Row, row, row your boat, merrily along the canals of Bruges

What are a pink-sneaker clad Auntie and a Kid to do whilst traipsing along cute as a postcard Brugge, but jump feet first into one of those picturesque canals and see what all of the hoopla is about?  Not about to get our tootsies soaked, nor swim with the dolphins, the ever so clever ingenious worldwide hopper (moi, who else?) lined up with the best and rest of them and paid her 7 Euros for a 30 minute boat ride along the endless miles of waterways that classified this Belgian hamlet as the Venice of the North.  And so it was on a bright and sunny July morning, that Miss Perfect Niece (sporting an unusually rare good mood) and I set out and about, craftily pretending to be locals out for an oh so boring afternoon cruise (who were we kidding?) and queue in a snaking line so that we could hop on a boat with 12 other day-trippers who were just as anxious as us to live out that picture perfect postcard fantasy moment.  That is, if your idea of fun is being squished in like a sardine with a cast of malcontents not even worthy of their own reality television program – such as (listed in order of annoyance, ranging from somewhat mildly irritating to downright over the top aggravating):

I need all of the space that I can get, foul-mouthed self absorbed big-wig, his imposing presence a huge pain in the you know what, garnering attention for all of the wrong reasons, an elbow shoving undignified foreigner unable to appreciate the quaint charm of a medieval Belgian town, focused solely on obtaining that once in a lifetime National Geographic moment in time, oblivious as to how many people he takes out along the way.  Adding insult to injury, this type of self absorbed jerk is the one in a thousand of buffoons, who, unfortunately, taints the stellar reputations of truly appreciative visitors who’ve jetted thousands of miles from across the pond for a glimpse into the past of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Then, coming in at second place, is the Illusion of a Perfect Family, with Mrs Mom and Pop lining up their four not so adorable darlings, all under the age of 8, who have their own agendas on how to effectively disrupt a pleasant afternoon canal cruise, a mini cyclonic force of uncontrollable temper tantrum rants of the Academy Award runner up kind.  From dribbling spit to escalating wails, their screeching crescendos deafening even the hard of hearing, one can only hope and pray for a massive tidal wave to at least momentarily startle the irritating little brats into quieted submission.  Not an actual tidal wave, of course, but you get my drift.

And then, la piece de la resistance, or the icing on the cake, and number three on my list of fellow travellers I never ever want to share even a smidgen of boat space with, lest be exposed to pathogens of the germinating kind, the get a hotel room newly met or newly-wed tonsil hockey gropers who truly have no desire to see the sights, focused exclusively on tearing the other’s garments off, misfits on a family oriented Disney waltz along the canal lined waterways.

And finally, number four on my list of tourists to stay clear off, the over cautious freak-a-zoid middle-aged Auntie who sports water wings and a life jacket, lest the vessel accidentally tip over and fling her into the not so deep canal, an annoyingly irritating passenger persistently questioning the abilities of the tenured captain, is someone you most definitely don’t want to sit beside on your next boating venture.  Quite the embarrassment to her 16 year old cooler than cool niece, this terrified and petrified scared of her own shadow day-tripper is quite the pathetic sight indeed, making a mountain out of a molehill on a routine half hour glide along the calmest of waterways in all of Europe.  Like seriously?  Who is that dingbat?

Yikes!!   Okay….I confess….that would be no-one else but you know who!   Double yikes!!  Okay then, on that note, time to sign off until the New Year, as the Kid and I continue to traipse around Bruges, our pink-sneakered feet jumping from one adventure to yet another. 

Come make friends with all sorts of personalities, squished in a tinier than tiny rowboat, sailing around the picturesque canals of medieval Bruges.  Come follow us on our escapades throughout Europe and our (mine, actually) uniquely fascinating perspective on life abroad.

Next blog – Stay tuned for the continuation of my adventures across the pond, as my next blog will be posted on Wednesday January 8th, 2014!!

Miss Pink Sneakers will be taking a bit of time out to rest, relax and enjoy the holiday season, indulge in some vino, do some of writing and, most importantly, start planning the next 2014 travel adventure!!

Wishing all of my faithful readers a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy New Year!!  Thank you all for reading, learning and laughing!!

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