Four months later we are in Oana's house in Cambridge. Luci went to work and the kids are not around. Ileana and Oana went to the gym. I was driving yesterday to Boston and we were talking about different scenarios for our trip and I got an idea. Maybe we can cross the Atlantic using a cruise ship. How much would it cost? To my surprise and pleasure last night I received an email from VacationsToGo recommending this website TransAtlantic Cruises . Did they send the email because of the Thanksgiving holiday and remembering the Mayflower transatlantic cruise of 1620, as they say, or did they read my mind and monitor my thoughts? They did this before a couple of months ago when I was thinking about the cruise on Yangtze.
|Mont St Michel in a team of nine|
Monday morning we returned to Paris, by way of Fontainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte. We returned the car and we spent 4 days in the middle of Paris with the kids visiting museums and parks and places where we haven't been before.
On September 12th we were in Bucharest and we celebrated my grandmother's 95th birthday a couple of days early. Next day we went to Campina, and we spend the next 3 days with Cristina and Tic in their beautiful new house. The house is 3 years old by now, but it was the first time I saw it. I was very impressed with all of it. I love it! On September 15th, Ileana and I went back to Paris for our vacation together. We had a delayed honeymoon in Paris in 1991 and in anticipation of our 20th anniversary we thought it would be the best place to spend some time alone. The kids had one week with their aunt and a couple of weeks with their grandparents. We had 18 days alone in Paris. We visited museums, churches, parks and other great places, we bought food at the market and ate baguettes on the street. Probably the best was with Sandra on the corner of some boulevard, a spiky baguette with fresh figs and goat cheese.
In the middle of our Paris vacation we took an overnight side-trip to London. We had a fantastic time, a little disappointed because they closed St. Paul just before we were to get in, but we saw Buckingham Palace and everything else we needed to see. We had a Rick Steve's 75 minutes tour of the National Gallery and a couple of nights at pubs. We saw Neville of Harry Potter on the Millennium Bridge and tested our limits in the Tate Modern. We had a great time at the British Museum, but even better we had the Crown Jewels to ourselves for a few minutes in the Tower of London. Returning to Paris we had a six day museum pass that we took advantage of, visiting everything. Everything! We have that kind of fun... We went to the Louvre another 4 times, spend many hours visiting every room and in the end we finished it. There were a couple rooms under renovation, we saw them in 2006, we really saw everything. We don't know anybody else who did this, but we also don't know anybody who would care about it. I learned a lot about modern art following some artists from place to place all over Paris. The highlight of out trip was the last day when we participated in the veneration of the Crown of Thorns. Just go and visit, I won't even try to describe the feeling.
We returned to Bucharest on the 3rd of October and had another trip to the country to visit Ileana's relatives before we returned home. We were back in our home shortly after midnight on October 13th. It was a great vacation, the longest so far, and we used it many times to imagine how it would be during our RTW trip. Renting a car and driving stick, going by train and plane and bus, even a boat on the Seine. Renting places on the Internet. We did this before, but this was more and it all worked out well. The kids had fun, despite their reluctance to admit it. My daughter Ileana was shocked to realize one day that we skipped lunch! When we skipped lunch the next day it wasn't a big deal anymore.