Several years ago, on a whim, we asked our neighbors who had planned a trip to Paris, France whether or not we could join them. Our reasoning was fairly simple, other than visiting Mexico and Canada on our own in our lifetime, we had never been out of the country but had the desire to go. Problem was that we weren’t as carefree as we had thought we were.
We wanted go visit other countries to see other places but were hesitant to go alone. So, the couple invited us to join them. One thing led to another and the comment was made that they had always wanted to cruise to England on the Queen Mary II but the timing was never right for this particular trip.
Allow me to back up a minute here. Their trip had been planned for some time in November, 2012 and was to be a nineteen day trip. Flying to Paris and subsequently ending up in Barcelona, Spain where they would return to the states via Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.
One thing led to another and it was suggested that we find out when the Queen Mary II was going across as perhaps we could make some minor travel alterations but still accomplish the overall goal. Unfortunately, the only crossing at the time by the QM II was in early October. And our friends had informed us – not being the world travelers they were – that neither they nor we could afford the cost of hotels in Europe for such a long span of time.
My lovely wife, who believes there is no such word as: “no” or “can’t,” said “Let me look into that. We have used our “time share” program over the years to book hotels and condominiums in the states but never in Europe. To say what happened next – some might say was wild and crazy – but having lived the experience – prefer to look at it as our being totally “Carefree.”
In one short weekend, we went from planning a 19 day trip to Paris (4 days in Paris) and a two week cruise home from Spain to planning a 50 day whirlwind trip to Europe flying from Florida to New York; a one-week cruise on the QM II to Southhampton, England spending a week in England before taking the Chunnel to France, spending time in France and Germany and overall visiting a total of eleven countries before ending up in a timeshare in Barcelona prior to boarding Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines for our trip home.
Now while this trip only began in October of 2012, we changed the format of it from being a 19 day trip to a 50 day trip celebrating our (at the time) upcoming 50th wedding anniversary.
What an experience! Also, being crazy about line dancing, we made it a point to line dance in every country we visited – sometimes just stopping by the side of the road and dancing to the music of the car radio. We even line danced on the train crossing the English Channel. As a matter of fact, upon dancing at one particular rest stop, we had an audience of about 10 or 12 school age children who immediately applauded upon the completion of our dance. Needless to say, we line danced on the cruise back from Spain and even talked the flight attendant into allowing us to briefly line dance on our flight back home from Miami to Lakeland.
A trip of a lifetime to be sure and at ages 72 and 74 at the time, definitely a wonderful, carefree adventure. This trip provided so many wonderful memories as well as some interesting stories I can share in future posts.