August is booked!…Paris and London, here we come!…Solar eclipse not visible from here…

 

Eiffel Seine Hotel Paris, where we’ll spend 15 nights from August 1, 2014 to August 16, 2014.

Going against everything that we’ve said that which we love; nature, wildlife, and vegetation, we decided, once again, to “step outside the box” using our “free” month before our cruise from London to Boston on August 31, 2014, to finally see London and Paris.

After considerable research over the last few weeks we decided yesterday that we’d be foolish not to visit Paris and London, neither of us having seen either. While checking various hotel booking sites, it was obvious that many of the choice opportunities were filling up fast and it was time to book which is exactly what we’ve done for both locations.

The Regency Hotel London, where we’ll stay for 15 nights before boarding our ship at the port in Harwich, a three hour drive from London.

To simplify the process, we’ll fly directly to Paris after our two and a half months in Madeira, Portugal, stay at a hotel for 15 nights, a short distance from the Eiffel Tower, with easy access to transportation and many of the sights within walking distance. So far, the airfare appears to be in the range of KES $19080, US $225 per person, one way.

At the end of the 14 days, we’ll head to London, either by way of the “tunnel/chunnel,” ferry or flight (yet to be determined) to spend 15 more nights in an old historic hotel, walking distance to Kensington Palace and many popular tourist attractions. We’ll share details of the hotels after we arrive at each.

Why did we chose hotels over vacation rentals? To stay in a vacation rental, the planning and booking is more time consuming, the cost in these cases was compared to the hotels and grocery shopping, with the necessity of transportation to and from, and purchasing so many basic household goods, it made no sense to stay in for these short stays.  Also, both of these hotels had excellent reviews, which is vital to us each time we book any property.

We may not be able to see the Eiffel Tower from our hotel room, but if we walk outside we will be able to see it.

Did we pay more for these conveniences, especially when we factor in the cost of eating out at least once a day?  Yes, we did. But, the necessity of being close to London for our cruise leaving out of Harwich on 8/31, Tom suggested Paris knowing I have always wanted to see it. Speaking and understanding a bit of French and totally able to read signs, menus, instructions, etc., this trip will be all the more meaningful.

What prompted Tom’s desire to offer up Paris to me was the fact he booked us for a shore excursion with a group from Cruise Critic, while we’re on the cruise from London to Boston that has a port of call in Le Havre, France on September 1, 2014. The excursion, for a maximum of eight people, tours the historical World War II sites. 

Knowing this excursion is of little interest to me (he’s the history buff in the family), if he’d suggested a night or two in Paris, I’d have been thrilled. With 15 nights in Paris, in the heart of the city, I’m delirious with joy! 

London Tower Bridge, a good spot to visit in an evening.

I guess I’ll live vicariously through his dining on French epicurean delights.  But, none of that matters to me. It has been this special diet that has given me the health necessary to allow me to travel the world. 

Who’s to complain about not having a mouth-watering, custard oozing French pastry? Not I! Instead, I’ll enjoy Bearnaise sauce over my Filet Mignon with Cabernet steamed garlic buttery mushrooms and a classic Caesar salad, minus the croutons! Or, Eggs Benedict’s minus the muffin, a treasure I’ve devoured on several occasions.

(We’ll purchase snacks to keep in the mini-fridge, to eat only when hungry; cheese, hard-boiled eggs, cooked meats and nuts, we’ll be content. Based on our way of eating, we seldom are hungry in the morning, preferring the above items to tide us over until dinner).

Then, as mentioned above, on August 16th we’ll make our way to London to spend the second half of August, heading out on foot each day utilizing the readily available modes of transportation to the same places of interest appealing to most tourists.

This will be different for us. But then again, it’s all a part of our new life of wonder and adventure, perhaps befitting for the contrast after spending almost a year in Africa and two and a half months on the remote island of Madeira, Portugal, 1200 miles off of the northwest corner of Africa. 

From a tropical island paradise to the bush on safari, to rough water seas crossing the ocean, to dangerous nights in the seas of the Middle East, to the tall buildings of Dubai, to the hills of Tuscany, to the narrow passageways of the Panama/Suez Canals and to the rugged life in Kenya and more, we’re fulfilling dreams we never knew we had.

So, for a month of our travels, we’ll behave like typical tourists; MiFi in my pocket, “Maps” on-screen on my smartphone, pre-purchased tickets on the smartphone rather than the typical piece of paper, camera charged and ready to go with an extra battery, local currency (Euros) on hand, comfortable shoes and the usual smile on our faces, grateful for yet another amazing opportunity.

Above all, we’re stretching ourselves to enrich our life experiences both individually and as a couple. Thanks, Tom Lyman, for giving me Paris. I imagine I’ll end up going nuts taking photos in Normandy and you’ll be intrigued at the Louvre. There’s no one in the world, I’d rather share this life with than you.

2 thoughts on “August is booked!…Paris and London, here we come!…Solar eclipse not visible from here…

  1. Unknown Reply

    Absolutely amazing! In just over a year you have traveled to more beautiful places than most people will in a lifetime. You seem to go from safari to city with ease and enthusiasm. I truly enjoy reading your posts and, of course, seeing the pictures. Stay healthy so that we can continue to enjoy your blog 🙂 I know I speak for a hundred thousand readers when I say 'Thanks for taking us along for the ride'. Take care!

  2. Jessica Reply

    Ashley, how sweet of you to say! Your comments mean "the world" to us. And thanks for your wishes for continued good health which takes a daily effort but it so much worthwhile.

    Hope you're enjoying your new home, job and new life. It was a big change for you to leave MN, I'm sure.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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