Monday, March 30, 2015

Europe here I come!

The blog posts are about to get a whole lot more interesting - or at least I think so. I could have written about all of the random touristy, the not at all touristy things that I did in San Francisco, and how I spent my days hour by hour but that's not really allllll that exciting so I've been fairly irregular about by recent additions and photos. However, after a long weekend in New York it's time to head to Paris!

As I mentioned in my last post I had a bit of anxiety about packing and what bag I was going to bring. What does one pack for two months? Known items on the itinerary are a marathon (in less than two weeks, yikes!), whatever my mother has planned in Paris, and a weekend of wine in Bordeaux. Other than that it's all up in the air.

Before I get to the back to vague yet potential details of Europe I'll pause for a note about New York. This was the third annual Carr/Stokes girls trip with my mom, sister, and nieces to New York to see a Broadway show. This time all three of the crazy little gals came and it was such fun. It was also Yatie's 7th birthday so we had to celebrate that everywhere we went. The girls are obsessed with taxis and especially mini-van ones - serious novelty for them. Because of flight delays I missed Friday evening burger eating and didn't get into Manhattan until after midnight. Saturday was spent at the American Girl store (stay very very far away if you haven't been and have young girls in your life!) having breakfast and then three new doll purchases later (Caroline, Grace, and Kaya if you must know the doll names) we went to see Aladdin. At breakfast it came to my attention that I happened to be dressed like on of the dolls! For some women in the store I'm sure they actually would have liked to have done this - definitely not on purpose on my part! As for the Aladdin show - it was fantastic. The Genie and Aladdin actors were fantastic and definitely made the show. I will say Jasmine and the other female characters were not overly impressive. But regardless, it was a wonderful afternoon. The costumes and sets were colorful and sparkly bringing the story to life. 

The haul

Now for the Europe talk. I'm heading out tomorrow night from New York to Paris. I'm hoping that I start feeling a whole lot better than I feel right now - I've had a bout of the flu or food poisoning or something for the last day so I haven't really left the hotel to do all of the various items I had hoped to do today in New York. I'll definitely be hoping to pass out on the plane! 

As much of a planner as I normally am I'm leaving most of the trip up in the air. I have a rough sense of what I'd like to do and see after the Marathon but I'm attempting to be flexible :) I have a return flight from London to San Francisco in June so that is the planned final destination... I'll wander around eating, drinking, and taking lots of pictures until then. With books about France and Italy and my laptop in hand the general itinerary is something like the following:

  • Paris & Paris Marathon (eeeek!)
  • Easter weekend trip to Bordeaux with Yvonne (yaay!)
  • Driving around France - Normandy, Mont Saint Michele, down to the south and potentially ending in Nice, totally vague I know
  • Malta or somewhere equally exotic sounding to me that I have to look it up on Maps to see where it even is
  • Italy for ~2 weeks
  • Southern Spain ~10 days
  • Dublin because I can't resist a few days in the Dubs
  • London

Let's hope I learn a little French over the next few weeks so I'm not totally clueless and a bad American traveler. I might just have to resort to Spanish.

I am quite excited about the strength of the dollar against the Euro these days. If it stays and even gets better I'll be one happy traveler. Before I left my apartment I did dig through my bags of random foreign currency and though it's mostly change I found a 20 Euro note, I was pretty stoked! One exciting moment during my packing.

Once I get to Paris and get settled in I'll try and have post flight post and then there should be lots of pictures and recaps to come. I'm hoping the travel will be uneventful and I've gotten all of the flight delays and illness out of the way this weekend. 

Europe here I come!

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