Sunday, May 22, 2016

And now for something completely different: A trip to Ireland

When it comes to international travel, beyond North America, I don't have much on my resume.  Two weeks in Paris in late December 2011/early January 2012, two weeks in Italy in June 2014, and now, immediately upcoming, 10 days in Ireland.  Call me a late bloomer as I was 62 when I made my first visit to Europe.

My wife has made all of the arrangements for these trips:  transportation, lodging, sightseeing -- the full itinerary.  It's as though I suffer from a mental block when it comes to the topic of travel planning abroad.

But when it comes to U. S. travel, I'm all in from the start.

As I was last year for our getaway to Asheville (NC), Nashville, and Lexington (KY).  I planned the route, reserved hotel rooms, and created a list of sightseeing options.

As I was in 2013 for a road trip to Boston, which provided an opportunity to reconnect with cousins I hadn't seen in 35 years.

As I was with any number of family trips during spring breaks, before the boys were beholden to school sports.  Gettysburg, Washington DC, Mount Vernon, Williamsburg in 1999 and Memphis, Vicksburg, San Antonio, and Austin in 2000 are two of the most memorable itineraries.

I became a seasoned U.S. traveler very early in my life.  I was born in Auburn, Washington, moved to Great Falls, Montana, when I was 3, and to Warren PA when I was 8.  Dad hails from Rockford, Illinois, and Mom from Springfield, Massachusetts, and summer vacations always involved visits to one or the other side of the family.  The trips were usually made by car, in the days before the Interstate highway system, and at least once (that I can recall) by train.  I remain seriously infected with this travel bug during my 20s.  I hitchhiked cross-country 4 times in 1971 and 1972, drove it twice in 1973, returned to live for a time in Montana after graduate school.  I then spent a few years in Massachusetts before settling down in Wisconsin, which has been home for the past 38 years.

The urge to travel will always remain strong, but I suspect I'll continue to leave the international itineraries to my wife.

Sent from my iPhone

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