Europe! Oh how I love Europe. I dream about Europe!
Especially England, Scotland, and Ireland.
In 2001 (just before 9/11), when my daughter was 8, we went to England, Scotland and Ireland for three weeks. (she was a darling child who never complained once. (Hmm...guess who wrote that line when I wasn't looking!) ). We had a wonderful time, and I have wanted to share that experience with my husband. Finally, we have decided it's time... "Allons-y!"
Last summer we started "planning" this crazy trip (OK, it was more like dreaming) with me, my daughter (who is now 22...my how time flies!) and my hubby. We decided that it WAS going to happen!
Then it didn't.
We had been "planning" on a trip to Europe that originally was going to include Ireland (North and South), Scotland, England, Isle of Man, Italy and possibly France!! It was going to be "spectacular spectacular"! But, because of my lack of organization, decision making skills, and overwhelmedness (I think I just made up a new word?), we are regrouping and planning a smaller trip.
I say "we", but unfortunately, my daughter won't be coming along. She has a pretty new job, and not enough money to take time off. She will be missed! She is fantastic! (By the way, her comment earlier about being a darling child who never complained once, well, she is right! She was wonderful! The best 8 year old a person could take on vacation! The only time she had a sour attitude was in Scotland, when it was freezing cold and windy, and I made her tour a mostly fallen down castle. I don't blame her at all!)
This year, we've decided that we are going to stick to England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales (I have to see Cardiff, being a Whovian geek!) So my husband and I went out and bought a map of the UK (abt $13.00 Make sure to get one that has the whole map on one side, or this wont work very well.), a tri-fold foam board (abt $10.00) and a super duper glue stick (abt $3.00), and made ourselves a poster map we can put pins in to mark the places we want to go, but can also be folded up and put away.
|Here is our map board, hanging in our dining room. Slightly primitive, but it works.|
We are planning to spend 2 weeks in England, mainly in the south, then fly to Edinburgh, Scotland where we will stay for a week, and then fly to Dublin, Ireland and stay for the last week of the trip. We are hoping to be able to stay with friends as much as possible while we are there to help cut costs, and we will also use Airbnb, which I plan to rely on heavily!
Last time I was there, our friend drove us all over the place; we didn't have to think about driving on the "wrong side" of the road or renting a car, because he drove us everywhere. This time we wont have that luxury and I don't know how we are going to get around. Here enters obstacle number one: car or train? Do we take the train, which might be quite an expense, or do we brave driving on the "wrong side" of the road in a country we are unfamiliar with? More on that decision in another post.
I am thinking that we will take a train from London to our first destination, Weymouth, in Dorset. After we get there, we will figure out the car rental. We have decided to fly from one major city to the next, I hope this is a wise decision! Only time will tell!