Category Archives: Europe

Iceland: Land of Enchantment (Part II)

For Part I of our Iceland adventures, click here.

If you read my previous entry about Iceland, in which I waxed rhapsodic about the gorgeous waterfalls we encountered during our travels, I might have given you the impression that the country was conjured up by fairies to seduce humans into thinking their otherworldly realm truly does exist. Well, consider me seduced.

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Iceland: the Waterfall Edition (Part I)

“Not another waterfall!” Sophie moaned when I announced our sightseeing plans for the day. A mere three days into our Iceland vacation, we had already marveled at more waterfalls than one could reasonably expect to marvel at in a lifetime. They were all so beautiful and so different – it was impossible to become immune to them.  Unless your name is Sophie. While the waterfalls didn’t melt her heart, she often found the landscapes surrounding them full of surprises and hard to resist.

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What Paris Means to Me

As I watched the horrific November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris unfold from the safety and comfort of my home thousands of miles away across the vast Atlantic Ocean, I was overtaken by a profound sense of shock, sadness and loss.

Although we quickly received confirmation that our family was safe, we found out that my brother-in-law and youngest nephew, who is Chloe’s age, were in the audience watching the soccer match between France and Germany at the Stade de France that night.  They were oblivious to what was happening outside the stadium gates until after the game was over. It took them much longer than usual to get home, but they did make it home a few hours later, unlike the 130 people who died and scores of others who were wounded in the attacks.

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Home Again, in Paris

Do you have a special place that feels like home even though it is not your home? For me, that place is Paris. No matter that I haven’t lived there in almost 20 years. Every time I return, it’s as if I never left.

The time-traveling architecture, the omnipresent statuary, the distinct industrial perfume that wafts through the hallways of the métro, the strident cries of ambulance and police sirens, the colors and scents of the outdoor markets, the leisurely café life…these are all familiar and comforting to me. Like home.

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Fare Thee Well, London

Our wonderful exploration of London comes to an end tomorrow.  The time passed too quickly, as time so teasingly does when one is one vacation.  It’s been a fantastic trip. Mostly because I was able to spend so much quality time with Chloe and to enjoy the city through her observant and wry lens. I’ll write more about the mother-daughter aspect of the trip in my next blog post, once we’ve returned home.  In the meantime, here are some final highlights.  And for anyone considering a similar trip to London or Paris with their kids, I’m available to create custom itineraries for a modest fee – feel free to spread the word (my anal-retentive attention to detail ensures you won’t be disappointed).

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London is Still Awesome & Stonehenge is Cool

Chloe is still having an amazing time in London. The trip has been so amazing, in fact, that when her iPod Touch went permanently missing last evening (we think it might have been kidnapped), she managed to stay astonishingly calm despite the huge disappointment of losing her electronic link to the outside world. I attribute her level-headedness to the fact that we have seen so many wonderful things over the last three days that the loss of her gadget has not been as traumatic as it would have otherwise been.  What are those wonderful things, you ask?  Read on.

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London is Awesome…

…Exclaims the 13-year old who is enchanted by everything she’s seen since we arrived yesterday.  And anyone who knows Chloe knows she’s rarely enchanted. To quote my teenager:

“London is awesome. I like the way it looks. I like the gardens, the houses. I like the way people speak. I like the names of the streets and places. I like the food. I like the way London feels. I just like everything about London!”

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Sharing Wanderlust – London, Here We Come

Chloe and I are off to London tomorrow evening, our first vacation as a mother-daughter team. I have been anticipating this moment since our babies were born, hoping that someday I’d be fortunate enough to travel with them one-on-one when they were old enough to enjoy and appreciate it.

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Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

After a couple of days in Paris our magnificent vacation has reached its end.  My impression of Paris this go-round was definitely colored by the fact that we had just spent the previous 4+ weeks exploring the much less frenetic and incredibly picturesque countryside.

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Memories Formed Among the Ruins and While Kayaking, Too

When all is said and done, our most vivid memories of the past week in the Gard region of France can be visually summed up in the photos below.  We enjoyed another week of beautiful weather, great sights, outdoor activities galore and yummy food.  And after spending almost five weeks of non-stop time together, we are still talking to each other.  

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