even rubbed my bare arms to my finger tips, squeezing the end of my fingers (do people hide stuff under their skin?) Then of course she did the rest of my body.and all the while was whispering in my ear and asking me over and over," why didn't I just want to go through the scanner?" and  stating that, "You know, you get more radiation riding on the plane that you are about to go on."

This all (by the way) was in perfect view of my 4 children. They all stared in horror (not because their mother was being patted down) but because.... they expressed later that...."Why was " I"... so stupid to pick being patted down?"  Was she crazy? (well at least this was what I heard from my two teenage daughters.) My six year old and my twelve year old son might of actually been damaged by the scene.       

It wouldn't have been that bad if the woman had just patted me down and got it over with. I felt completely violated more by the way the woman had talked to me. I didn't need a lady whispering in my ear and telling me her opinion. Isn't it up to me to decide whether I want to be exposed to just a little more radiation? Logically for me, if they don't let children go through, or an insulin pump would be ruined.....Then the scanner must cause some damage?

 I speak very clear about this opinion.(and of course it is my body)
In my opinion, every little bit adds up in every situation. If I don't want to be exposed..... no matter how small amount of radiation it is...... I shouldn't have to go through...right?

I would love to hear your opinions,( And please don't whisper them in my ear...lol)


P.S. When talking to my husband,  I found out that the man that patted him down didn't whisper in his ear.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Trip Itinerary 2012


Day 1-3:  Graz, Austria

Day 4: Stay in Cavallino Treporti, visit Venice, Italy

Day 5: Genoa, Italy

Day 6: Drive and stop in Cannes, Monaco, Nice,
            stay in Saint Aygulf, France

Day 7: Stop in Marseille, stay at Les Sainte Maries de la Mer, France

Day 8: Stop in Roses, Figueres, stay in Girona, Spain

Day 9-10: Barcelona, Spain

Day 11: Ferry cruise to Civitavecchia

Day 12-13: Drive from Civitavecchia to Rome, Italy, stay in Rome

Day 14-20: Rimini, Italy

Day 21-27: Rab, Croatia

Day 28: Drive through Slovenia, stop in Trieste, stay in Graz, Austria

Day 29-30: Graz, Austria