October 27-30, 2016
October 27-30, 2016
Finally, the last Saturday of our vacation and the reason for the trip to Europe: Julie’s wedding!
Julie and I met in a suburb of Houston in seventh grade and graduated high school together. She is originally from Belgium and currently lives in France with her French husband. I was excited to finally meet Jeremy after hearing about him for upwards of five years.
VERSAILLES! It is wonderfully beautiful! You gaze and stare and try to understand that it is real, that it is on the earth, that it is not the Garden of Eden-but your brain grows giddy, stupefied by the world of beauty around you, and you half believe you are the dupe of an exquisite dream.
—Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad
On Friday we visited one of Europe’s most magnificent palaces.
Versailles started as Louis XIII’s hunting lodge, before his son Louis XIV expanded it and had the royal court moved there. It was home to the French monarchs for about 100 years, until the French people revolted in 1789. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.
After nearly missing the train from London…we arrived in Paris! (Completely forgot that boarding the Eurostar is not as quick as boarding a normal train… Give yourself plenty of time to get through security and passport control!)
We settled into our hotel, Hotel Thérèse. After being greeted by the very friendly staff, we were told our room had been upgraded and offered a complimentary afternoon tea… I was liking Paris already.
We soon set out to grab a quick meal and start exploring the city.
I went to Cambridge and thought I would stay there. I thought I would quietly grow tweed in a corner somewhere and become a Don or something.
We spent our last day in England taking a day trip out to Cambridge, a place I had heard so many good things about! (We had been debating whether to visit Oxford or Cambridge, and Cambridge came out on top.)
Jetlag and lack of an alarm made the day start a little later than anticipated (we got to Cambridge at 2 p.m…), but no matter! When traveling nothing ever goes as planned – we were rolling with the punches and ready to make the most of a beautiful afternoon.
July 16-18, 2016
When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.
We were greeted by a surprisingly bright blue sky when our plane landed at Heathrow at 10:30 a.m. We hopped on a train to Central London, and, since our Airbnb wasn’t quite ready yet, we settled down nearby in the gardens of St. Paul’s Cathedral. When the weather is nice, the parks are full of sun-deprived Londoners. We found a little space under a tree and inadvertently ended up taking a long, much-needed nap!
Once we got settled into our cozy flat (just a stone’s throw from the cathedral), we set out to do Rick Steves’ Westminster Walk audio tour (if you ever go to Europe, Rick Steves will be your best friend).
June 10-11, 2016
I was not planning on skydiving today, or ever really. But somehow I ended up doing it today.