Yes, you read that right.
I, mother of 5, took a vacation for 8 days to France.
While most of my friends go to all inclusives in Cancun, laying on the beach in bikinis and large hats, I walked 12 miles a day in 30 degree weather to see all that history has to offer in Paris, Grenoble and Geneva.
Definitely more my style.
I really didn't think we would go to Europe before the kids were all grown up. It actually wasn't at the top of our list for vacationing spots and really not even on our get-away radar. All that changed when Noah came home and told me that his company was sending him to France for 14 days in January. I, still traumatized by last January, declared that he could not leave me for 14 days alone with 5 kids in the dead of winter.
Instead, I would come along.
So off I went to secure a passport and a plane ticket.
It was determined that 14 days would be too long for me to be away, but that 8 days would be ok. We worked childcare out with our parents (thanks parents and in laws!) and I requested vacation from work.
So many details- shifts at work, childcare for shifts that I had to work while Noah was gone and I was home, homeschooling plans, kids activities, money for lunches, snacks for preschool, packing, itinerary for me, museums, hotels, train tickets.
But finally Noah left and a few days later I left too.
Poor Roman did not want us to go, and I know he was especially traumatized by the fact that our plane would be flying over the ocean. I think his biggest fear in life is being dumped out of a plane into the ocean where he would be surrounded by all of the ocean animals that freak him out. And honestly, I did breathe a sigh of relief when I saw on the flight monitor that we were back over land. I would rather crash on land, I think. But I tried not to think.
I arrived in Paris, where I planned to spend a whirlwind 24 hours before getting on a train to join Noah in Grenoble, France.
And that is what I did.
My overnight flight had lots of empty seats, so I actually had 4 seats to myself and was able to get at least some sleep. The flight made me laugh though. I liked the little ipad-esque thing on my seat. I actually can't read very well on planes due to the motion, so having a variety of movies and tv shows was convenient. What made me laugh though was how much they fed you. It was like they were trying to hard to keep people busy on the flight. First we had ear buds and eye covers, then it was wet wipes, then we had garbage, than we had snack, then it was garbage again. Next it was supper, then it was drinks, then it was garbage, then it was nap time. As my mom said, plane rides feel a little like preschool.
Not that there is anything wrong with preschool.
Finally my plane landed at the Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris at 8:30 am their time and 1:30am my time. I was finally ready to start my adventure as a tourist.