“I met a lot of people in Europe. I even encountered myself.”
For the past 20 years I have occupied a small but important spot in the middle of the corn fields of the Midwest. I have stayed close to home and created a place where I nurtured and taught my five children. Our home and our land have been our sanctuary and my family’s playground. I treasure my home and all that it has meant to us, but I also dreamt of faraway places, France and Italy specifically.
I don’t recall when the romance began, but a spark was lit and soon it ignited my passion. For years I have delighted in French décor. I created gardens and patios where I could pretend that we were dining alfresco in Provence or Tuscany. I even topped off our evenings with music from each region.
I dreamed of going to Europe, but I thought it would always stay a dream.
In 7 days, my dream comes true! Step by step, my husband and I turned my dream into a goal, then into plans and in just a few days it will all become a reality.
This past week, I almost watched my dream go up in smoke. We were all riding high. Conversations about our upcoming Europe trip sometimes erupted with giddy enthusiasm. (That was mostly me.) Dreams were coming true and we were counting the days until our departure. Only 18 days and…
The doctor, without feeling, announced to my husband, “You have shingles in your eye. This can affect your vision, and you can’t go to Europe.” I didn’t even make it to the car before I broke down. It was a bitter blow on all counts and at that moment it was more than I could take.
The weekend was filled with getting prescriptions and putting eye drops in my husband’s eye. Our dog Lilly began to act sick and I knew, come Monday after seeing the eye doctor again that I would be taking her to the vet. Lilly never came home from the vet. After 11 years we said goodbye to our sweet sheltie.
My husband faced a serious diagnosis. We grieved our sweet pet and my European dream was smashed in a moment.
The good news is, Steve is doing very well. Prayer has been answered. He has improved so much that the doctor has said we can still go on our trip. While running toward the finish line of my dream, the enemy tripped me and caused me to stumble but with God’s help I got back up and I am heading toward the finish line once more.
When you are caught off guard and life or the enemy tries to knock you down, hold on, ask for help and prayer, and keep believing.
One of the joys of this trip is my plan to share it with you. If you are not already a Francophile, maybe I can entice you. If you’ve been thinking about a European trip, maybe I can give you some suggestions and inspiration. If you just enjoy arm-chair traveling then I hope to share all my discoveries with you.
I was my own travel agent and I will share my tips for trip planning along the way.
Here is the iteniary:
The Loire Valley
Dordogne – Sarlat-la-Caneda
Provence – Bonnieux
Tuscany – Cortona
Austria – Hallstatt
Lake Como Italy
Drive through Switzerland
France – Colmar
Paris – Versailles
If you have suggestions for any of these locations, please share them with all of us.
To make the journey fun for everyone, not only will I share about each location, but I also have fun and prizes in store.
To begin with – I will share a fascinating fact about each location we visit. I will share the information here in future posts. I will also share the information, photos and videos on social media, so please friend me on Facebook, ‘Like’ my Author page, join our Facebook group The Breezy Porch and follow me on Twitter.
There will be opportunities to answer questions and win prizes.
Our first prize is the book, “The Most Beautiful Villages of France” The Official Guide 2019 Edition
Discover the hidden treasures of the 157 most picturesque villages to visit in France, with this fully illustrated comprehensive travel guide.
You must be subscribed to this newsletter and leave a comment – “Where is your dream destination?”
A winner will be randomly drawn from all the comments. Comments will be accepted through August 31.
Check out my daughters’ new travel blog. Get great updates and photos from twins on tour. The Traveling Twins
Even though I’m heading to Europe I haven’t forgotten that Autumn is right around the corner. Enjoy all that this cozy season has to offer.
I pray that you all enjoy a peaceful and happy return school and to the fall season.