Saturday, July 17, 2010

An Amazing Trip With My Daughter - Then Back to Reality

It is always fun when you can spend time with your children. Rachel and I had the wonderful opportunity to go to France and visit our exchange student who has come to our home twice now. Since we were going all the way to Europe, I asked Rachel what other country she would like to see and she picked Italy. So we spent 4 days in Rome, 1 in Florence, 1 in the Cinque Terre and 4 in Venice. Then the rest of the time we spent with our exchange student, Alice, in Paris. We had a great adventure and nothing ever went to terribly wrong. We missed a train once but that was about it! So here is a short comment on each:
Roma: (Rome) Trevi Fountain is beautiful, the Form and Coliseum are cool, the Vatican is massive and fascinating. Favorite memory is climbing the Cupola of St. Peter's Basilica, all the stairs and the food.
Firenze: (Florence) the crazy people watching soccer and yelling in the streets!
Cinque Terre: The beauty, peace, color and the fact that I made the hike and tried anchovies! and the stairs...
Venezia: (Venice) late night walks with Rachel, the Doge Palace, gondolas, walking everywhere and more stairs! The shops, Grand Canal and Murano. All the masks Rachel tired on especially the ones with glitter!
Marseilles France: The sleeper train on the way there was great but hard to sleep on!
Paris: Alice, Anais and their families, Eiffel Tower, Musee d'Orsay, Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Louis Vuitton, Versailles Palace, but especially the French Assembly. Evening dinners in the backyard, 100 degree weather and Parc Asterix with it's crazy loops! Night's in the Paris lights and just spending family time with Alice and Anais' families.
All in all we calculated that if you add the Spanish Steps, Cupola, Cinque Terre hike, Venice canal stairs, Eiffel Tower, subways, etc we climbed over 5,000 stairs in 21 days! We went on 6 airplanes, approximately 21 trains, 2 buses, 40 subways, 8 boats, and half way through Paris my shoes fell apart and had to be glued! AMAZING, simply AMAZING. Oh and European keyboards have the keys in different places and make it hard to type!

Now not to end on a downer, but we came home and had to go back to the reality of life. My mom had a stroke the Sunday we arrive home, my aunt is still in the rehab center after coming down with Guillain Barre Syndrome, my kids are all down in Utah and it is kind of lonely here. Interesting how one week you can be so busy doing so much fun stuff and the next week you are stressed out and lonely. I missed all the walking I did in Europe, so today I walked to my doctor appointment. It was nice but I have to get back to reality now and pay the bills.


Janice said...

what a fun trip. I'm so jealous! it is hard to come back to reality for sure! so glad you had fun and made great memories. keep walking, it'll help clear your head. sorry to hear about your mom. anything I can do to help? I mean, I am down here:)

Grace Marie said...

I wish I knew if there was something you could do Janice. I don't know what. The church finally located her and went to visit. I kind of feel helpless on this one. I feel like I should go see her, but I wouldn't do anything but sit and talk to her for a few minutes then she sleeps. I am going to come down in a week maybe for 2 days. I will let you know if I make it. Maybe we can do lunch again.