Monday, May 23, 2011

Travel With Me

I've been on overdrive for the past month or so and am just now catching my breath.  I only have two more events to stress over this month...and then I should be back to normal.  "Normal" being a relative term and all. 

I'm the queen of the "to do" list...but I've almost finished all of my projects scheduled for May...and I'm not taking on anything new until after June 1st.  I'd prefer to rest for a few days and not do anything except enjoy the fact that my son will be having a big time on his trip to France and my daughter will be settling back in Tuscaloosa to begin summer school. 

Speaking of Brian's trip to France, I've started getting all happy thinking about our last trip overseas in 2006.  I actually journaled the trip and want to share that with you here.  I don't know if you are interested or not...but I hope you are. 

I suppose that I'll need to set the table a bit in order for you to understand exactly what I am talking about in the journal.  The trip took place from May 19th-30th, 2006.  The travelers included me, Jill, Brian, Jill's boyfriend at the time (who will be referred to as TBF - for "the boyfriend" because we really aren't in contact with him although I understand he is happy, just graduated from college, and is dating a cute Phi that's all good), my parents (Gigi and Poppy), and my Aunt Pitta (my mother's sister...who joined us in France).  We spent part of the time with my sister, Linda at her home in the Vendee Region of France.  She gets her mail at a place called Feole...but I'm not sure if that's where she lives or not.  We just refer to it as "the castle" because it is...a castle.  Yep, a real one.  It even has a moat.

(She took that whole Disney prince thing a bit far, yes?  As long as she's living "happily ever after..." we're good.  And for the record...although she has a huge garden and flowers everywhere...that's where the parallel ends.  I've never once seen bluebirds flying around her head or mice doing her chores.)

Anyway, we decided to go on this trip and I did what I always do...I got obsessed with learning everything about where I was going.  I bought "London for Dummies" and "Paris for Dummies" and got myself educated because you have to start somewhere, yes?  After all, it was possible that I wouldn't ever have the opportunity to fly "over the pond" again...and I wanted to make it count. 

Every day, because I'm just weird this way, I picked a word that described that day and I wrote about the day in context with that word.  Some days were probably more fascinating than others to read about, and some involved that typical travel minutiae that you just deal with because you have no choice.  That's life, right? 

What I'm going to do is put the trip online for you over the next week along with some photos so that you can relive it along with me.  It will be a challenge to post photos because almost every photo has TBF in it.  Since I can't ask for his permission (long story, don't ask) to post photos with him in them...I'll just work around that.  I figured...what better time than while Brian is on HIS 10 day trip!  Plus, I need some downtime...but can't resist writing.

Jill was sixteen in the photos and Brian was almost fourteen.  I can hardly believe that it has already been five years.  Wow.  Time flies.
Hope that you enjoy it.

Here we go...


Expectation n. 1. art of expecting; expectancy (look forward to; anticipate; await as likely to happen or appear) 2. something expected or awaited 3. prospects of future good fortune.

After intense planning, hours in front of the computer screen, budgeting, scheduling, choosing, saving, and waiting, the big day finally arrived.  Of course, the three days prior to the "big day" involved a strong concern of Poppy's that he didn't have a ticket nor a clue on how to get on board the airplane, Linda was finally notified that she had another house guest (I'm not taking responsibility for this one), Aunt Pitta realized that she needed hotel accommodations in Paris, I found that getting pounds and Euros was going to take longer than anticipated, TBF had to graduate, Jill was trying to pack efficiently, and Mom was experiencing separation anxiety with the dogs.  Fortunately, all obstacles were overcome. 

Other than waiting for an hour for overpriced food in the Atlanta Airport, a scuffle or two between Jill and Brian on the plane, the fact that there were no empty seats on the ride over, the realization that airplane food is truly heinous, and nobody caught much sleep, it was an easy trip over.

See?  Totally short!  (Not all days are, though.)  I'd post other photos, but TBF is in all of the others.  Come visit me tomorrow for Day 2...

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