Winnie and I are starting to get ready for our next big adventure. This year, we decided to take a real vacation and head out to places we both have always dreamed about seeing. Actually, there’s a lot of places we’ve dreamed about seeing someday, so narrowing it down was a bit difficult. After some thought and planning we decided that this year we’d head off to see England, with a side trip to France.
Winnie has been talking about seeing Paris for almost as long as I’ve known her. On my second trip to China to visit with Winnie, on our first wedding anniversary, we ended up in the city of Shenzen and the “Window of The World” theme park. This rather unique park has model exhibits of places all over the world with the centerpiece being a one-third scale model of the Eiffel Tower. I remember explaining to Winnie where the original was located, and I suspect she’s been hooked on seeing the real thing ever since.
Winnie has also talked about visiting London for several years. On my past European adventures I never got further north than Frankfurt, Germany, and England in particular is one of the countries I’ve especially wanted to visit. We’ve wanted to take a vacation trip to London and/or Paris for the past several years but events always seemed to conspire against us. Last year it was being forced to change jobs (with the alternative of being without a job) right about the start of summer. I’ve always considered it bad form to take off on a vacation trip mere weeks after starting a new job. Silly of me, and being new on a job wouldn’t stop any Europeans from going off on their annual vacation, but that’s me.
This year, everything looked good so two weeks ago we committed ourselves by purchasing non-refundable round-trip tickets to London. Our two-week vacation plans are to fly into London, spend several days there then take off into the English countryside for a few days. Cardiff, Wales, is on our itinerary as my youngest brother is currently in a graduate program at the university there. We also have friends in London so plan on visiting with them.
At some point, we plan on taking the train to Paris through the Chunnel down into Paris and spend most of a week in Paris and exploring a bit of the French countryside. Then ultimately take the train back up to London and go home.
I know that sounds pretty hazy, but we really don’t plan out too many details of a vacation trip like this. I prefer to map out a general travel route and then let the details sort themselves out along the way. I have ordered copies of my favorite travel guide series; the “Rough Guide to France” and the “Rough Guide to Britain.” I also ordered a set of “Streetwise” maps for London and Paris. These maps were recommended by my cousin and seem to have good reviews on Amazon.com. Once the travel guides arrive we’ll do a bit more planning on destinations and places to stay.
Our trip isn’t for several more weeks, but we’re both getting excited. It will be nice to take a trip with Winnie to a place neither of us have ever been.