(All photos taken from the explorers' combined 800 picture album.)
Once upon a time three friends made a journey to a different world. On the wings of metal birds, they traveled far away to see an exotic place where people spoke a different language, ate (kinda) different food and paid nonsensical prices for stuff.
The strangeness of this land surprised two of the three friends.
but much like a Russian doll, yet another door was opened to them. Or not. These doors were so fully protected by a security spell that it took all three of them to open AND close the cursed doors…each time.
Their little hobbit hole was as cold as eating ice cream in an igloo on an iceberg…
though one of them felt it was as hot as Donna Summer singing on top of a stove in the desert.
("Hot Stuff", get it? BTW, M was too indecent to take a picture.)
Once they had refreshed themselves in the tiny bathroom made for an actual hobbit, they searched for a means to explore this new horizon.
Once aboard their blue beasts, they ventured far and wide. One of the friends unexpectedly tasted the forest floor when she didn’t quite make the curb jump. One of the friends found joy in repeatedly ringing the chimes of the beast. (Never let Brigit near a bell. NEVER. EVER) And one of the friends led the party in their explorations because he is such a butt-kisser he never left the tour guide’s side.
For the next 4 hours, though their behinds were numb within 5 minutes, our intrepid travelers saw many secret treasures, never seen before from anyone outside the village.
During the travels, they also found a pop-up hardware store.
One friend hated to see so many locks being used in such a careless way.
Sustenance was needed if the friends were to continue on. Luckily they happened upon a kindly couple who scooped up a sweet cream that came from golden cows. These cows had names like Nutella, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Brownie and Mango and their sweet cream came shaped as a flower.
With fairy sugar rushing through their veins, they climbed aboard the blue beasts for more excitement.
They found the burial grounds of the original French hobbit, Napoleon Bonaparte.
And even the very center of this humble village.
Not all of the villagers admired the spirit of these three friends and a few dirty looks were given.
But other villagers were walking on air to think they could share their talent for free. (cough, cough.)
When the feet of our weary travelers became too sore to carry on, they found other hospitable means to continue the journey. (No tickets were lost this time.)
Many of the secret spots they had ridden past before now loomed large. One such place tried to freeze the friends in a time warp with the intention of having them emerge years older.
Fortunately the friends were too wise to fall into this trap. With their freedom and fortune firmly in hand, they were able to walk away from the diabolic wormhole and hop back on the Big Bus of Safety.
And when the bus made the friends a little crazy...
...they took to the sea.
Enjoying the fresh smells of the pristine waters, our travelers were able to see the village from a whole new perspective.
The cuisine brought tears to the eyes of the friends. Its simplicity and layered flavors were unlike any other and will be remembered on the cold, dark nights that lie ahead.
After a final attempt to share the joyfulness of the village with their friends in other lands, it was time to go home.
This new world had pleased the friends and opened their eyes to a culture not their own, leaving each friend to explore their internal emotions about leaving this fairy tale. In the end, it was something to call home about.
(OK, those were from London, but they made me laugh.)
Join us tomorrow for the exciting conclusion...