Just a thought… Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind. [Seneca]
As you read this, we will have just spent our first night aboard the AMAStella on AMA Waterways. As I mentioned here Friday, Mike Cooper, my husband Rob and I are hosting a group of former listeners and future friends aboard this river boat which travels from Amsterdam down to Antwerp, Belgium and back up to Amsterdam. We fly home on Sunday.
Today, according to our itinerary, we’re going to Hoorn, where we stop for a few hours. Later we’re off to Middelburg, Netherlands. Wednesday we arrive in Ghent, Belgium for a day of tours and exploring; Thursday we dock in Antwerp and then Friday we hit up three places in the Netherlands: Rotterdam, Kinderdijk and Schoonhoven. Then we return to Amsterdam and disembark on Sunday.
We laughed out loud when Rob figured that, according to Google Maps, when you type in our destinations in order, it calculated that it would take us 8 hours 26 minutes to drive! That’s how close everything in Europe is, when you think about it.
I mean, back in 2004 when I was between jobs, we made it a point to see as much of Europe as we could as a little family. Rob, Lauren and I booked two bus trips back-to-back and managed to see 16 countries in a month. (I tell a few stories from that time in Mourning Has Broken.) We’ve counted our blessings repeatedly for having had the finances and the time to take that July trip.
Lauren was able to give the subjects she studied in school so much context (she was 13 when we went) while we all got to make memories together in close proximity. How we loved that time with her! While Lauren was weary of cathedrals, churches and museums by the time the trip was over, she’d also witnessed Bastille Day fireworks in Paris and made all kinds of wonderful memories. In fact, she returned to England and Amsterdam on her honeymoon in 2013.
Because I’m not entirely sure about WiFi on the boat (although I’m told it’s just great) and time zones are bound to mess me up in terms of posting correctly, I’ve got a week’s worth of fresh journals that are ready to go in the coming days. When we return to Canada next week (actually we fly in on Sunday afternoon), I’ll have pictures and stories for you here – not enough so you’re resentful you didn’t come, but just enough so you’ll feel like you’ve been travelling with us, or might want to do this if we plan a trip together in the future. How does that sound?
Take good care and we’ll be back with you here tomorrow with the story of something pretty awful that showed up on Rob and the lesson that you can never judge a book by its cover – or a man by his nose.