Back on track and on the wrong track en route to Ghent

Now that I’m back on track with scribbling and creating, the term “ back on track” unleashed a flood off flashbacks – from boarding the wrong train on my way from Brussels to Amsterdam (which requires an entire blog post all of its own!) – to mistakenly disembarking in the wrong town on my way from Antwerp to Ghent.  Like, WHO does that?  Apparently, moi - so-called seasoned traveller and all.  Yikes!!

It’s not like I was some clued-out tourist who hadn’t dared venture past the confines of her back yard out on a middle-aged lark around the globe nor a wide-eyed teenage back-packer out to conquer the world for the very first time.  Heck, no!  I had well over 35 years of schlepping and traipsing under my belt and was more than well versed in train schedules and lingo pertaining to overseas journeying and then some.  Or, so I thought.

So, it baffles me beyond belief as to how I ended up on the wrong side of the tracks, stranded in the outskirts of a Belgian hamlet, miles away from my scheduled stop?  It’s not like I couldn’t read or distinguish clearly labelled signage indicating upcoming stations but when the conductor unexpectedly yelled “Gent-Dampoort”, all that resonated was “Quick!!  Get off train immediately! Jump now or you’ll miss your stop!” 

Marvelling at the seamless efficiency of European trains, I was ecstatic at having arrived at our desired destination a whopping 10 to 15 minutes earlier than originally scheduled, leaving plenty of time in which to wander and meander.  My high pitched screech no doubt jolting not only my snoring companion awake but likely the entire car of slumbering passengers, perplexed as to what the brouhaha was all about. 

Gams flailing, parcels tumbling and luggage cascading, I scrambled to exit said carriage, my pink sneakers tripping their way down the aisle on a marathon sprint to freedom.  With nary seconds to spare, I jumped, or should I say, stumbled, in a free-fall dive of quite the un-elegant and messy sidewalk sprawl of the yicky yucky splatter kind.  Ouch.  Double ouch!!

And with a whoosh, the caboose sped on by, en route to the next scheduled stop, Gent -St. Pieters, which, in retrospect was where we should have exited the train had one of us been bright enough to actually pay attention to where we were going.  Oblivious to our gaffe, Travel Bud and I had more pressing concerns at hand, such as orienting our proximity to the hotel and negotiating on whether or not we hoof, bus or cab it.  Being the frugal one of the bunch, I rationalized that it would be a shame to squander hard earned Euros on transit when one could just as easily walk to our destination – the clinking of coins jangling in my pocket that much closer to nirvana as I visualized the sales clerk reluctantly handing over an orange carrier bag containing the mother of all acquisitions - my long coveted for Birkin - with change to boot!  A hallelujah moment like none other!

Like, how far could our accomodations possibly be?  After all, Ghent was not the hugest of towns, with the brochure assuring that the hotel was just a hop, skip and a jump away.

That is, IF you’re in Gent-St. Pieters!

And.  WHERE were we?   The journey continues…

Come traipse, schlepp and lug with the best of us, as we meander around the globe in search of trains, planes, hotels, deals, steals and tabloid magazine worthy selfies and a whole lot more. 

Next post – In three weeks!! – Wed, Oct 7th!!  Catch up with the adventures of Nora Miss Pink Sneakers in Belgium and the Netherlands.  Stay tuned!!

WHERE is Miss Pink Sneakers??????????

As some of you may have been wondering, Miss Pink Sneakers has not fallen off the edge of the earth (all the more difficult considering that the world is not flat), nor has she run away and joined the circus or packed up her highly prized satchel collection to jet across the pond to start life anew as an expat handbag expert in Paris.  Neither has she inadvertently tumbled down a rabbit hole and has not joined forces with Alice in her topsy-turvy Wonderland in a make-believe world where basically anything goes.  Would surely be a party for a diversion of time but having to be subjected to an onslaught of riddles by the Mad Hatter and March Hare, most definitely not her cuppa tea. 

Non.  Nada.  Nope.  Nilch.  Or, was that zilch?  Whatever.  It rhymes.  Nora’s New and Improved English Language Dictionary (The Nictionary) could always use a couple of new words. 

After all, there was a travel blog to scribble and National Geographic worthy pictures to post.

Whilst I would love to regale you with tales of travel and traipsing, lugging and schlepping, all the while recounting with oozing glee, how my bandaged and blistered pink sneaker clad tootsies once again withstood the test of grime as they trudged for hours on end along cobble-stone rues of the lost and confused kind.  Map-less and most definitely clue-less as how best to hobble from Point A to Point B, hopelessly stranded amongst a maze of undecipherable signage and incomprehensible dialects, I, as per the norm, was just around the corner from that deceptively elusive hotel.

But alas, my almost four month disappearance from the blog-sphere does require an explanation of sorts, if not a reasonably believable rationale as to where and why Pink Sneakers on the Go was nowhere to be found.  

My pencils were not broken nor had my quill run dry.  Stacks upon stacks of pristine journals lay untouched.  Abandoned.  Home to cobwebs and dust bunnies eager to leave their mark and taint a trail of sullied stories, all with a much darker imprint of the world than mine.

Annoyed and exasperated with a life of slack and/or lack of adventure, Inspiration packed up its bags and flew the coop.  Creativity soon followed and jumped ship, desperate to mingle with the F. Scott Fitzgerald’s and hang with the likes of Van Gogh and Da Vinci, hot on the trail of the next best thing.  Envisioning star-studded glory and riches galore, none of which could possibly be attained by collaborating with a middle-aged pillowcase of a rag doll, the duo abdicated, and set off in quest of more lucrative pastures. 

Like, seriously?  How far could the two of them possibly get? 

To make matters even worse, Mr. Dictionary and companion Thesaurus languished forlornly on the shelf, estranged from all 26 of their offspring, at a loss as how to open up the lines of communication between the alpha and the betas and get the ball-pen rolling.

Nothing.  Nada.  Zero.  Zilch.  The well had run dry. 

Until.  The.  Unexpected.  Happened.  One.  Random.  Monday. 

My Inbox pinged with a message from Georgina (of Honeycutt fame) an author and blogger whose prose I admired, perplexed as to why I had not written nor posted nary a syllable or sentence since roughly mid-May.  The subject, appropriately titled:  “Where is Miss Pink Sneakers?????????” spelled out the blatantly obvious.

Yikes!  Yikes!!  Yikes!!!

My summer of languishing in indulgent idleness, sipping bubbly and gorging on endless episodes of The Real Housewives of the Rich and Famous in Beverly Hills had finally caught up with me.

Flustered, spewing out all sorts of reasons – from work obligations to chores to utter exhaustion (all, incidentally, true) - I sputtered, racking my brain for a myriad of excuses, as to why I was more than entitled to continue to plod on the road of non-productivity.  But, alas, I had now been cornered, jolted out from quite the stubborn writer’s block and shaken into Back to School action.  Time to get back on track, sharpen those pencils and start scribbling again.

And, guess who – apologetic and sheep-faced – came knocking at my door?

Yup.  You guessed it.  Inspiration and Creativity, returning home from their not so lucrative global adventures.

So, that basically sums it all up in a nutshell.  Looking forward to re-acquainting myself with the blog again (And to think, I seriously contemplated abandoning it – can you believe it?????) and sharing my entertaining travel tales with you.  There’s still last October’s Belgium adventures to write about, as well as gallivanting about Amsterdam and lodging in the outskirts of the outskirts in Overveen, located, where else, but in the outskirts of the outskirts of Amsterdam.  And, so much more…

Thank you, dear readers, for reading the blog and catching up with my pink sneaker escapades of getting hopelessly lost as I meander my way around the world.

Next blog post – In two weeks!!  Wednesday, September 16th!!  Stay tuned!!

And don't forget to catch up with Georgina Honeycutt's fabulous life at: