Have you ever thought about the one place you would really love to visit? I hadn’t, because we just aren’t a traveling couple.
That all changed a few weeks ago when an opportunity arose that I just couldn’t ignore.
A friend asked if I would be interested in taking a two-week trip to Europe, and my immediate reaction was “no, I can’t do that”. I had many reasons: my husband would be alone while I was gone, I would be missed at work, and, I don’t know, just lots of silly reasons.
One of my daughters-in-law called me “nuts” for not jumping at the chance, and that got me to really considering it all.
A long talk with my husband and his encouragement had me changing my mind completely and climbing on board at the very last minute.
I had very little time to get my passport, work on articles for the upcoming newspapers, and think about clothes, etc., but when the confirmation came that I was going ….I was ELATED!
The tour was booked through Globus and was called European Tapestry. Just as a tapestry is made up of many different segments, this tour took us to many sites in Europe, giving us a “taste” of the culture and a glimpse of the historic landmarks we all have read about in books.
Our tour Director, Marie Owen, has been conducting tours for some twenty-one years, and her expertise, her knowledge, made this a very memorable trip. For while we were riding on the Mercedes-Benz coach, she was telling us stories of each region, what it was noted for, and humorous stories that brought the areas to life.
And while we were enjoying the sites with local guides, she was busy procuring tickets for performances we had booked so we never had to stand in waiting lines. And through the two weeks of travels, there was no lost luggage or unfinished business. This was a professional at work on our behalf.
But it was our touring, our first-hand visits to the actual places, that will forever stand out in my mind.
The forty passengers in this tour came from all over the United States and Canada. Minnesota was represented, as was California, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida and New York. And these folks came from all walks of life — some already retired and many others taking a much-needed break from strenuous jobs.
I went with no expectations, and was overwhelmed! What a beautiful world we have — full of excitement, history, and people of all sizes, shapes and colors. We visited their culture, tasted their foods, were entertained by their standards and enjoyed every minute of it.
The first leg of our adventure was a flight from Minneapolis to Chicago, and then on to London Heathrow in London, England. The seven hour flight was smooth, and traveling at night allowed us to catch up on rest so that we could hit the ground running. And run we did, for the next two weeks.
We visited Holland, Amsterdam, Germany, Liechtenstein, Lucerne and Innsbruck, then Venice, Rome, Tuscany, Nice and finally Paris. We flew, traveled by coach, and rode the Euro star and TGF railway, both extremely fast.
We arrived back home very tired, with colds that passed around our tour group, but with memories to last a lifetime.
In the next weeks, I will share a few stories of the adventures we had — at least those that I dare talk about!