TWO months since my last post. It feels like trying to avoid returning a long overdue library book.
Why so long? Does anyone really care?
The whole of July, the children and I back-packed through Western Europe. We got back a day before school began first week August. Chaos and Jet-lag! A week later, father of the children went to Goa to write, week 3 in August I got a severe throat infection that had me laid up in bed and finally we are now in the present.
How time has flown! Do you feel that sometimes one day just rolls into another? Days into weeks. I have not procrastinated about writing about our Summer. I haven’t had the time. For those of you that followed us on social media. It felt exactly how it looked. This was my gift to our children. Enriching, Educational, Full of Cross cultural experiences, Fun, Exciting and Tiring. 4 countries,11 cities in 28 days
The Summer plan started off as a vacation destination for Leia to see her beloved Paris.
I had to do this in a Budget. Mid-Year always is a huge financial drain on our savings. Everything comes in at that time. Taxes, School fees, Bus fees, expenses for travel and accommodation if your child qualifies for the Swim Nationals. (HE DID!)
In March I began searching the sites. Booking.com, Tripadvisor, MakeMyTrip. I consulted Thebackpackerco, TheVillaEscape, my travel agent East-West Tours and Travels. It was too much to co-ordinate. Kamal wasn’t sure when and where he would join due to work commitments. So I decided to do this on my own. This was slowly becoming a trip for 1 adult, 1 adult(12yrs) 1Child.I was going to book and try and get the Early-Bird Special on Everything. Rooms, planes, trains, buses. The only thing I didn’t get was Museum tickets and Hop-on Hop off Bus tickets. I didn’t know which day we were planning to do what especially when we were still in MARCH 2016.
Had Visa for London, hadn’t been since 2008. Destination 2 added to the plan. Wanted to see my school friend in Yorkshire and a god son I hadn’t ever met. Added bonus my god-daughter was visiting from Santa Barbara at the same time. Plus the Usual Summer gang from the Bay were going to be there. It was a win-win.
Angath decided he wanted to go to Camp Nou. So we had London, Yorkshire, Paris and Barcelona. I hadn’t seen Lexi in 16 years. She was in Barcelona. Opened the map, wondered how to break up this journey. I suffer from serious motion sickness, NO LONG journeys. Looked at Bordeaux. Love wine so Yes! Heard a lot about San Sebastian TIC….Then Bilbao, why miss the Guggenheim? It was looking better on the Map. Dizziness. Back and forth. Maps, Buses, Trains, distances if I drove. Parking if I drove.Come April I knew everything about the distance, the topography, the hotels and how close to the bus stations or train stations of Four countries. YUP! Ask me anything…….
Payal and Anil have decide to rent a Villa in Tuscany end July. The God-Parent of both my kids. I’m the God-Mother to their boy Rafae. Angath wished he had Yellow as his brother. Leia loves her Pishi. They insist we make our way to them from Barcelona. Love Toscana so Why Not! Figured I may need a Holiday at the end.
Couldn’t do ferry, cheap but 20 hours, couldn’t drive as it was too expensive to leave Spanish car in Italy. No train. So we get to stop at Cote D’Azur. It sounds so Cool! Cannes/Nice, Promanade D’Anglais. How was anyone to know what was to happen on French Republic day?
Nice to Italy and that was the last leg. Plan was made. Economy Airline tickets were watched. This was going to be the first of its kind for The Bratz. Aged 12years and 9 years. Backpacking in the true sense. Budget. Cheap. Careful with 2 euro bottles of water. Oh Yes! They were warned. Leia has done French in school she would handle the food, the metro and the sightseeing in France. Angath,Spanish student for 3 years would do the same in Spain. There was to be no shopping only what was in the Backpacks. If they bought, they carried. We would drop a Star rating in our accommodation. from 3 star to Hostels and even sleep in a Park for the day. They Agreed.
By April I started systemizing the clearing off The Trip. First my credit card bookings. In May I had cleared my airline tickets. In June I paid our Europe internal rail and bus tickets. When we left on the 4th of July I had to only pay for foreign exchange. This really took the financial burden off.
On 4th of July, when the three of us arrived 2 ½ hours before check in at Etihad Airways Counter. None of us knew what was in store for us. I had no idea how this month would change us.
It’s the Journey not the Destination….Right?
Coming soon Part Deux…. Helmetgirlbandras’ Summer 2016