Thursday, June 13, 2013

It's Just a Number

People say "age is just a number" all the time but have you ever stopped and really thought about that? I hadn't until a few weeks ago in Europe I encountered a couple that made me do just that. There's no way I could blog about everything I saw and experienced during my three and a half weeks in Europe, so I've decided that as I remember special details like this one, I'll blog about them individually. It seems like I just wouldn't be doing it justice to lump everything together, anyway.

I was exhausted from a long walk from our apartment to the train station in Florence. Loaded down with my 65 liter pack on my back plus another pack loaded full of camera equipment and my laptop is not exactly my favorite way to travel. Anyway, we were traveling that day from Florence, Italy up to Basel, Switzerland and as tired as I was, I was looking forward to the 6 hour train ride through the Swiss Alps.

A few minutes after we got seated on the train, I looked out the window and saw an older man and woman, with all their luggage, frantically running to catch a train, making their way through the crowded train station. The next thing I knew, they were coming down the isle towards where I was sitting across from a girl in my Study Abroad group. Sure enough, they had the window seats beside us. Of course, we helped them get their luggage in the overhead compartments, as they were very out of breath, but little did we know that we were in for a very entertaining 6 hour train ride.

The couple was so impressed that we had been so courteous and polite to them that they called for the attendant and ordered the four of us two bottles of wine to share! Turns out, this lively little couple was from Florida and were touring Europe on vacation. At 80 years old, they were still having a ball, traveling, laughing and loving life.

Listening to the two of them bicker in the way that older couples do and playfully recalling stories of the past was one of the highlights of my trip. I'll never forget Ralph and "Fussy Gussy," as he called her. What a blessing it was to encounter a couple who made me realize that there is so much to look forward to in this life. Age really is just a number, because life is as fun of a party as you make it.

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