Manchester Town Hall
I had despaired that it would ever happen, then took the bull by the horns and called a travel agent last week. My family has been little help in attempting to plan our European Vacation. Since no one wanted to help me plan, I made my own decisions and the rest of the family is just going to have to grin and bear it. I told the agent I wanted to see lots of old buildings, quaint towns, gave her a few "must sees" that the family agreed on, and she took it from there. I also said I wanted to stay at least three nights in at least three places. Not all the pieces are in place, but she did a fantastic job of doing the work of getting the plans in place, motel and train reservations, and a few other treats thrown in.
We're flying into Manchester, England, near Liverpool, staying a couple nights, then taking the train to London for three nights. We'll take another train to Paris, stay three nights, then rent a car for a "Normandy driving tour" for the next four nights, staying in three different towns.
Mont St. Michel
Finally, we take a train to Zurich, spend three nights and fly home from there. In between there are all kinds of exciting times. We'll take a day trip to the Ilse of Jersey (where part of my family originated) and while in Zurich have a full day "Cheese, Chocolate and Mountain Tour"! I have no idea what else. It makes me kind of tired to think about it, but I'm also getting pretty excited!
Of course, my husband is grumbling about the costs (it is expensive!) but for me, it's been a long, long time coming. I've been saving for years, and, by golly, I'm going to have my vacation in Europe, even if it is brief.
The girls are leaving a week before us, and planning to hang out with Kailyn's boyfriend, Nick, visiting his family in the south of France and going on a short trip into Spain. They'll meet us in Manchester and the next two weeks will be family vacation time. With both having boyfriends, and Jess nearly finished with grad school, I'm thinking it may be our last opportunity. I want my possibly last family hurrah to be one we will not soon forget. Of course getting all four of us in cramped, forced quarters together for two weeks may end up being painfully unforgettable! We shall see! Luckily the girls are old enough to "go their own way" when the familiarity gets too close for comfort.
The air fare has been paid for, the travel itinerary will be completed next week. In three short months I'll be immersed in a world of gothic architecture, stunning vistas, and hope to enjoy every minute of our European Adventure.
I started this on Wednesday, prior to the "being sick" post. Thanks to everyone for their warm comments. On Saturday Kailyn suggested I call the doctor before she left for the drive back to Ellensburg, so she could take me in. Surprisingly I got in quickly, and they did a strep test, which was negative. The doctor said I just have a rousing good case of the miserable flu. Kailyn left, and David was golfing, so I basically slept the rest of the day.
I googled Manchester last night before I went to bed, and discovered it is about 40 miles from Thornton (home of the Bronte family). This morning there was a brief mention in our newspaper about the Queen visiting in Manchester on Saturday.
While the aches are gone this morning, I am still incredibly weak and coughing almost constantly. It will be a slow day, with frequent rest stops, but at least I am feeling like I will survive!