Ambling along awkwardly in Amsterdam.

Well, I’ve been putting off writing this post for quite some time now. I knew in the bottom of my heart that such an incredible trip deserved an incredible post. Unfortunately, I’ve just decided to forget that and just write my normal inane anecdote. Maybe it’s for the best.

Strange people live in Amsterdam. Strange things happen in Amsterdam. I don’t know how else I could describe the city. Sure, an overwhelming amount of the women there happen to be prostitutes, but that just gives the city character. Sure, an overwhelming amount of men smoke all types of substances that would land you in jail here. But Amsterdam has one of the lowest drug addiction rates in the world. Figure that one out… I’ve been told underage drinking does not exist in Europe, so I had to test that statement out. 100% true! So Amsterdam was good.

Following a lovely few days in Amsterdam, we made our way to Paris. Big mistake.
Turns out the French people were rioting for some reason, making intercity travel impossible. Come to find out, they were rioting because they had won the World Cup semifinal match. I guess that’s all the french really know how to do… riot. We would have been content to stay shut up inside our hotel, but after a few days only breaded pigs feet remained in the chow closet. We had to get out.

The initial escape turned out to be very simple. Paris has a fantastic metro system. But things took a turn for the worse when we came to a river, passable only by a swinging bridge. Being the strong ones in the group, my mother and I went across first. We made it safely. However, the same can not be said the rest of our traveling party. We can only hope to see them again when we return home to the United States. We join another group fleeing the riots and plot a daring escape through the Massif du Mont Blanc.

Now, I’ve heard countless stories about the ruthless sheep that guard the French border. I came prepared with both a sheering razor and a twelve gauge. But as we quickly began to realize, French sheep soldiers are just huge pussies, just like real french soldiers. Makes sense. The real danger began when giant balloon trains started floating through the valleys. Lose focus for one second and POW!, you’re out cold. I avoided all but one of these deadly balloon rifles and managed to stagger into our refuge. The bedding was primitive (we slept in old cow houses) but damn if they didn’t serve the best hamburger and apple pie I’ve ever had. Oh, and cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. Too much cheese. Euguh, my stomach feels week. Let’s change the subject.

The next day we embarked on a grueling hike that took us more than a few thousand feet up, then more than a few thousand feet down. That’s far. It was worth every single painful step just to set foot in the peaceful nation of Switzerland. We were stopped at the border by a Swiss national guard, but he was very understanding and steered up in the right direction (har!). Our perilous journey completed, we celebrated with a traditional Italian drink, the grolla, which sealed our friendship for enternity.

Seriously, this trip was best of my life. Despite all the danger of course, but by now I’m used to it.