The alarm is set for 4 a.m. Thursday morning, then I'm off...
My son Mike is speaking at a symposium at St. Catherine's College in Oxford, and because of family obligations his wife was unable to accompany him...so the little dear invited Mom to go. YAY!
Anticipation is, for me, the most delicious pleasure, and I've been swimming in it for weeks. Anticipation allows imagination to meld with possibility, to set the stage, to enhance the experience. Events often don't seem quite real to me without internalizing the fantasy surrounding them, and I've loved this time of mental preparation, even more than the joy of list-making... and by now I even have a list of my lists. Planning a trip, from the first concept through the slow accretion of details to this climactic day of final-things-to-do, may be my favorite part of a journey, almost (but not quite) as lovely as dessert.
I convinced him that flying into Paris was a better bargain than London, so we added three days in Paris at the beginning, and we'll wind up the trip with two days in London. He's never been to France or England, so I will act as guide and shepherd....since I am utterly direction- and map-challenged, this will be either interesting or a disaster, depending on how good the food is. If we're lucky, his Blackberry will have GPS and "lost" will be only a state of mind. He's also refused to learn even a syllable of French, and I worry if "Je suis la mere" will be interpreted as "I am the mother" or "I am the sea."
I promised myself in this previous post that I wouldn't attempt another uber-ambitious European vacation, but this opportunity is just too sweet to pass up, despite the ungodly amount of flying time it takes to GET there and RETURN from there in those cramped, cold seats. I would pay an extra $500 per ticket if the flight included a La-Z-Boy lounge chair and a treadmill. (The very first day Expedia Dot Com offers teleportation, I'm there!)
Mike also moonlights as a photographer and will be taking his hubba hubba camera, which he's promised to share with me (under strict supervision, I'm sure). I'm hoping that photography, croissants, crepes and English ploughman's lunches will be the backbone of the trip.
I'll be back in a couple of weeks -- save my seat in the chat room....... au revoir and cheerio!