Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Let's Try This One Again

We're hoping that the second time's the charm.

Welcome to this year's “Jim & Loraine” ™ adventure, a getaway which our resident trip planner has dubbed “Euro Wing Ding 2017”. If much of the itinerary seems familiar, that's because it is. We've taken elements of our cool & rainy 2014 trip, which we for good reason now call “The World's Smallest Hotel Room Tour”and it mixed with a little of the 2015 “Jim & Loraine's Luggage Didn't Arrive” trip with our parents. That's right—we're tempting fate and hoping things actually go right this time.

Any good feelings you'd like to send our way would be greatly appreciated.

We're flying into someplace new this year, Dusseldorf, Germany. From there we hop in a rental car and spend a few nights in Bastogne, Belgium, where we hope to do a couple of things—have Loraine get some research done, spend a day with our friend Carl, and visit the outlet stores of two of our favorite chocolate brands in the whole wide world, Jacques and Galler.

After all, to build a collection like this you have to start early--

From Bastogne, we'll spend the next several days following pretty much the same route as we did in 2014, with what we hope are two big differences, one under our control and one not. Last time we did this trip we thought we might stay in Ibis Budget hotels and see if we saved any money. Well, we did actually save a few cents, but seeing as how most of our rooms were little bigger than some people's closets--

This time around we decided to get real, adult-sized hotel rooms. That's the one change that's under our control. The other change? Well, in 2014 we got caught under a stationary weather system for the first week of our trip, which meant a lot of clouds, cool temperatures, and a couple of days of rain. While we know there's nothing we can do about the weather, we're keeping our fingers crossed. It's been the warmest summer in history in Europe, and we're hoping it stays like that. Of course, it was also like that in 2014, and look what happened. So just let me say this--if turns cloudy and cold when we get there...

Well, the people of Europe will know who to blame.

Like 2014, we're spending nights in Nancy and Colmar, France, at the latter of which we'll (hopefully) get to spend a little time with our friends Oliver and Marie-Rose. Before those cities, though, we'll be spending a night at a hotel overlooking vineyards and the Moselle River in the Luxembourg town of Remich. The view should be something like this--

Hopefully with lots of sun, though.

After France, we'll spend the rest of the trip in Germany, first for a few nights in the university town of Freiburg, with it's glorious sandstone cathedral--

And the nearby Black Forest. After that, we finish with a night in Heidelberg--

Where our parents were able to spend a day in 2015 sightseeing while Loraine and I spent the day buying clothes and toiletries because ours had been left behind in Philadelphia. From there we head back to Dusseldorf, and after that we play connect-the-dots on our way to London and Chicago and Marquette.

Another thing that we're hoping is different from 2014 is the road construction. We ran into all kinds of it the last time we tried this route, and it caused us to have to drop several things we wanted to do (including, sadly, visiting a chocolate shop). This time around we're hoping not to see many signs like this--

And instead have smooth and open roads in front of us. We have help this time, too, as we're traveling with a European GPS system for the first time. Seeing as how we'll be in some major cities this tour, and it'll be my first time driving on German roads, we figured it was probably the prudent thing to do. Thanks to a birthday gift from my parents, we get to be prudent.

So we have that going for us.

We're leaving August 30th; you have until then to get your virtual passport up to date and ready to go. I'll be posting things here each day of the trip, and if you've read them before you know that it's not necessarily the kind of stuff you see on normal trip blogs. But that's okay. If you've read these long enough, you know we're not normal travelers.

So until then...

(ps—if you're wondering where Loraine came up with the name “Euro Wing Ding 2017”, it's her tip of the hat to Tony DiNozzo, Sr, on "NCIS”, who once described a trip of his with that name.. We're hoping some of Robert Wagner's charm rubs off on us!)

No comments:

Post a Comment