Saturday, March 22, 2014

Finishing up our Plans

Since I am no good at remembering to whip out the camera for any little old thing we do around here, I am going to distract you.  I can promise to be better in the future, but we all know that is fool hearty.  So what's the point.

Tonight we put our London/Paris trip to bed.  I have been spending quite a bit of time planning it all out, and getting each day organized.  Since we decided we were not going to go with a tour group, it meant a little extra effort on our part to get the trip exactly how we wanted it.  Until today we were hung up on the last place we wanted to travel in France before heading home.  Finley actually helped us with that when she requested to see "more castles".  She will only be little and wanting to pretend to be a princess for a little while longer, so it was easy to give in to her request.

We had let all the kids go through the tour books that our neighbor lent us and they marked all the things they would like to see.  If we followed their lead, we would have to stay in Paris for a year.

We spent the last week narrowing down the choices and then making the trip make sense.  I researched travel and booked tours, and booked cars, and booked trains, and booked tickets.....I even booked a few restaurants for meals.  (Finley wanted hamburgers on her birthday - not as easy to find as you would think).

We are flying into London first - it was actually cheaper to fly in and out of London than in and out of Paris, so we will begin and end here.  We will be in London for 4 1/2 days before taking a high speed train to Paris.  (which Mat tells me goes under the water.  Not a fan of that).  Then we are in Paris 6 1/2 days.  Then back to London for one more day and then home.  A nice long vacation - but I am sure it will be nothing more than a taste of what those two cities have to offer.

A friend of mine lent us a CD that will speak French to us while we ride in the car so we can learn how to pronounce some things.  Something tells me that even with practice, I am going to be hopeless.  The kids are going to take an "Introduction to French" class that our Parks and Rec department is offering this spring for fun.

And in the mean time - we are working on how to get Finley ready to travel.  Her braille teacher is putting together a picture book for her so she can study all the things we are seeing up close.  Her classroom teacher and her aide loaned her books on Monet (who lived in France and went blind at the end of his life but continued to paint).  Her orientation and movement specialist is going to help me figure out the best way for her to navigate the busy city, buses, and subways when she doesn't want to use her cane.  (although my understanding is that she is going to have to give in to that a little bit).  We are all going to make sure this will be the trip she wanted (which in Finleys eyes means just getting a beret)

One of the most exciting things I was able to figure out for us was to take her to Giverny - which is where Monet lived, and where he painted his famous water lily paintings.  We get to see his grounds, and the pond and bridge from all of his famous paintings, and Finley is very excited about that.  We all are.

We are looking forward to this trip of a lifetime for all of us.  I am excited we decided to go with our gut, and not to a tour group and make the trip what we wanted.  I hope Finley comes home with memories she will always remember whether she can see or not.


Anonymous said...

Have fun!!

It will be great I bet you that! :D

jennohara said...

France! HAVE FUN! That should be an awesome trip. I agree with Finley. Check out the castles!!

Anonymous said...

Depending on where you go, she may have to navigate some cobblestone sidewalks at times, so you may want to touch base with the orientation and movement specialist about that?