Travel Log

I just got back from Europe with my mom and sister. I didn’t have my computer, but I did occasionally take notes in my notes app on my phone. I have copied and pasted them here for you.

Zurich, June 17th, 9:30 am, 3:30 am EST

Oh hey. My mom slept on the floor of the plane under the seats.

We learned, when we just tried to order coffee in the Swiss airport, that we don’t even know how to say Hello in German.

I’ve already tried to say gazundheit instead of however you say hello.

I used sheer intuition to order our coffees and I got it all wrong. We also just ate a pretzel sandwich.

9:33 am

Do they speak French here?

I don’t know how to say anything in German except for BIRD. Vogelard. (Spelling?) I learned that from Seussical the Musical.

We also have no data and no wifi which means we don’t exist.

We have no German language book.

We have no maps.

We only have intestines full of plane food, and pores filled with organic eyeliner that transferred from eye, to eye mask, to pores.

On the plane, I overdosed on melatonin and fell asleep for 20 minutes.

I also peed about 8 times during the 7 hour flight because we are hoarding water as if we will never drink again. 6 of those 8 bathroom trips I did with no shoes on, because I am a germ-badass.

I also sneezed about 40 times in the plane onto my moms legs as she lay below me on the floor of the plane.


10:00 am Switzerland Time, 4:00 am EST

Now I am sitting on the toilet in the airport, getting some peace and quiet. We are just hanging around, not moving forward, mostly cause we don’t know how.

I am not complaining about being here, I love that I’m here, I’m having a good time even though my eyes are red and my stomach hurts. I’m happy to be in here, but we still don’t know what we are doing.

I’m gonna go wash my face.

“4:20 am”

Maybe my pores are this black every day but I just don’t notice because I keep my lights really dim around my apartment. I only look at myself by the dim glow of christmas lights. And let me tell you, it helps. Wanna think you’re pretty? Just don’t use real lights.

Nothing is as horrifying as the glow of iridescent Swiss airport bathroom. It’s brighter in Switzerland than in normal Europe, I bet you anything.


Sometimes when I’m exhausted, I become worried that it’ll result in irreparable damage to my health and skin and adrenals. That my adrenals will work so hard and suffer so much that I’ll die or be extremely maimed forever, and then… I remember Harry Potter.

He had to do so much on so little sleep, so many battles, so much adrenaline, and he never had a health problem, ever. So…

Also, I think about this: if my house caught on fire and burned down in the middle of the night and I escaped and stood outside my house with the news crew wondering why I didn’t grab my bra before I ran out? If have had to be up all night, staring at my burning house, and I’d also feel this tired, only I’d also not have a house. And I’d survive. My adrenals would eventually be fine.

It’d be ok.


Water hoarding.

Later- Still at airport 

My mom just walked into the men’s bathroom.

I am waiting with our bags and should have to pee but apparently don’t. I keep pressing my bladder to see – is there any in there?!?– because I should go again before we catch the long train to Lucerne, but I don’t actually have to. I’ll regret this.

(And btw, Laurence, our lovely Swiss tourism counter lady told us that hello in German is : hallo.)

Lucerne, 2 pm

Everyone in Switzerland is so nice.

We were bumbling through the streets, hitting people with our bags, and a man asked if we needed help finding the hotel (we did) and we couldn’t say anything because our hotel is called Romantik Wilden Mann, and we weren’t sure what that translated to or if we were staying in a brothel.

We’re not.

Venice Italy, June 27 (10 days later)

I know what creature makes spider webs, but what’s a cob?

Authentic Venetian spiderwebs. There are so many.

A photo posted by Caroline Dooner (@doonerbugs) on

Venice Italy, June 28

I think it’s really impressive that corn cobs make little webs in the corners of dirty rooms.

Venice Italy, June 28

Today while I was having lunch by myself next to a canal, I saw two fruit flies having sex on a piece of bread in my bread basket. I didn’t know that fly sex was a thing. I guess I thought they reproduced like worms. 

But no, it was sex.

I swatted at them and they didn’t budge from their spot. So then I poked them and they hopped together to the next piece of bread and continued.

This time they were on the other side of the bread basket and more out of view, so I tried to ignore them and went back to my clam spaghetti. I looked back about 5 minutes later and they we’re still there, still going.

5 more minutes later they were gone.

I think this makes it very clear that I respect the cycle of life and all of God’s many creatures .

Venice, June 29th

Why do we all change other country’s names? Who do we think we are?

Why couldn’t we call Italy Italia?

Why couldn’t we call Venice Venezia?

Why can’t we call China Zhong?

Why on earth would Firenze be changed to FLORENCE.

Why do we think our rude interpretations of these actual names are better than the real ones?

– Caroline Dooner (NOT Carolyn Donner)

Today, July 3rd.

I’m back.

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