Monday, April 26, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
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A few years back, I flew into Zagreb from Bratislava. The plan was to be picked up at the airport by the group I was working for, and then ferried over to the coast and deposited on a little island called Mali Losinj ("mali" means "little" in Croat, so I mean LITTLE island!).
No one was there to pick me up. I checked the bus schedule, and who woulda thunk? A bus goes directly there, but I would have to run my ___ off to catch it, because it was departing in 15 minutes. I ran and ran and ran. Made it.
As I remember, it was something like a two hour trip. Three hours? I really can't remember. But I do remember that along the way, it started to rain and the brakes failed on the bus, hitting a little car heading in the opposite direction on the single -- and I mean single --lane road, high up in the mountains on a wicked switchback. It wasn't a serious accident, but we had to wait about an hour or so before we were on our way again.
Out my window, all I could see was a straight shot down the mountain. No guardrails, no brush or bracken, no slope. no one-foot soft shoulder, just a freakin' cliff.
I'll never forget it. Unfortunately.
I was farther north on this Croatia excursion. Here's a tiny snippet of some of the mountain travel, although unable to capture yet more of those dramatic drops.
Posted by Patti McCracken at 10:34 AM
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
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Brioni Island was a favorite getaway spot of Austrian royalty during the empire. When Tito came to power, he used it as a type of Camp David/weekend retreat.
There's a museum there that would make Norman Bates choke with prideful tears. It seems it was customary for visiting heads of state to show up with a llama, or a black bear, or maybe a golden eagle. You know, as a gift.
Being the sentimental man he was, when the animal died, Tito had it stuffed. This means you walk through the Pseudo Zoo, with the still-living gifts, and then later the Dead Zone zoo, among gifts of visits past. In this part, I felt like I'd climbed inside a ViewMaster.
Posted by Patti McCracken at 4:08 PM
Monday, April 19, 2010
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The following little story does not make me look good, so I hope I get some credit for sharing it:
At the hotel in Porec, I awoke Day One in the wee hours to the sounds of pleas. Sounded like someone saying "help. help." I strained to listen more. "Help. Help. Help." And then I promptly fell back asleep.
So there you have it. Don't count on me in an emergency when sleep is pulling me back to its chamber.
In the morning I took a walk in search of (what turned out to be) six dollar tooth paste, and heard where the real cries of help were coming from. Take a listen. Doesn't it sound like "help. help. help."?
Posted by Patti McCracken at 9:41 AM
Thursday, April 08, 2010
I hung out with the kids a few times. Was really great to be around baseball again, and this time not making daisy chains in the outfield.
Here's a peek at one afternoon in the life of Tom and the kids in Bratislava:
Posted by Patti McCracken at 8:30 AM