I mentioned last week that I would soon have photos from our spring travels … and brace yourselves, because here they come. We arrived home yesterday, and I will soon begin the onslaught of the dreaded** family vacation slideshow.
We traveled for 10 days, arriving in Paris last Sunday for a 4 day/4 night stay, and taking the train to Amsterdam and a car to Heerenveen for 4 more days and nights of watching the speedskating World Single Distance Championships and, of course, cheering for Jonathan. We had an excellent trip, better than we could have expected. Everything that could go well, did, and there was almost nothing that went wrong. To get them out of the way first, so I can move on to the happier events, here’s what we didn’t enjoy:
– People smoking. Of course we knew and expected that there would be many more smokers than we’re used to encountering, but it’s still not pleasant to have smoke blown in your face. Paris was particularly bad.
– Maxwell had to stay behind. We left him with a retired couple of our acquaintance, and knew he would be in good hands – we know them to love dogs and to be meticulous and careful people – but we still missed him.
– The 8/9 hour time change is pretty rough. Neither of us has traveled to Europe from the west coast before, and the flights were LONG and the adjustment not so fun. We managed quite well though. (I say 8/9 because Europe has their daylight savings time shift 2 weeks later than we do, and so we went over with an 8 hour adjustment and came back with a 9.)
– One particular tragic event occurred, involving a dinner order, which I’ll write about later. In the grand scheme of the trip (and certainly of life in general) it was a very minor tragedy, but still a little sad for me.
– I took a very large number of corny self-portraits in front of various famous objects and in various famous places. This doesn’t really fall under things that *I* didn’t enjoy, but John was a little tired of them after a while, and so might you be by the end. Brace yourself! For instance, here’s us behind Notre Dame, squinting in the very bright morning sun:
And here’s us in Thialf, speedskating’s Mecca:
And that’s pretty much all I can think of that was negative. The trip was really fantastic.
** I say “dreaded” family vacation slideshow because that’s the stereotype, but I actually love family vacation slideshows. The best I’ve seen were those of one of my best friends’ family. Both of her parents are geology professors, and they went to places like the Tetons and took lots of photos of rock formations and mineral layers in cliffs, and then came home and played slideshows in the den while explaining everything. It was fun, interesting, and informative, and I don’t mean that sarcastically – I really enjoyed them. I certainly do not promise anything like that here, though, so if you wish to discretely doze off in the corner, or take an extended visit to the restroom, or suddenly remember something else you need to be doing instead of reading our blog, I don’t mind. I have a lot of photos – I may be at this for several days … or weeks … or years ………