Still obsessed, to this day, with Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! I was incredibly pleased that upon our continued Christmas trip throughout Europe, we would be staying in Prague…where I could sample the Green Fairy – also known as absinthe.

Prague was a lovely train ride away from Salzburg and breathtaking – though chilly—to walk through. My brother, who was on leave from the military on this trip, thought stalking the rest of the family through Prague like a spy tremendously entertaining. Running into him in the dark hallway of the laundromat, was mostly bizarre, but we all agreed – slightly entertaining because he was 26 years old.

As we were all adults, okay my sister was in college and although I had a job that provided health insurance and full-time salary, I was definitely not an adult. And fully able to consume alcohol in the European countries we traveled to, Absinthe was on our list of items to check off while visiting Prague.

Absinthe in Prague was meant to be sipped. It was the crazy shade of a Green Screen and I was not a sipper of alcohol. Again, not quite an adult, although I was molding the minds of eighteen-year-olds, my mind was not quite fully formed.

My family was ending a lovely dinner out about the town in the hotel lobby bar, and Absinthe was on our minds.


We ordered a round as we sat at the bar. The others sipped their drinks, debating the hallucinogenic qualities people always claimed the drink to have.

I subsequently shot my drink, and my family and the bartender watched in a mixture of shock and curiosity as my face turned bright red.

In spite of the fast-acting color change that occurred, I didn’t seem to feel anything out of the ordinary with my Absinthe experience. I felt as though I had an alcoholic beverage, but that was it.

My sister and I went back to our room, and that is where it got silly. I imagined that my vision would be cloudy upon the consumption of The Green Fairy, but it was fairly clear. I simply felt like I was a little kid again.
We frolicked around the room, smart enough not to leave the room and wander (okay, I am crediting that to my sister, I am never so reasonable when intoxicated.) We proceeded to empty the contents of the mini-fridge (we did not open them, we weren’t ready for the wrath of Dan on that expense) and took pictures like this. Was it because I was passed out drunk? Nope. Was it because I had no idea what was going on? Nope.europe-christmas-trip-2004-032

Why? Because we could. Also, because we were 21 and 24 and we had just tangoed with the Green Fairy, and she had more than led. She had dragged our butts across the dance floor.