Friday, May 01, 2009

France is The Biggest Country in the World and Whales Are Drinking All the Planet's Water

Those are just some of the things I hear and think and contend with. Not every day, but often.

Today I successfully made an international call to the Netherlands, where the young woman answered in a very foreignlanguage. When I asked her "Please, do you speak English?" she replied, "Yes of course." She meant it. Of course she speaks English. I speak English and a smattering of Pig Latin., and I have been known to embarrass myself en Español, when I am either hungry or tired. Now we have four days reserved in a rural cabin, somewhere in Holland, where rabbits are known to frolic and we are an easy drive from a monkey zoo. We can go there and pet free ranging monkeys... a notion that makes me laugh uncomfortably. But there are still days in both London and France that we have not settled, confirmed, resolved or translated. And when I try to map a drive from somewhere in France to somewhere in Spain, I realize that France is ginormous. And until I master the Rosetta Stone French language program, I am not sure I really want to spend much time in France. Incidentally we might want to order the Rosetta Stone French language program real soon.

Alex is making progress painting his frog, Gilbert.

I am trying to be sure I memorize the French word for frog, so that we do not have any unfortunate restaurant incidences. Grenouille. No Grenouille, merci beaucoup. Max's commitment to this trip is tenuous enough as it is, so we do not want to see his favorite animal served up or even referred to as a menu item.

I keep reading our collection of guide books and my mom sent us a great assortment of European travel books with suggestions and ideas for children. Geoff and I have also been watching any and all PBS travel programs and learning all we can about places we will go, places we may go, and places we will consider for next time. Alex, Geoff and I are more and more enamored of Belgium. It looks like a friendly place, with a healthy mix of history and art, delicious food and interesting sights. I would like to scale back our time in France for more time in Belgium, but I think any extended visit there will have to be for next time. Anyway, we still need to make final decisions and reserve more nights in hotels, or barns or something and of course we are kind of holding our breaths and covering our sneezes, hoping that H1N1 influenza A behaves and does not put an end to all of our plans.

It's May Day and Friday and I love it, because the children came home early. We are drawing and reading and playing and thinking about dinner. And now I think I should actually start dinner...


Tracy said...

Vacation planning is tough and fun at the same time, isn't it--LOL! But your plans so far sound very good... And Gilbert is coming along are Maria's happy people there. :o) We are enjoying the long May Day weekend here...we bought three Japanese maple trees to plant tomorrow--can't wait. Happy weekend to you all ((HUGS))

mtnchild said...

You will have so much fun . . . once you have made all your reservations. I'm from Denmark so I can't say anything about the rest of Europe, but I'd like to be a mouse in your pocket!!! LOL

Enjoy all the details of your trip.


Dallas said...

I want to hear more about the rural cabin and the monkey zoo - sounds like fun places to visit sometime.

The Netherlands hasn't been to bad to visit and speak English in.

I have seen Grenouille in several restaurants in Belgium, but I'm not about to try it.

Tiglizzyclone said...

I am looking forward to seeing Gilbert finished! Also hearing more about your journey!