Time is rushing by as I attempt to wrap up the myriad details associated with a three-month absence from home. Trying to sandwich coffee dates, dinners and walks with close friends into the rapidly diminishing time before departure July 24 is a challenge. I have been blessed with a personal schedule that permits time for long talks with friends, lot’s of yoga, regular lifting and conditioning at the gym, and now I feel that precious time slipping away.
We’re flying from Seattle to London. The new airline protocols are troubling: a ticket on coach essentially buys you a seat. A seat where you’d like to sit and beside someone you’ve chosen to sit beside (at least on one side) all cost extra. If you want to book your seat well before take-off that will cost you $75; if you want more leg room pony up some more bucks. Don’t even imagine you’ll have good food, a blanket or a pillow. Wow! I remember the days when a trip on a plane was luxurious? When you got blankets and pillows; and the deli spread from NYC to the West Coast was ample and delicious. That service is only a distant memory and only to those born in the 50’s.
We arrive in London and head to Chelsea where a rented apartment with a small outdoor patio will be home for 2.5 weeks. Hopefully, daytrips to Oxford, Cambridge and a castle or two will unfold. London alone could take a year, but we’ve got 2.5 weeks.
Then we head to The Cotswold, York, and Hadrian’s Wall before crossing into Scotland and settling into Edinburgh. We plan to travel by train. We’re going to be in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival where we’ll see our grandson, David “on the boards.”
We leave Edinburgh and fly to Toulouse landing in the Dordogne in southwest France. We’ll stay in Sarlat which is a beautiful medieval town not far from the famous cave of Lascaux. Lascaux is no longer open to the public but other caves are. Next stop Paris for two weeks living in an apartment near the Sorbonne.
Then Italy: Cinque Terre, Ravenna, Arezzo, and Rome. The trip is a mix of familiar places and ones not seen before. A full itinerary, but one measured by longer spells in some places and shorter ones in others. Hopefully, the trains run and the planes take off and land safely. What more could anyone want!