This is a travel blog. But it’s also a love story. So let’s call this a “blovy.” For months I’ve struggled to get my beloved, Mohammed, to get as engaged, (ahem) possibly obsessed, as I was with planning a trip to Europe. In despair, I turned to my daughter Meghan to complain that he just wasn’t into it. She laughed. “Mom, what man do you know who plans like a woman?”
Thus began my long journey of surrender. I would have to plan our trip. I read. I researched. I scoured websites and cajoled friends into sharing their European travel secrets. And then I called my wonderful travel agent at Elizabeth Holmes Travel, Joy Bjork. Sure, I watched Rick Steves videos – travel porn – and sure I booked some apartments on VRBO. But when the reality hit that we’d be visiting nine locations in three countries – I let the agency book trains, cars, and smaller hotels for the stops in between VRBO havens.
Mohammed and I met later in our lives. Neither one of us is going to change. I’m a driver, a planner, a gal who gets shit done, who prizes efficiency. Mo is a live-in-the-moment guy, very amiable, sometimes hilarious. Sometimes a bit daffy. I love this guy to pieces. But in the days leading up to departure, he drove me nuts! He went out shopping for suitcases five days before we left! My suitcase was bought, packed, and tested on a recent flight to my home town, Cleveland back in August!
I spent three hours typing our itinerary, including live links to the websites of all the places we’re staying, not only so we could figure out that if it’s Tuesday, this must be Lourmarin (a great little village in Provence), but also so that our loved ones could track us down. Then I put together a binder with all of our train tickets and car reservations in order, plus maps, travel insurance, the whole shebang.
Now, we find ourselves in Paris. In a mere nine hours of jet travel, we’ve gone through the looking glass into a new realm. I’m dazed and amazed, punch drunk with beauty.