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Things I Learned in Europe: Part 4–Katie

September 15, 2009

I had wanted to make this post one of the last ones in the series, but today’s a very special day for the love of my life, so I wanted to dedicate this post to her.

(That last phrase makes me feel like I just placed a call to a late night radio station. “Delilah, I’d like to dedicate Everything I Do I Do It For You by Michael Bolton to my beautiful wife Katie.”)

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Anyway, during our European adventure, I learned a lot about my beautiful birthday bride. I learned that Katie is an incredible travel agent; she got together all of our flight and hostel reservations and kept a magical folder of all of our paperwork to show to various hotel management and customs officers. She may be small, but she’s very feisty πŸ™‚ and she knows the ins and outs of European travel–excellent travel partner for those practical reasons alone. Katie is also an amazing navigator, which is especially wonderful because I’m directionally challenged unless I’m driving on an interstate. She knows Oxford like the back of her hand, and we had an experience where we were dropped off in an unfamiliar location (downtown Pamplona) at 10:30 at night and had 30 minutes to get to our hostel before we were locked out–Katie led us there with two minutes to spare using a cheap, non-descriptive map in a travel book I found.

I knew very well that Katie is a picture fiend, but I learned that she loves to take pictures of scenery and architecture; whenever we walked in Oxford, Katie would pause to take out her camera and take pictures of ancient cathedrals or Victorian style houses and doors. Afterwards, she would smile and take a glorious sigh, as if she had just sniffed the most illustrious scent.

I was reminded that although Katie is an adventurer, she gets most excited about the familiar, such as local restaurants (i.e On the Hoof and Ben’s Cookies) and parks. She took me down a walking trail that she took as a shortcut from Oxford Brookes in south-ish Oxford to the ACU houses on Canterbury Road two years ago, and picked wild blackberries along the way. I’m in love with the fact that the relationships she’s made in Oxford call her across the ocean as much as anything, and got to reunite with some of these friends (part 3) and meet some new friends (part 5).

OxfordSpain09 236I was also reminded of Katie’s spirit of giving during this trip. One day, we were in Oxford’s covered market and we passed by a flower store; Katie picked up a dozen flowers for Jacque as a simple thanks for hospitality. She’s also spent the last two months working on a tea cozy with the Welsh flag for Jo, her former roommate who’s wedding we went to in Cardiff; that item and the assurance that she could watch Jo open it carried as much importance in our packing plans as just about anything.

So thank you, my dear, for being my adventuring partner, dinner conversant, and date in Europe. Thank you for inviting me into your laughs, stories, the lives of your friends, and your heart during our two week excursion.
Happy 26th birthday!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Danna Cash permalink
    September 15, 2009 5:57 pm

    It is so wonderful, the way you write about your wife. I can see what draws you to her and the great love you have for each other. Nothing makes me happier than to know how happy and content you are. Give Katie our heartfelt Birthday wishes and I know you will make her special day even more special just being with her. God bless you both and in all you do. You both are in our prayers and hearts. Ken and Danna

  2. katieleigh permalink
    September 15, 2009 10:59 pm

    What a wonderful post, love. πŸ™‚ Thank you. I love you, and I was so glad to go adventuring in Europe with you.

  3. Drew permalink
    September 22, 2009 4:06 pm

    I approve of your wife.

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