Food for thought and more…

What does this look like to you?

For most of you it looks like a dream refrigerator filled with endless numbers of condiments, leftovers, juices, vegetables, you name it โ€“ chances are we’ve got it! It’s something that any frat house would dream of filled with endless surprises and combinations.

Well, not me.

For me and looks more like a very carefully planned out game of Jenga. A game that is just one move away from completely and uncontrollably collapsing. The game that when I attempt to grab my strawberry yogurt from the very back shelf will ultimately crashing my face causing me to swear and moan until everything is either back in the fridge, eaten by Bella, or left to rot out of out of just sheer frustration. So I decided to go with the protein shake that was accessible in the other fridge and headed down the street to get a sandwich.

But I am happy to say that these days are coming to an end. I ran some numbers not too long ago on how much I spend each month on food and it completely blew my mind! It’s time to budget! And the fridge also reminded me that I need to shed some weight. Not literally of course, if I lost anymore weight I would fly when the wind blew! But it’s time to do a good spring\fall cleaning.

I need to not only clean out this fridge but also my closet full of 500 T-shirts that I rarely wear! Though this fridge frustrated the shit out of me when I first saw it, it actually is a good reminder that more is not always better!

While I’m on the topic of food, I noticed that I have an advantage on all of you that I hadn’t thought of before. When I was at the grocery store shopping today I realized that if anything is above 4 1/2 feet tall, I can’t reach it, and therefore don’t want it. So, to all of you tall able-bodied people standing there googely-eyed in the seemingly endless cereal aisle, my choice is 1/3 easier because of what I can reach. So take that!

If you’re not interested in seeing Aspokinlife’s longest blog post, go ahead and leave now.

Still here? I’m going to take you on a mostly visual whirlwind journey through 3 countries with short captions and lots of pictures… Hope you enjoy

Before I get started, I forgot to mention when I was at the hotel in London taking a shower the fire alarm went off. I hardly do anything fast these days and getting out the shower is no exception. I turned off the water, said out loud, “are you kidding me?” and began to transfer back into my chair. Somebody from the hotel came rushing in my room to take me to the stairs but gave me a minute to grab a shirt and all the valuable items. I took my passport, some money, and most importantly my camera. Here is the picture I had the hotel employee snap of me waiting at the stairwell refugee point. Fortunately there was no fire!

Clay and I visited a nice little town on the Germany/Austria border that I can’t remember the name of to save my life. It was on an enormous lake with the mountains deep in the distance. It was a neat traditional town but did feel slightly like a tourist trap. I did enjoy the numerous floral creations though.

There were many of these random rose bushes growing up the walls of the buildings. Clayton stopped to take a sniff which worked perfectly for showing you just how tall they grow

Continuing along, we eventually reached the side of town located lake side. I thought these boats would make for a neat picture but it was quite cloudy out. The sun shone through the clouds just long enough to tease me as I was getting my camera set up and then disappeared again. I must’ve sat for at least 10 minutes waiting for the sun to come back out. It never did, that is, until I started moving away. Within 30 seconds of me leaving the spot the sun shone again. Still turned out to be a cool shot but the sun would’ve made it much stronger

Once again, one of these rosebushes growing up a wall that is more than likely older than our entire country

After Austria, we finally took an overnight trip to Switzerland. The drive was absolutely beautiful and reminded me much of the mountains out here in Colorado. When we finally reached the town of Vals, Switzerland I was quite excited to spend some time away from people. We visited the thermal bathsย that are nothing shy of an architectural icon. It was a wonderful evening and also happen to be Clayton’s birthday.

Here is a picture from our breakfast table after an evening of swimming around in different temperature thermal baths. Nice bed-head I have…

The way these one lane roads wind through these mountains fascinated me. They harvest the grass or wheat growing on the hillsides and stored it in these little huts you see everywhere. It looks like incredibly hard work because it is such a steep hillside that they have to walk and Sling Blade then rake most of it.

Here in Switzerland they actually use real slate rock for their roof. You can see a close-up here of the roofs of one of the houses in town with moss growing on it. I can’t even imagine the amount of snow these slates see in the wintertime! Heavy!

I have to give credit where credit is due and I must admit I would not have made it very long without Mist’R Lizard here. This is my artificial sweatener which I use to spray water all over myself to keep from overheating. It has saved my life hey countless number of times. Thanks Mist’R Lizard!

Just another view coming down the mountain of the snow peaks in the distance. Switzerland is absolutely gorgeous

On the way back to Austria from Switzerland Clay and I decided that it would be fun to take an alternate route. We pulled out the map and picked a back road that would cut off a good chunk of the highway but not take too long. As we drove up this road it went from a two lane road, to a one lane road, to a questionable road at best. The road drove straight into sheer cliffs. Clayton and I were sure that there is no way this road could possibly go on but we continued on driving. After passing some multi-hundred foot exposed cliffs just off the road we came upon this seemingly handmade tunnel through the middle of the mountain. We stopped to take some pictures and then slowly crept through the 200 yard tunnel. When we popped out the other side this is what we saw.

This Swiss Vila is probably an hour away from the closest town and sits with the backdrop that only Switzerland can provide. This is what I came to Switzerland for!

We passed numerous towns on the drive back to Austria they all were up there in the mountains. Have I mentioned I love Switzerland!?

But we continued to Germany.

And pushed our little rental card to the limit. 182 km an hour on the autobahn and we were still getting passed like we were sitting still. I’ve always wanted to check out the autobahn and now I can check that off my bucket list. It’s crazy, it’s just like any highway here in the US. I always imagined it to be some mega road with multiple lanes for the no speed limit rule but it is just as small as any two lane highway here except with no speed limit.

Before we reached Munich, I looked up the top things to do in the city. It came as no surprise that visiting the BMW headquarters was on the list. Clay and I headed straight there from Austria to try and get in on one of the tours of the factory. I’ve seen them on the Discovery Channel but would love to see it in real life. Unfortunately, turns out so did so do many other people. There was no available spots in any tours for the next two weeks so we just looked around in the main building and cruised over to the museum.

It came as no surprise that the museum was designed as well as the cars are. Here is a display of badges hanging 30 feet or more from the ceiling

One of BMW small is Cars ever produced is this three wheeled buggy. I’m not sure that both me and my wheelchair could actually fit!

One of the many showrooms

Even the bathrooms have leather padded backrests, adjustable armrests, and duel toilet paper holders!

Next up, what’s better to do in Germany and visit the infamous Hofbrau house and drink 1 liter slugs of beer?

So I drank

And we drank

And she started to look pretty darn cute….

Then Clay accidentally knocked my camera off his seat..

This is my,ย “That camera better be ok” face..

It was

The following day, Clayton and I decided to take it easy and chill at one of the parks in town. There is this man-made surf wave on one of the rivers flowing through the park where people try their odds on their surfboards. There is a mix from people just learning to people who can throw 360s. Wild

Of course we had to visit one of the cathedrals and the area to witness the incredible craftsmanship used to create the ceilings.

We also checked out a modern art museum. I really like this bulldozer piece for some reason?

This piece was called “wedding dress”.

This picture of Mozart’s statue was taking just seconds before I flipped over backwards. I had forgotten to lock the brakes on my chair and because of the way I was sitting once I lifted the camera to my eye, the chair rolled underneath me and I flipped backwards. A couple local guys came over laughing said, “That must be a heavy camera!”

Clay’s Mozart pose

We returned our rental car back in Austria and then jumped on a train to head to Prague for the last four days. Here is one of the typical cobblestone streets and then old city

When I was out wandering around by myself one afternoon I was stopped crossing a bridge by a lady with these four dogs. With the very little English that she knew we were able to exchange just enough jesters for her to want to take a picture of me. She wanted a picture of me with the castle in the background which she took but I told her I wanted a picture with her four dogs. She was flattered!

This astronomical clock is located in the main square of Prague. This clock was first installed and 1410 making it the third oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still working. If you look closely at it you can see that it shows the zodiac ring of different astrological signs. It shows where the sun is in the planet and where the moon is. It amazing that it was designed so long ago

We had heard that there is a wonderful view of the city from a park just uphill from town and wanted to check it out. I warmed up my muscles and got ready for the intense climb.

Then had Clay push me the whole way up ๐Ÿ˜‰

Once we made it, it was quite scenic the top. A beautiful view of the ancient city of Prague

This picture was taking one of the last days in town with Clayton, Cecilia, and myself in the main square.

In closing, this is just a picture of the Prague skyline with a storm moving in. I tried for a while to capture the lightning but turns out it’s really hard to do.

Hope you enjoyed my trip to Europe. See you down the road

Keep on Keepin’ on

4 comments On Food for thought and more…

  • Nice trip man! I was at the exact same places in Prague, dealing with the same cobblestones and inclines in my wheelchair… Like you, I had a good friend help push/pull me up the loooooong inclines. Clayton, you’re a solid friend. Keep on keepin on bro;)

  • Nice photos! Looks like a really fun trip.

  • Thanks for the tour, Kirk! Your pictures look like postcards, but you all were really there! Some of us have to travel vicariously, so thank you for making that happen. What a treat for both you and Clayton!

  • How did you sneak into my house and take a photo of my fridge? ๐Ÿ™‚ Great trip report Kirk, your photos are fantastic, I especially love the wonderful mountain village surprise in Switzerland.

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