Monday, March 8, 2010

part 2 know when you get a "feeling" that you can't ignore....well, I went in to confirm my reservation, left my luggage in the luggage room, and went to see
some sights til I could check in. Over and over in my mind I kept asking my self what I should do, was I just being a scardy cat, was it cleaner than it looked and I was so dang tired! Well, I went with the gut feeling and backed out of my reservation. I decided to go back to the airport and go home the next day! Like I said I was TIRED (probley not thinking real straight). I went back to the airport this time on the on the underground (which is another story) They said there was a flight going out the next day,and helped me find a place to stay near the airport.
Linda, Linda, Linda. My head hit the pillow and I was out & guess what! I woke up feeling, happy and ready to enjoy my trip! The miracle of sleep!

Jennifer and I met up and left to see some sights. We hit it off right away. We went to see Notre-Dame , I told the grandchildren it'd be on my itinerary.There was a choir singing , like angels they sang, it was so lovely. We said good-by, Jennifer went back to her cousins , me to my hotel. We were meeting up the next day to take the train to Toulouse where we'd pick up our rental car. We got kinda a silly car, everyone laughed when we got to our group, I like it, but it was something a plumber would use!

It was good to be at the Villa, meet our group and hosts. Let the fun begin!

Monday, March 1, 2010

yoga? (part 1)

When I started looking for another trip to take , I turned to Responsible Travel.The idea of being with a group, rather then by myself appealed to me, and my family, who worried about me being on my own. I actually found that being on my own wasn't scary but, it is lonely!

So, I found a trip that would take me to southern France in the Lot Valley.
It was just what I wanted, a small group, and the main

language was English! I knew no french except

for the few words I learned before I left. When I called to talk to the person in
charge, he said they were full, unless..........the other person from the US would be willing to share her double room with me. He gave me her e-mail address and we were soon talking and she finally felt comfortable with me and agreed to share her room.

Jennifer was from Boston, a professor at Harvard! She was about my age, a single mom , and had been to Paris quite a few times. Her french was quite good , so she automatically became our interpreter.

Oh, the funny thing I haven't told you yet is that this was
a yoga retreat! But, they assured me that I could come even
though I'd NEVER done yoga!

I flew into Paris and soon was on a bus headed for my hostel.I got off the bus too early , meaning I walked for blocks.I still wasn't sure where I was , but , was aided by a sweet little french mother who pointed me in the right direction. Even though this was my first time in Paris I wasn't able to enjoy it til I was able to get rid of my suitcase!

My hostel was in the Montmartre part of town, being
described as "somewhat Bohemian". The Sacre'Coeur was within walking
distance. A beautiful 19th century religious Basilica.
If you were going to see Moulin Rouge, this would be
the part of town it would be in.....(a seeder part?)

So....I arrive at my hostel and immediately get a bad feeling in my stomach.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

a good start for research

Two of my trips (Italy and France)I found on a wonderful site that helped me find interesting,and reasonably priced activities.

"... the worlds leading travel agent for responsible , environmentally friendly holidays"

Check it out! Responsible Travel

Monday, February 8, 2010

France here I come

The rest of our trip in Germany was busy meeting friends,enjoying the sights they had to show us, my favorite was their little village,14th century buildings and their lovely, lovely church..

Staying in a hostel aka castle overlooking the Rhine River was the icing on the cake.The morning after we got there we woke up to a coat of snow covering everything.I will never forget that and how beautiful it was, looking down on the river and valley below. It's a must stay!

We continued down the Rhine and stopped just for a few hours to see the cathedral in Cologne. Its easy to get to by train, you get off the train and your right there.The cathedral is very Gothic which isn't my favorite , but, how can you not feel awe looking at it and especially inside. They told us that during the war the people were so worried about the stained glass that they took it out and hid it. There is enough stained class in the one cathedral to fill a football field!

An amazing trip that I feel totally grateful that I had the opportunity to take!

Thanks for going to Germany with me, hope it wasn't too boring.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

more of our trip......

We arrived in Frankfurt surprisingly well rested, or maybe it was my excitement.Our first job was to get money at the first atm we came too.( Oh, I forgot to tell you this was in January. Why'd we choose January? I honestly can't remember, except that it was a time I could go. So, we were dressed for winter.)They suggest you take out a big amount of money right when you get into the country, put some in different places and take out enough for each day that you have on your person.I had a small purse that I kept in front of me, it was big enough for a bottle of water, lipstick,and a granola bar and camera. I've tried the neck purse under my clothes, the one around my waste and I hate both of them. The purse works best for me and I hold it in front of me. I always travel off season not that there are no pickpockets but I don't think its as big a deal. So, after getting money, we had to find the train to take to our destination for the day which was the Mormon temple outside of Frankfurt. We finally found it with the help of some other Americans going to the same place. After we got there we walked through a village aways . It was early in the morning and I thought I'd try out my little bit of German. I said cheerfully to a gentleman walking towards us "guten morgan". He glared at me. OUch . No offense to the Germans but I didn't find them overly friendly, but, they might not have been in tourist mode in January. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. It was so exciting to see the temple.We stayed the night in their little dormitory and met some friendly people from France. So glad we took time to go.
Then off again on the train to one of the oldest, walled, cities in Germany.....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

who me, traveling?

Never, never, EVER , did I think that I would have the chance to travel. It had just never even occurred to me. I guess , maybe , the fact that I was scared to death of flying had something to do with it! Prayer took on a new meaning for me when I flew. "Just get me back to my family", I would pray, over and over and over! It must have been all those thoughts of my children being left motherless. Things did change once the children left the nest, and now I just choose not to think about it.
Also the fact that there just wasn't much extra money laying around. I thought that maybe my hubby and I might take a trip once after we retired, but, I never thought beyond that.

My big chance to travel came when a friend from Texas divorced. No, she didn't get rich , and become my sugar momma , but , almost......

She worked for an airline company , the bonus was she and her husband had free flying catching on?? So.....since she was divorced she could name anyone to be her flying partner. For some fantastic reason she choose little ole' me!! I asked her why and she said she just felt like she should. What a wonderful blessing that was for me.

Anywhere that airline flew, I could fly. You can imagine where my mind was going..EVERYWHERE! Now that I knew I could travel I started dreaming of all the things I'd love to see. Money was still a problem, but , it helped me become creative with my trips. I spent HOURS on the Internet as I planned my trips, believe me the planning is as fun as the trips.(and not so tiring)

My first trip was going to be to Germany, I wanted to see castles also wanted to visit our exchange students family. It was hard to include another person because I would always be flying standby, so I planned to go by myself. At the last minute my Fairy god Mother asked if she could tag along. This trip I had planned completely from Rick Steves Travel Guide. Rick's main office is actually just a half hour away from us in Edmonds Washington. I highly recommend his books. So, I had my trip all planned out and my friend said she'd just follow whatever I did. Relieved ,I made it out of Seattle with no problems. I was headed for Newark, New Jersey where we had planned to meet. There she was when I got off the plane, we raced to our gate to leave for Germany. As we got to the gate she started talking to the concierge, actually it wasn't really talking it was more like brown nosing big time. I wasn't impressed until she told me she got us in 1st class!!! Can you believe that! We flew 1st class to Germany, which is a vacation in itself.