Friday, February 12, 2010
Looking forward to the winter Olympics and getting to know Canada a little better. We spent some time in Vancouver a few years ago. It is a beautiful city. Stayed at what was called a Bed and Breakfast on Vancouver Island. Of course, the area around us was gorgeous, but it was our very early days of researching bed and breakfasts and the 'room' we reserved was a bed in the laundry room of a house. I believe it was just a 2 night stay. The lady of the house made us a nice breakfast, but after this we really worked on our research a little more.
Our plans for our late April trip to Europe are just about complete. Only one decision needs to be made (take train or plane) back to Paris from Lyon for the trip home. This will be our sixth trip to France since 2001. We did make a short trip into Alsace-Lorraine in 1981 when we had our daughters with us and again in 1991. It is a favorite area for us.
Our first trip was a week in Paris in 2001. In 2005 we went to Burgundy and Provence. Wanting to see more of this wonderful country we were growing to love, in 2006 we were located in the Loire Valley and Normandy. In 2007, it was the Dordogne and Languedoc area. The Dordogne was a favorite so the next year we went back to the Dordogne and the Lot area. This year we will be in the Alsace-Lorraine area, skip into the Black Forest of Germany for a short visit, and then into central France, to the Auvergne region.
Each trip is planned around the wine and food and the beautiful scenery available to us. We totally submerge ourselves into living French. We rent gites, which are small apartments or homes or for a short visit, we stay in bed and breakfasts. So many wonderful places are available (44,000 in France alone) and the Trout is my researcher into possibilities in the areas where we are going and then we settle on a favorite.
I have mentioned in the early days of my blog that we lived in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1968-69 when the Trout was in the American Army. We learned to live like Europeans and eat like Europeans and it was a life changing experience for us. We learned to enjoy wine and fine food and the importance of walking (lots of walking on cobblestone streets).
So 10 more weeks of careful planning ahead. We travel very, very light. Lots of hand washing and we usually are fortunate enough to have a washer in our apartment. I am still learning how a French washer works. It takes a long time to do a load of wash. Like half a day. Translating temperatures from Celsius into Fahrenheit and then all the slots for soap, softener, bleach, etc. And because the loads take so long, I do try to mix lots of clothes together. I remember one year in the Lot, one of the Trout's navy blue socks mistakenly slipped into a load of white things... like my underwear. I ended up with navy blue everything. Very fashionable, I'm sure!!
So have a good weekend. Kiss your Valentine!!