The last few weeks I’ve been wondering how much of my life I had left. The threat of breast cancer will do that to you.
So, for the next couple of weeks I will be living it up to the hilt. Nothing says ‘do it now’ like a near collision with the Big ‘C’.
My Steven and I are off for a great adventure.
As you read this, we are spending a couple of days castle hopping at the Oxford and Highclere castles (Downton Abbey here we come!) in the United Kingdom, with a stopover at Big Ben on our way back. We will then jump on the high speed Eurostar to France to take a slow boat on the Seine River.
That’s right, we are taking a Viking River Cruise. Eight days of drinking fine wines, walking the country side and seeing some of the best that France has to offer.
I have always wanted to see Europe. A couple of years ago we made my maiden voyage across the pond to Spain. What a wonderful 2 weeks that was. But, life got busy and there never seems to be enough time or money for such things.
To hell with that! If not now … when? I don’t want my answer to that question to be ‘never’.
We’ve got BIG plans!
We plan on spending an afternoon at Normandy Beach, Dining at the Eiffel Tower, and paying a visit to the Opera Garnier Palace. Of course we must see the Louvre and say hello to Mona. Lisa that is.
We will cruise to Vernon to visit Claude Monet’s home and his famous gardens that inspired so much canvas splendor. Vernon is also known for its Gothic collegiate churches and timbered houses. As an Angeleno, my idea of old buildings are the factories in the outskirts of downtown L.A.
Next, we will jaunt off to Rouen to visit the 14th century abbey where Joan of Arc was imprisoned, tried for heresy and burned at the stake in 1431. I read so much about her in my youth and always hoped I’d have the same courage and conviction as she did (pretty doubtful). This will be awesome! I hear that the Great Clock Tower of Rouen in the Gothic cathedral is like nothing you’ve ever seen. I’ll let you know.
Since I’ve never seen Middle Ages European siege construction before, we can’t miss seeing the ruins of Chateau Gaillard in Les Andelys. Just the idea of walking ruins makes me giggle uncontrollably. I’m such an easy tourist.
We’ve signed ourselves up for what promises to be a grand walking tour of Conflans and Paris. I hear that the Market Square, the Tower of Monjoie and the church of Saint Maclou are not to be missed. Walking tours are my favorite. They are so personal and in your face. A little like me.
The Palace of Versailles? Oh, hell yes! I cannot wait to see what so many a novel has been written about! Its opulent rooms, the fabled Hall of Mirrors and the palace’s magnificent gardens. It might be hard to come home to our little abode after seeing all this grandeur.
We will be plenty busy. But not too busy for sleep-ins, afternoon naps and late night conversation with newly made friends.
It’s hard for me to believe that this girl, born in the seedy part of L.A. one knee up from dirt poor, is going to Paris and the UK for some serious castle hopping to catch some of the many wondrous sites I have only dreamed about.
Dreams should be lived out loud and with full intent. Waiting for the day when you have the time and the money would likely mean that it will never happen. Make the time, and spend the money. Life is too short to miss so much. It’s about damn time!
I’ll be off the charts for a couple of weeks. But when I come back, I’ll have lots to share with you. I hope you’ll tune in to whatever ever it is I will be dishing out.
Until then … Bonjour!