It seems like only yesterday that this trip to Europe was just a twinkle in my eye and now it’s the day before I leave! In fact, by this time tomorrow, I will be transferring from the Vancouver to Toronto leg of my journey onto the plane that will take me to London!
Despite the fact that I have a stopover in Toronto and my traveling companions – a.k.a., my mom and two of my aunts – are coming from Toronto, we aren’t actually on the same flight and are, in fact, going to different airports in London. I’ll arrive at Heathrow about an hour after they arrive at Gatwick. Our plan is to meet up at our hotel in Earl’s Court and then set about to our galavanting. We have 4 days for adventuring in London and then we fly out to Dublin for an 11-day tour.
In Ireland, from what I hear, we will see some extraordinarily beautiful sights, experience some outstanding hospitality, and probably gain 20 lbs from the hearty Irish breakfasts. I plan to kiss the Blarney Stone1 – though one of my epidemiologist colleagues suggested that I should bring some sanitizer to put on the stone first to kill the germs: “People are kissing that thing ALL DAY!!” I will also get to sleep in a castle2 and hit up the Jameson distillery AND the Guinness brewery3. And a whole bunch of other stuff, which I will report back to you on in greater detail than I’m sure you even care to hear4.
From Ireland I head to Nice, via Switzerland, where I intend to do a whole lot of nothing. Where “nothing” consists mainly of sitting on the beach, drinking wine, wandering around town, and doing whatever I feel like. I have booked a short excursion to Monaco on of the days that I’m there, and I’ve only just recently clued in that a couple that I know is currently living in France, a few hours from Nice, so I might take a trip out to see them if I can figure out how to get there despite my complete inability to speak French and dreadful sense of direction.
Most importantly, I will spend the next three weeks completely forgetting about work and school and any other such responsibilities. The only evaluations I’ll be conducting will be evaluations of beaches in the south of France. The only research I will be doing will be a comparative analysis of French wines and an ethnographic study in Irish pubs. I figure that it will be easy enough to pretend that I am just independently wealthy and travel around for a living. I mean, money will be going into my back account despite the fact that I won’t be doing any work, right?
The other day I was searching for a particular blog posting of mine when I came upon this one, a promise I was making to my passport to take it on exciting trips. It took me more than two years to finally make good on the promise, but I can finally say that I’ll be getting my passport stamped!
I may do some blogging while I’m away, depending on wifi access and whether I have any time or if I end up adventuring during all my waking hours. If I don’t do it while I’m gone, I’ll be sure to keep good notes and take lots of pictures so that I can blog stuff when I get back. I’ll probably be more likely to tweet, so if you are interested in that, you can follow my tweets: @Beth77.
And now, I’m off to pack!
Update: I forgot to mention that there are four viscous attack frogs who will be in my apartment while I’m gone, so don’t get any bright ideas, thieves. Also, there’s a frog sitter to contend with. Just sayin’.