Monday, August 4, 2008

Our British Selves

To celebrate seeing Erin again (and to acquaint my husband with some of our inside jokes) we neflixed the complete Young Ones DVDs. In case you didn't know, Erin and I made up half of the USA/BYU version of The Young Ones. Erin was Vyvian the anarchist and I was Rick, the people's poet. Here is a clip so you can laugh along (this was one of my favorite episodes...back in high school I signed friend's yearbooks with the quote, "Haven't you heard? Rick is dead!'"):

The Best Laid Plans

Richard was born in Wurzburg, Germany (his dad was serving in the Army) and he has wanted to return to his birthplace all his life. I have always been a bit ambivalent about Europe, preferring to explore North America first, and then maybe the Mediterranean. But the opportunity has arisen for us to visit Europe and Richard has planned out a wonderful trip for us. Last spring my dear amiga, Erin, called from England to remind me that this is the last year she will be living there and I should come visit for my birthday. We joked about it, but then I started figuring out how it could be done.

Round about the same time, Rich got a side job scanning slides and restoring photos for a ranch lady of means. SO...15-20,000 slides at $.85 each = European Vacation for us (Sept.17-Oct.1)! I am still rather anxious about leaving my kids for two weeks (even though they will be in their Grandma's capable and loving hands) and about traveling given the general mood of the world, but I am convinced it is only going to get worse, so it's now or never! I have been consumed with my mother's health since the end of April, so the past three months have slipped through my fingers--my mind has been in Washington, Richard's has been in Europe. Now I am trying to live in the now and prepare for our adventure while having fun with the kids and savoring the last weeks of summer.

Since this will be a huge adventure for us, we wanted to start a separate blog to cover our plans and our actual trip for family history purposes and also for travel tips. Rich has done exhaustive research on this trip and I am so lucky to be the beneficiary of his hard work! Here are our plans so far, in photos...

We will fly from Bozeman, Denver, Detroit, and finally to Frankfurt Germany on a Lufthansa jet like this (nine hours over the ocean, mom!)
When we get there, we will visit Frankfurt, Wurzburg, Rothenburg, the castles near Schwangau, and Oktoberfest in Munich.
This is downtown Frankfurt
Wurzburg, Richard's birthplace
A street in Rothenburg
The Pension Elke, where we are staying in Rothenburg (2 nights)

Schlossrestaurant Neuschwanstein in Schwangau where we will stay 1 night
Another view of Schlossrestaurant, with Neuschwanstein looming overhead
Aerial view of Neuschwanstein
Teh BMW headquarters in Munich
From Munich we will take a night train to Paris...

Paris at night (but we will arrive around 7am from Munich)
First stop, the old city--Notre Dame Cathedral...
...and Saint Chapelle
Look at the beautiful windows of Saint Chapelle!
We hope to at least visit the Denon wing of the Louvre, and go to the top of Tour Montparnasse. Of course we will eat crepes and buy souvenirs before we catch our evening train through the chunnel to...

We arrive at King's Cross Station... and will stay 2 nights at a nearby hotel, checking out London before we take a short flight to Edinburgh, Scotland (on my birthday!)

Edinburgh from the castle
The castle from below
We'll be staying a mile or so up Leith Walk at the Cairn Hotel.
After two days and a night in Scotland, we'll return to England and meet up with Erin and her family. We'll stay with them at their home in Becks Row (near RAF Mildenhall, northeast of London). Erin is also arranging for us to take a trip to the Cotswolds and stay at the AFB near Bath, so that will be yet another adventure in the English countryside. I am hoping to make a stop in Northill, in Bedfordshire, where my GGG Grandfather Layton was born, since it's about midway between Erin's house and the AFB. What ever we do, it's sure to be delightful and riotous because that's how it is when Erin and I get together (I hope our husbands will be able to stand it).
So we'll see how it all pans out.