On Planning a Vacation and Flowers in the Rain
Raindrops on peonies, and roses, and clematis. Fat round droplets that chill the air and moisture the landscape. Much needed as we face another warm summer.
(As a note to my previous post, Vee's husband passed away on Saturday morning. Please continue to pray for Vee as she faces this huge loss.)
Layers of ruffles tightly folded. Waiting to emerge. I do love peonies.
But this post was supposed to be about vacation planning. I'm wondering how you do it.
Deciding where to go is the first step. Last summer we chose Europe. It's been 9 years since we were there together, and 7 since I went with my mom and sister. The UK, specifically England, has been on the list for awhile, so that was easy. But where else?
Spain was in the works for a long time. However, once friends suggested a river cruise (Paris to Honfleur), and the dates worked with our already purchased airline tickets, we scrapped Spain for France. Next time, Spain.
Going on a cruise or tour simplifies planning. We've chosen our excursions and have more or less decided what to do with our day and a half in Paris. La Sainte Chapelle is top on my list, and we're planning to attend a concert of classical music there.
The cruise is taking a big chunk out of the UK portion of our trip. We've scrunched London down to two days (not nearly enough) and will be driving to the Cotswolds and then Wales to visit a cousin.
Am I nervous about driving on the "wrong" side of the road? You bet!
History fascinates me, and Tim is always interested in the way things work and how they are built. I like filling in blanks, chronologically speaking, so these things are on the list:
- an Iron/Bronze/Stone Age hill fort
- pre-Norman architecture
- a motte and bailey fortification (or the remnants of such)
- a medieval castle or two
- a great estate house (think Highclere of Downton Abbey fame, although we're not going to be in that area)
We're also interested in doing lots of walking, so I've downloaded a walking tour along a canal in the Cotswolds beginning in Stroud, that takes us by old woollen mills and mining sites.
It's fun to find unexpected things along the way - wandering in Paris on our last time there, we found the location of Heloise and Abelard's dwelling and thought of their sad love story. Getting lost in the Egyptian antiquities in the Louvre was memorable, and a day at Versailles full of the echoes of history in spite of the crowds. We found a completely deserted garden there and sat for a long while, absorbing, thinking, and munching apples.
In Avignon we rented a motor scooter and drove out to the Pont du Gard. It was a hot day and we'd tucked our swimming suits into the day back, just in case. After seeing others swimming in the river, we changed behind some bushes and waded in. Refreshing and cool - and don't you think the slaves/soldiers who built that bridge likely cooled off the same way 2000 years ago?
So we've found that allowing for spontaneity as well as some planning makes for a good vacation.
How about you? Do you plan to the hour or half day or do you have a rough plan or do things spontaneously? Inquiring minds would love to know.