Posted by: bkropf | April 20, 2008

Who is Chuckling and Where is an IHOP

I am in a hostel in Lithuania and the Irish lady running the hostel keeps singing along to classic rock in a really thick accent.

Sleeping in the same room people you get to know them a little better. Last night Tyler started chuckling in his sleep. A couple weeks ago he was repeating the word IHOP and then spelling it out, I…H…O…P. I think Tyler has very pleasant dreams.

We arrived at Brasov, Romania, with the rain still all about. We decided to take a taxi to our hostel: Retro Hostel. Turns out the hostel was the same Tyler had stayed in previously. At first the people were a little rude but ended up being pretty nice.


I was shocked by the vast number of Fornetti stands everywhere. I guess this is where Tyler and Brandon got hooked on the stuff their first trip. We tried our best to get some Aussie girls hooked on the little pastries and I think we were successful.


After checking into the hostel we went to a little restaurant for some food. Tyler got his usual orange juice, however this time it was fresh squeezed and we were shocked to see it was $4 for about 6oz.


We went back to the hostel and relaxed for a while checking the internet and reading. Later on a Scottish guy, a Kiwi and a Canadian were going to go out for drink and invited me along. I obliged thinking it would be a good opportunity to meet some world travelers. I couldn’t understand one word coming from the Scottish guy’s mouth, he had such a thick accent. Luckily the Kiwi could and interpreted. I found out he works on fishing and crabbing boats off the coast of Scotland (Think Scottish version of the Deadliest Catch). I thought that was pretty cool. The biggest rarity was meeting the Canadian, he serves in the Canadian Army. He just finished his tour in Afghanistan. The Kiwi was also unique in the sense he was living in Scotland and was very outspoken about how the US was screwing up the world. I try to stay quiet when people talk about the US and only speak when I feel like they quote facts that are completely wrong (usually they are quoting something from a Michael Moore film). The funny thing is when I was quiet, the Canadian came in flying to the US’s defense and was arguing our cause. It felt nice to hear someone defending us.


That night Tyler and I were alone in our hostel room so we were discussing some theology when two Aussie girls arrived. They were younger than us (18 and 25, sisters) and had been traveling for over a year through India and Europe. I am continually amazed at the adventurous spirit of the Aussies. So we ended up talking with them for quite a while laughing and joking. Then two Canadians from Vancouver came in and we all had the nicest time talking. It was one of the more unique hostel experience, it seemed like we all knew each other very well even though we had just met in the darkness of the room randomly. After talking for a while we fell asleep.


About this time the calender struck April 15th and I started to get excited. This year April 15th meant nothing to me but I remembered how happy I was the previous three years when busy season was over. Also I was happy for all my old friends and Moss Adams who were now slowing down for the summer.


The next morning 8 of us piled into a van and were driven to Peles Palace about an hour away. It was indescribable. The palace had been built by one of the Romanian kings in the mid to late 1800s. Words and pictures will not describe it so you’ll have to just see it (Keep in mind at this point I’m pretty jaded when it comes to nice palaces and church building so the fact I thought it was amazing was surprising to even me). The palace was even in a really picturesque area up in the mountains with snow around and large garden with statues surrounding.


We were hungry when we got back from the trip so we decided to grab some Chinese food. That is when we met Andreea!!!



  1. Why leave us hanging? Who is Andreea?

  2. Yea, Barney made the discovery that I talk in my sleep. It’s been a traumatic few weeks for me, afraid to fall asleep in case I say something incriminating… or start screaming out for pancake flavored Fornettis.

    Seriously though, I miss pancakes so bad… I’m pretty sure that I brought up IHOP a few times in the last week in casual conversation with random people we’ve met.

    Euro’s just don’t do breakfast like we do.

    I’m still bitter about that 4 dollar glass of OJ.

  3. When will you post pictures on here? Or have I yet to find them?

  4. Jackie, you can find the pictures on Flickr by going to the link called ‘My Photos.’ You could probably also just go to and search for Barney. Let me know if it works out for you. I look forward to seeing you guys in May!

  5. When will you be around in May? Do you have a date set?

  6. I fly back into Seattle on May 13th or something like that. I’ll probably be heading to Oregon for a while and then I fly to Mexico (maybe) on June 1.

    Are you guys planning any trips? We should go to the Rogue again in late August

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