Travel Thoughts

The past month has been a whirlwind. When planning, it seemed as if a week was a long time in each major city, but in reality, the time has always raced by as we tried to see as much as possible, while taking time to relax and get a feel for each city and country.
We have eaten out a lot more than planned, but have tried to shop and cook breakfast whenever we had a kitchen. Sometimes we are organized enough to make sandwiches for a picnic lunch, but more often we look for a cafe or snack bar to sit and eat and rest our feet. Some times we are lucky to find wifi and can get messages and upload a few pictures. We keep planning to find an internet café and upload all the pictures, but so far, this mythical day off has never arrived.

We still have chores and everyday things that we have to do. Right now we are lucky to have a washing machine so we have clean clothes drying on the rack by the window. We shop for sunscreen and toothpaste and soap when we run out unless we are lucky to find it in our hotel or b&b or airbnb rental. Jacob needs a haircut soon and I am trying to decide if I keep pushing my hair back or have my bangs trimmed.
Each morning we tidy up and make the beds and wash our breakfast dishes. We turn off the lights, unplug the appliances and shut off the air conditioner before we go out.

Everyday stuff.

Jacob and I have had some arguments – mainly over how much research I thought he should do and how much he thought he should do. I need to let that go and accept that I have a need/desire for more details than he does. It is silly to have the same argument once a week. (At this point it happens when he gets impatient with me for stopping to look something up in a guidebook.) Those who know me are laughing because I have always been the one to wander through a city, site, museum or whatever and just absorb it, then maybe read about it later. Of course, I missed a lot doing that and I don’t want Jacob to miss the good bits! (Or me!)
We miss home which to us means Fred and our friends and our dogs. Jacob manages to find a dog every day or so for his “fix”, but he still misses Brin.
Fred and I text most mornings and some evenings when I can stay awake. It reminds me of the emails we sent when we were first dating. He writes great messages. Very detailed with lots of emotions and gestures and body language coming across. I have always loved that.
We have been lucky health wise and except for some blisters and chaffing very healthy. Our feet and legs ache at the end of the day and the beds are (for the most part) like sleeping on stone.

Sometimes our lodging is great, mostly it is okay as we don’t spend much time there. Only once has it been terrible but it was only two nights and has made us appreciate the okay places more.

We find we. are not very picky about our food, so we are generally focused on how inexpensively we can go from hungry to not hungry. We have very low expectations because Fred is such a great cook that we almost never have food that is better than his. This means when we do have something great, we are pleasantly surprised.
Budget wise we are close to plan. Some cities seem to be more expensive than others. We are not skimping on sites or museums or other attractions, but do walk more and eat on the cheap, plus have booked cheapest travel and lodging available as long as it looked safe.
With the halfway point coming up, we are getting a routine for packing up and moving on, then arrival and moving in each time.
We don’t get much news unless someone is worried about us (Fred) when a tragedy like Nice occurs. We try to stay aware and safe, but life is good living, not hiding in fear. There have been a few stressful moments. But tthere have been more truly magical moments: showing Big Ben to my son. Sneaking him a sip of Guinness while listening to Irish music in a Dublin pub. Seeing the Acropolis bathed in afternoon sunlight. Walking the streets of Oia above the caldera. Floating in the teal waters of Crete. The Colosseum rearing up against a deep blue sky. The glory of a baroque church. The first taste of real gelato.

Life is good.

Not Near Nice, France

It is hard to describe how it felt to learn of the tragedy when we arrived in Rome yesterday. Glad to be safe. Wondering if we should go home. Heartbroken for the families and friends left devastated. We are staying near the Vatican for a week, then off to Florence.

Our prayers are with Nice.

Lightening our load

We thought our backpacks were as light as possible, but now that we are in the Mediterranean, we realize we don’t need about ten pounds of jackets, sweaters and misc stuff that seemed essential in London ( where we already left about ten pounds!).
Shipped a box back to London to wait for our arrival at end of August. Best $50 we could have spent!
(It beats the donkey luggage service!)

Long Night

Saw wind turbines in the sea as we came into view of England. Nice glimpse of the cliffs along the coast but then cloud cover all the way into Gatwick.
Jacob and I were the only ones excited that it was rainy and cool!
Westjet from Vancouver was long but awesome crew and plane. Only problem was the lights in our section were stuck on all night. Even with a sleep mask it was hard to sleep. So our first day in London will be a long one in many ways as the Solstice is right around the corner.