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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thirty Years Ago

It was thirty years ago Ė no, not the death of Elvis Presley, thirty years ago we landed at Heathrow airport in London. When I say we, I mean Mmmm, Kay and I. We decided it would be a great time to take our daughter to Europe. How did we manage that? We evaluated everything we did in order to save enough money. We drove a very old car (we drive our cars 20 years, usually), we didnít eat out, we didnít buy frivolous things, we would ask ourselves, ďDo I want this or would I rather go to Europe?Ē

We packed carefully and each of us carried a 19 inch over-the-shoulder bag. Our motto was, ďIf you canít carry it, you canít buy it.Ē Of course we didnít have a lot of extra money to buy things, anyway. Kay was so good about buying one small thing from each country. I still have them in a curio box in the hall. She also bought a small item in each country for her best girlfriend. Kay and her father evaluated the chocolates in each country as well as the ice cream and when Kay returned to school she wrote a report on it.

We had researched carefully and tried to do the things that would interest a young girl. We stayed in a 12th century castle. Mmmm and Kay went to the practice session of the Lipizzaner horses in Vienna, in fact we stayed at a hotel that was so close, the neighing of the horses woke us in the morning. We had cakes and coffee in a coffee garden. In Paris we selected a few choice things to see: the Mona Lisa and the Egyptian section. We bought a sweater in Paris for our poor little shivering girl. We stayed in Edinburgh, Scotland and went through the castle to see where the baby prince was born. We saw the bears in Bern, Switzerland as well as the magnificent Alps.

We have never regretted this trip nor the money we spent. What a thrill it was to have a proper British tea in a nice hotel in London and then take our daughter to the theater on her birthday. How wonderful to introduce her to some great art and wonderful scenery. How nice to know that she had good manners and could handle herself with strangers and others. We also were impressed that she could count out the right change and read maps better than we could.

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