Europe Jul 2017 – Day 21 – The end

Europe – July 2017Day 21 – The EndFriday 18th August Well, I guess it had to happen eventually. The trip is, finally, at an end. The fat lady has sung. The curtain has closed. Everyone has left the theatre. Being the last person out of the building, I’ve switched off the lights. The only thing […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 20 – Venlo & last full day

Europe – July 2017Day 19 – Venlo & last full dayThursday 17th August This will be our last full day before beginning the long, and no doubt arduous, process of travelling back to Melbourne and our former lives. We have no further obligations to fulfil, no further places to go, nothing left to do or […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 19 – Venlo

Europe – July 2017Day 19 – VenloWednesday 16th August With yesterday’s hotel breakfast fracas still fresh in my mind when I woke up morning, I was determined to have a hearty meal and so made sure to get to the breakfast hall with more time to spare. Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed this time around with […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 18 – Kerkrade

Europe – July 2017Day 18 – KerkradeTuesday 15th August Yesterday was a very long day. Actually, to be honest, every day for the past two weeks has been a very long day. Our stay at the Center Parcs holiday park was to be the holiday within the holiday and our chance to recharge our batteries. […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 17 – Center Parcs to Kerkrade

Europe – July 2017Day 17 – Center Parcs to KerkradeMonday 14th August Sandy and the kids were still asleep when I got up this morning. First order of the day, after emptying my bladder, was to see what the fresh roll fairy had delivered this morning. Alas, the assortment this morning wasn’t nearly as good […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 16 – Center Parcs

Europe – July 2017Day 16 – Center ParcsSunday 13th August It seems I’m getting into the habit of being the first out of bed lately. Everyone else was still slumbering soundly when I found this morning’s batch of fresh rolls in a bag by the front door. Taking advantage of the calm before the storm, […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 15 – Family reunion

Europe – July 2017Day 15 – Family reunionSaturday 12th August Although the kids would have loved it, there was no time this morning to go back to the swimming complex for another splash. On the cards today was a pre-organised family and friends reunion, which we still had to get to. Because of the limited […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 14 – Kerkrade to Center Parcs

Europe – July 2017Day 14 – Kerkrade to Center ParcsFriday 11th August Once again, a gloriously late start to the day was on the cards this morning. We couldn’t leave things too late, of course, since we’re checking out of Kasteel Erenstein. We’ll be back here for another couple of days after a spending a […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 13 – Kerkrade

Europe – July 2017Day 13 – KerkradeThursday 10th August We had a slow start this morning. Since I wasn’t sure whether breakfast was or wasn’t included in our stay, I dressed and wandered down to reception to inquire – in that order. Fortunately breakfast was included after all. Sandy was still rousing so I took […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 12 – Paris to Kerkrade

Europe – July 2017Day 12 – Paris to KerkradeWednesday 9th August As planned, we had a late start to the day. To be honest, I think we were still all pretty lethargic from the past few days. We’re really going to need a holiday after this one. Be that as it may, we kicked into […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 11 – Disneyland Paris

Europe – July 2017Day 11 – Disneyland ParisTuesday 8th August Sandy didn’t sleep much last night. I woke up and found her using the toilet as a seat and the bathroom counter next to her as a desk. It’s just about the only space to sit anywhere here in this cramped room. She was busy […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 10 – Arrival ad Disneyland Paris

Europe – July 2017Day 10 – Arrival at Disneyland ParisMonday 7th August Since we wanted to spend as much of the day as possible exploring the Disneyland Paris parks today, I was fortunate to have remembered to set the alarm for this morning. I got up rather reluctantly and forced myself into gear for what […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 9 – Catacombs and Eiffel Tower

Europe – July 2017Day 9 – Catacombs and Eiffel TowerSunday 6th August We made a conscious decision to not try to cram as much as possible in today and not to worry about getting up and out very early. This resulted in an absolutely terrific slow start with no rushing around. To be honest, this […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 8 – Seine river cruise & Notre Dame

Europe – July 2017Day 8 – Seine river cruise & Notre DameSaturday 5th August A blissfully lazy start to the day awaited us this morning. Although we originally planned a fairly packed schedule here in Paris, Sandy and I mulled it over and we’ve decided to take things a little slower instead and to cut […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 7 – Arrival in Paris

Europe – July 2017Day 7 – Arrival in ParisFriday 4th August The mood this morning was a tad sombre. Once again, we find ourselves saying goodbye to loved ones. It never gets easy. Fortunately, Sandy had already done most of the packing last night but there were still plenty of things left strewn around the […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 6 – Harry Potter

Europe – July 2017Day 6 – Harry PotterThursday 3rd August So, today is a big day as far as planned activities is concerned. Later on this afternoon, we’re going to be spending a few hours at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour to see the making of Harry Potter. Other than seeing friends and family, this […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 5 – Westcliff

Europe – July 2017Day 5 – WestcliffWednesday 2nd August Once again I found myself waking early and without the benefit of an alarm. If only I could do this normally when not on holiday. Breakfast this morning was a muted affair. The kids were pre-occupied with their own forms of entertainment and Sandy was still […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 4 – London

Europe – July 2017Day 4 – LondonTuesday 1st August As per the usual routine, it was another early start to the day. The irony is that we’re on holiday and don’t really have a need to get up early, so you’d think we’d all enjoy a sleep in, right? Ha! Anyway, Paul and Marie were […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 3 – South Ockendon

Europe – July 2017Day 3 – South OckendonMonday 31st We’re starting to settle into a routine now. Even though we don’t have any pressing reason to be getting up early, our body clocks are still kicking us all into gear from around 6 a.m. Even I’m finding I’m wide-awake well before 7 a.m., whereas I […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 2 – Basingstoke

Europe – July 2017Day 2 – BasingstokeSunday 30th Recent events have led Sandy and me to take a slightly different outlook on life. The passing of a close friend – considerably younger than us I might add – has made us both stop and think. What’s really important in life? We take for granted that […]

Europe Jul 2017 – Day 1 – family reunions

Europe – July 2017Day 1 – Family reunionsSaturday 29th Today has been full on, as we’ve moved from one activity to the next. We’ve had a blast but I’m now looking forward to tucking up in bed. The day started well with a restful night’s sleep…for the most part. It was punctuated in the early […]

Europe Jul 2017 – T-0 – getting there

Europe – July 2017T-0 – getting thereThursday 27th & Friday 28th July We’re about two hours into our first flight, with another six left to go. Lunch has been served, which was actually a lot better than I expected it to be. I had the chicken curry and rice, along with, I’m slightly ashamed to […]

Europe Jul 2017 – T-1 – pre-departure

Europe – July 2017T-1 – pre-departureWednesday 26th July ‘Twas the night before the holiday and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…well, Joey was on his iPad, Jennifer was still glued to Youtube and Sandy was busy squeezing more things into the suitcases. For my part, I’m starting to feel the tinges of […]

Europe Jul 2017 – T-4 – pre-departure

Europe – July 2017T-4 – pre-departureSunday 23rd July After weeks, if not months, of meticulous planning and research, we’re now into the final few days before departure. It remains a surreal, calm-before-the-storm sort of a situation. As we say here in Australia, just four more sleeps.Today I transferred some money onto our global currency cards. […]

Europe Jul 2017 – T-9 – pre-departure

Europe – July 2017T-9 – pre-departureWednesday 19th July Shit just got real. Yesterday, I bought some Pounds & Euros. This is a very tangible reminder that we’re now getting very close. It’s also another reminder of just how much this trip is eating into my bank balance…but I digress. In addition to the ready cash, […]

Europe Jul 2017 – T-15 – pre-departure

Europe – July 2017T-15 – pre-departureSaturday 15th July Our departure date looms ever closer with now just two weeks to go. It’s kind of surreal. I should be getting excited and perhaps I am but the lurgy that has afflicted me along with some other ongoing distractions at the moment may have dampened this somewhat […]

Europe Jul 2017 – T-22 – pre-departure

Europe – July 2017T-22 – pre-departureThursday 6th July Today was not a good day. A good friend has become very suddenly very ill. As this isn’t public knowledge and the situation is ongoing, I won’t go into any specific detail here. Suffice to say that it has made me pause for thought most earnestly. I […]

Europe Jul 2017 – T-46 – pre-departure

Europe – July 2017T-46 – pre-departureMonday 12th June My attention to the various details of the holiday has come and gone a few times over the past few weeks. With now just six and a half weeks to go, it’s no longer about the logistics of the travel itself but of who we are going […]

Europe Jul 2017 – T-93 – pre-departure

Europe – July 2017T-93 – pre-departureWednesday 26th April I dug a hole. If you’re Australian, and thus familiar with that Ozzie movie classic, The Castle, you’ll be familiar with that reference. For everyone else, it means…um…well…Sandy was completely thrilled to hear I booked us into Disneyland Paris for a couple of nights. By so doing, […]

Europe Jul 2017 – T-124 – pre-departure

Europe – July 2017T-124 – pre-departureSunday 26th March And so it begins. Since we arrived here in Melbourne, Australia some seven years ago, we’ve not yet – as a family – been back to Europe to visit friends and family. It has been far too long. Having lost out on the opportunity to get there […]

Europe Jul 2017 – T-119 – pre-departure

Europe – July 2017T-119 – pre-departureFriday 31st March A few more minor milestones have been reached in the past few days. Despite all the rigmarole and jumping through hoops to get the passports organised, we finally received the notification from the passport office that all four of our first-time Australia passports have finally been, or […]