Hello from Dijon, France. They have excellent mustard here.
I’ve been dumping stuff out of my brain for a while and it’s time to share.
To paint my view of our UK experiences with broad strokes:
- The English people we met were very friendly and nice and helpful and made our time there great.
- The Scottish people we met were friendly, seemed willing to pay for your groceries, invite you to dinner, and dive into an icy river to save your children if needed.
- We loved the Scottish countryside and nature hikes and such but I think, subconsciously or not, it was the people that kept us there for over a month.
I really don’t miss anything about the food at home. Maybe Carbone’s pizza. And I miss hockey.
People look at us like we’re crazy when we tell them we’re traveling by rail and bus. I’ve run the numbers a bunch of times and we’re coming out ahead for sure. In addition to the hassles of driving and finding our way around in traffic, most days we walk through cities or hike around. That means we’d be paying for a rental car that would just sit, parked, in a paid spot most of the time. We definitely give up some flexibility, but not enough to have a negative effect.
My hiking boots died in Annecy in November. I had them for at least 15 years, wore them a ton all over the US and the world, and the toe stitching finally blew out. RIP.
I got new boots from Amazon and started wearing them in late November. I’ve worn the new less-comfortable-but-cheap boots for two full months, walked literally hundreds of miles in them and, for some reason, I just got blisters after a 6 mile walk to see the aqueducts in Lyon this past Saturday. Was it the Roman ghosts getting back at me for not fully appreciating all they did? Or did my luck just finally run out?
I bought the new boots from Amazon.fr but you can kinda see what I’m wearing here, if the link works, although I only paid about $30 for them at the time (Disable ad blocker if you can’t see the links, and let me know.)
[amazon template=banner easy&asin=B005BK9IQQ]
My son’s entire waking day is one big High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session. Why walk when you can run? Why stand when you can jump? Why not bounce off walls instead of just staying on the sidewalks? There’s something to be said for boundless energy.
There comes a time at every location we visit when I just get soooo sick of planning routes and finding lodging. Then we move on and discover new places and people and all is well again. And we’ll keep going.
We’re having a blast and learning a lot but, since I’m not working, there are somethings that I think just aren’t worth the money. We’re certainly not sleeping in hostels and stealing breadcrumbs from pigeons like I may or may not have done while in college, but we’re also not eating 4 course French dinners. It’s tough to strike a balance and keep the experiences good.
Other than the boots, the other best purchase I’ve made on this trip are batteries which are SUPER expensive in stores in France – use the links below to get your own (if they work – I’m making this WordPress stuff up as I go – disable ad blockers if nothing is showing up):
[amazon template=banner easy&asin=B00LH3DTYS]
[amazon template=banner easy&asin=B00NTCHCU2]
Old is relative:
Our St. Paul house is from 1941…most of the Twin Cities was still farmland then.
The Lyon Roman ruins are over 1000 years old, Some Greek ruins are older…way older.
Some of the stuff we see is from the 1500’s but have BRAND NEW upgrades done in the late 1700’s.
And all this stuff we see, no matter how relatively old, is still standing. People just live by it, work next to it, or shop in it…just like it’s totally normal to be hanging with a 1000 year old gargoyle.
I hope all is well with everybody, always. Above all, have fun!