Daddy’s Girl goes to Europe
Everyone dreams of going to Europe at least once in their life. May it be for the food, the scenic views or the people, everyone has romanticized Europe because of how it is portrayed in the media.
Being a Daddy’s girl, I always thought that my chance at traveling to Europe would be in the form of my Dad handing me tickets to explore that continent with my friends as a college graduation gift – granted that I graduated with honors. I always daydreamed of exploring Europe with my friends – endlessly taking trains, getting lost in big cities, struggling with the language barrier – just like in my older brother’s stories about his Junior Term Abroad.
By some stroke of luck the universe sped up the process and my parents surprised me with a trip to Europe as a high school graduation gift and a congratulatory gift for getting into the top university in the Philippines. And because my Dad and I have already previously traveled to India and the Holy Land together, he would be the one traveling with me to my dreamland.
You see, my Dad isn’t just a regular Dad, he’s pretty cool and funny, and he is quite possibly the nicest and sweetest human being I will ever know. Because of this, my Dad, just by being the thoughtful person that he is, made my trip the best possible first trip to Europe; quite possibly making it even better than my previous Europe daydreams.
When we arrived in Italy, he made sure that in every city, we always had a cone of gelato in hand while we were going around – just because. He was even the one who handed me some coins and reminded me to make a wish by the Trevi Fountain, because I was stuck somewhere in between being frozen with awe at the beauty of the fountain and being too busy savoring my first cone of authentic gelato.
When we arrived in Austria, he took me out for a walk after dinner with some of our friends on the tour to try out the local beer even if I wasn’t previously a fan, just because he wanted me to experience it. Since then I have tried a couple of types of beer and haven’t tasted anything as great as the one he made me try in Austria.
When we arrived in Germany, he reminded me that we were in the same city where Jose Rizal once stayed during his post-graduate studies, and he walked with me to look for the landmark. We kept going around in circles at some point, but my Dad decided that we should try out a schublig that a street vendor was selling while we were at it. We eventually found it, and my taste buds were satisfied as well.
When we arrived in Netherlands, our tour in the city was cut short because there was a festival happening in the city central, to which my Dad took as an opportunity to make a small excursion instead of spending the free afternoon in the hotel. We bought train tickets to Amsterdam to check out what was going on. As it turns out it was Queen’s Day, and we got to see for ourselves how the Dutch celebrate their Queen’s birthday. It was one of the memories that stood out from the trip, because it was the first time I saw that much orange in my life and it was interesting to see such a disciplined city that is known for its promiscuous night life.
When we arrived in Switzerland, my Dad saw it coming that I would be underprepared to go up the Swiss Alps, as he knew that I would underestimate my first snow encounter. He graciously brought an extra jacket and gloves for me to wear. He even made me make snow angels with him, which sounded ridiculous at first, but ended up being pretty fun.
When we arrived in Belgium, I found out that One Direction was Brussels at that day as well, and he let me drag him along with me to find out where they were. We didn’t get to see them, much to my dismay, but my Dad got me some Belgian waffles and found us a nice spot in the square to make up for it.
When we arrived in France, my Dad was so sweet to be extra patient with me because I simply wanted to take a picture of everything I saw in Paris. From the Louvre to Champs Elysee to the Eiffel Tower, I couldn’t get enough of the view and wanted to take as many pictures as I could. My Dad made sure that whenever we were at a restaurant for lunch or dinner, I was always sitting facing the window so I could stare at the Eiffel tower while devouring my meal. He was also the one who urged me to try escargot because I was hesitant at first, and I ended up loving it so much that I requested for another plate of it.
Europe was already beautiful as it is, and while I used to think that it would be great to explore with my friends, I’m glad that I first got to explore it with my Dad. Not just because I’m the biggest Daddy’s girl that I know and that my Dad took great care of me, but also because I’m truly lucky to have someone who urges me to live my life, try new things, and make mistakes so I will learn, a best friend, confidante, and a father all rolled into one human being.
Happy birthday Daddy, I’m the luckiest daughter in the world because I have someone like you.