Thursday, September 03, 2009

Crossing the pond once more

I am leaving tomorrow for a two-week trip to London and Paris, so even though everyone who reads this blog pretty much already knows that, I thought I would make a note that I will almost certainly not be posting any messages until September 18, when I return. At that point, you will get photos and stories from our trip, which is sure to be amazing.

I'm a little nervous, and I'm not sure why. I've planned for this trip probably better than I've ever planned any Europe trip before. Maybe I'm nervous those plans will fall through, like in "Seinfeld" where you make the reservation, but they do not hold it. ("Anyone can TAKE the have to HOLD the reservation!")

It must be excitement mixed in, too, although I'm trying not to have any expectations of what London will be like. Paris should be as glorious as ever, of course. It's been too long since I've been in Europe, and I'm eager to go back.

We're traveling with a few Euro-newbies, my high school friends Rob and Diane. I've tried to prepare them for the fact that Europe always takes you out of your comfort zone, but once we're all there and they get used to the differences, they'll definitely be fine. Our other high school friend Mike is meeting us in Paris, and while he's traveled in Europe before, he's excited to go somewhere he doesn't speak the language.

We only have a few events booked - Buckingham Palace next week, a rugby game on Saturday - but I have a huge list of stuff I want to see, and I'm so excited. And I get to visit my favorite place in the whole world - Versailles. I get goosebumps just thinking about it!
"I would like travelers, especially American travelers, to travel in a way that broadens their perspective, because I think Americans tend to be some of the most ethnocentric people on the planet. It's not just Americans, it's the . . . biggest countries that tend to be ethnocentric or ugly. There are ugly Russians, ugly Germans, ugly Japanese and ugly Americans. You don't find ugly Belgians or ugly Bulgarians, they're just too small to think their world is the norm."

- Rick Steves

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