Sheila: Bonjour, James
James: Hi, Sheila!
Sheila: Just practicing the very few words of French I’ve picked up.
James: That’s OK you already know pretty much as much as I do.
Sheila: Ha! Not so sure about that, as I can’t order a sliced bread loaf or tell a cab driver where to stop. It’s crazy how many areas of language we’ve passed through in just a few months. I’m still saying “Dober Tek” when we sit down to eat.
James: It’s true… we’ve gone from Slovene to German to Swiss German to Italian to Spanish / Catalan to French and even though I wish I could remember more of the high school French I took, this is still the first country I have even the vaguest idea of what I’m reading and saying.
Sheila: Yep and I’m a bit lost but I have so much more empathy for those in the States that don’t have English as their first language! Pretty funny how we are saving the English speaking country for last. (We leave for England in one week!)
James: We did end up buying tickets home for the end of August but we may sneak in another country before we wrap up Europe.
Sheila: We’ll see how crazy we’re feeling and what the flight deal$ are like! James, what did you think of having our friends visiting Paris the past few days?
James: It was really nice to see Tessa and Joe again. Though we kicked off our travel adventures by visiting them, so much has happened since we last saw each other. For example… we all got engaged!
Sheila: Yesss we treated this like our engagement honeymoon trip and made jokes about being a group of fiancés. Tessa’s mom and sister were also in town and were good sports about it, it was so so good to spend time with them too! Highlights were our dinners out together because we always made friends with the waitstaff + we can’t forget the Moulin Rouge show!
James: Tessa’s mom took us to the Moulin Rouge, which was a very unique engagement gift and something we wouldn’t have otherwise done. This made it all the more special. Some of the other highlights were seeing Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe and the long walks we made through the city (though Tessa and Joe tried and loved the electric scooters). Sheila am I missing anything?
Sheila: We also went to the Eiffel Tower for a special toast for my mom. It was something I hoped to do, as the park in front of the Eiffel Tower was the scene for one of my favorite photos of her, taken just last summer. Tessa and Joe joined us, and we sat on the grass enjoying the sun and bubbly. It’s exactly what she would have wanted. Though it was sad to see Tessa and Joe off this morning, we have some good things to look forward to— a quick visit with Boston friends in the area today andddd Chamonix tomorrow ! Woot woot.
James: This time last year I was in Chamonix, and I’ve been really looking forward to sharing what a wonderful place it is with Sheila. We’re going to do some hiking there, explore the back alleys of this famous Alps village, and if we’re lucky we may even get to go paragliding with a friend!
Sheila: I couldn’t be more psyched to experience the place I know you love so much and to breathe in some mountain air after weeks in the city. Today happens to be the start of a heat wave in Paris so I’m crossing my fingers it’s a bit milder without also being too cold or rainy … too much to ask?
James: We’ve had the full range of weather on this trip already so I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a little good weather while we’re in the mountains.
Sheila: I’m also looking forward to the train ride there— this is the first time we’ll take a longer train ride through Europe! This will also be a bit more relaxing than the rental car we debated.
James: There’s a lot of trade offs to consider when looking to cover large distances. We find ourselves balanced between the time it takes to travel, how expensive taking a plane/bus/train is, and how we can best minimize the ecological footprint of our journey.
Sheila: One thing we continue to say is simply “We’re learning” and that’s the truth! Good discoveries, a couple blips, that’s what it’s all about.
Looking forward to reporting back on the train, potential paragliding, and mountain feel!
James: Till next time we check in, we hope you stay cool!