It's Walt's world; we just work here


When I was fourteen or so, my family and I spent almost a month tooling around Europe. Apart from certain miseries associated with putting six people in a cramped BMW and the fact that my sister Ella had a terrible smell for the whole summer (we later discovered that she'd jammed a piece of sponge up her nose), we had a great time. We were exploring foreign lands, the dollar was really strong, and the U.S. government was footing a big chunk of the bill, as my dad was officially there on business. What's not to like?

In retrospect, I guess I was something of an ugly American. While I've since learned to become a little less obvious when wandering abroad, my pictures from that summer show a scrawny kid with a too-short haircut, too-high kneesocks, ugly shorts and loud Hawaiian shirts. Although I remember being very easygoing and polite, it's likely that my sisters and I spent much of our time bitching about everything. After all, we were all in our teens, we were spending way too much time together, and, well, we're American.