It’s actually our first free day we’ve had since we started our trip almost a week ago. Every day has been packed with fun and I could (should have) do a posting on each day but instead I’m going to do the summary version of our trip to date.
Day one: The first day it took us all day to get here and hardly felt at all like a “vacation.” Those long flying days, packed into coach, hour after hour in the air are more about endurance then fun.
Day two:Fortunately though they do pass and after the time in the air we found ourselves on a jolly ole trip around jolly old England. We loved it! We only had time for a quick bus tour so just got the general flavor but we saw some of the more famous sites and had time for a quick lunch of fish n chips. London is a must come back to spot. From there we headed to the coast, two hours by coach, and boarded our ship. We had energy that evening for dinner and then headed straightaway to bed.
Day three: Next up, after crossing the English Channel, we spent 12 hours on a Paris tour. What a magnificent city! Huge and so full of art. For me, I think I preferred London but that could be because it didn’t feel quite so “foreign.” Sadly, I don’t speak more than seven words of french. That didn’t stop us however from having the most fun boat ride down the Seine river to a three course lunch complete with French wine. That is living the good life!
Day four: We moved the boat to Cherbourg on the French coast and took the bus to the Normandy area. I am so glad we did. To every single individual who served or who had a father or grandfather who served in World War II and most particularly at Normandy — THANK YOU. It was humbling being there and seeing what the challenges and the sacrifices were from that huge battle. The countryside was beautiful, the people we met very warm and appreciative of what Americans did and I think all of us in my group left feeling humbled and very proud to be an American.
Day five: We awoke in Ireland and what a fun day it was. We headed for Blarney castle, got to see the countryside, shopped for some Irish souveneirs and sat a couple hours drinking Guiness with the locals in a village pub. We had a great time! Ireland is a must come back to spot.
Day six: So is Northern Ireland. We so enjoyed our simple tour of Belfast yesterday. They have had few tourists so they aren’t quite sure what to do with us yet. But again, much like Normandy, they were so open about how much they loved and appreciated Americans and how glad they were that we had come, that just on that you would have to love them. But Belfast is much more than that. It is beautiful and well-kept and has nothing but promise — if they can all agree that peace together beats life tearing each other apart.
Day seven: That brings us to today and this minute. The ship is rocking and rolling today as we head to Iceland but everyone is enjoying the free time to do absolutely nothing. I’m really good at that! Still, even though I haven’t been posting here for long, I miss it when I don’t catch up.
We hear it is raining at home and fall has arrived. Hooray! Not about the rain but the arrival of my favorite season is always welcome news to me. It will be great to get home but, for now, I am enjoying every minute of this special trip away.