Friday, May 7, 2010

Sneaking up on France

I am supposed to have today off as my "one Friday per month" (thank you compressed workweek, one of my favorite ideas ever). However I have opted not to take it today and instead work and bill the hours next week when I'm in France so that I can save a day of vacation.

Because I'm going to France next week! In under a week! It's so funny, I have been thinking about going to this wedding for years (they were PACSed--the French civil union--in 2008 so I knew this was coming), and then for months once they announced the date we talked about whether or not it would be possible, and then we decided it would and then I got the ticket and then all of a sudden it went from years of contemplation to mere days before I depart.

It's coming up so suddenly that I almost feel like I'm going to forget about the whole trip and not go to the airport and miss the whole thing. I mean, I know rationally that I won't do that, but it feels like it could happen because it's just so SOON, all of a sudden.

And oh, suddenly I am so excited. I had mixed feelings about this trip because originally when we found out about the wedding Torsten and I had planned to take a couple weeks off, go there together, fly into Paris and visit friends there, then rent a car and drive first down to Toulouse for the wedding and then east through the south of France and along the coast before heading into Italy, where I've never been, and then possibly back up to Paris through Switzerland, where I have also never been.

We were really looking forward to the trip but then Torsten quit his job and suddenly we had no money, and certainly not the thousands of dollars that our planned trip would have required. So instead this trip is super budget--Torsten isn't even coming, and I'm not flying through Paris because it was too expense so I won't get to see my friends there, and the trip will only be six days, nearly two of which will be spent traveling, and I will be spending as little money as possible and staying with friends and going nowhere that I have never been before.

Plus I felt slightly guilty about using all these credit card points for this ticket when there are a lot of other things, including cash, that we could have used those points for. But we have to have some things that are available of leisure, right? We can't be practical with everything? And if we're going to designate one thing for fun instead of practicality, I think credit card points are the smartest choice.

At least, that's what I keep telling myself. And what Torsten keeps telling me. And suddenly, all the stuff that has been making me feel confused and less than thrilled about this trip don't matter anymore. Yes, the trip we had planned would have been lovely, and I am so sad that Torsten can't come with me, and that he still hasn't been with me to visit my host family and see the town where I lived and all these people and places that are still so important to me.

But me, I get to see them. I get to attend my host sister's wedding and be there on this important day for her. I get to stay with my host family again and spend a few days with them and catch up with them and brush up on my French. I can visit all my favorite places again and see some old friends.

Basically it's going to be awesome. So even though it's not the ideal European vacation that we would plan if we were millionaires, it will be wonderful all the same. And I can't believe it's only a few days away.


  1. Did you see Modern Family this week? You post reminds me of the episode from this week where there was excitement about a vacation and then a letdown because of who was attending the vacation. And there were stressful scenes related to almost missed flights. And you know what? At the end, everything worked out. Just like everything will work out for your trip - what a wonderful opportunity for you and your friend!

  2. I am so pleased for you! I had forgotten you were going. Sometimes solo, budget trips to places you've been before are the best kind. You will never forget this trip and it is the perfect time of year to be in France. (Who am I kidding, France is loverly almost any time of year!).

  3. Oh, I love that feeling of WOW! The vacation is NEXT WEEK! When I was a kid I used to ask my parents not to tell me when we were going on vacation and to just wake me up on the day of the trip and put me in the car--that's how excited I got. Although now I'm not sure if I was trying to avoid the pain/pleasure of anticipation or trying to maximize that feeling of OMG! It's today! Off we go!

  4. I really really hope I get to France someday. It sounds so magical!

  5. So glad you made it work! You are going to have a fabulous, if short, time!

  6. I am a firm believer in 'you only regret the things you don't do.' I'm glad you're going!

  7. fun, fun, fun! I hope you have a blast.

  8. You will have a great time! I'm glad you guys do get to have the trip, albeit a tiny bit more budget than you'd planned.

    Besides, it's France. What can be bd about France? It's beautiful. I'm so jealous! (And I'm only an hour or so away!)

  9. Sooooo excited for you! Even though it didn't end up being what you had originally planned, I think you're still going to have the most wonderful time. Can't wait to hear all about it! (What are you wearing to the wedding?!)

  10. This sounds so lovely! I hope you have a wonderful trip!

    P.S. I'm secretly jealous that you get to back to France for a mini-vacation! I want to go back soooo badly!

  11. Too bad we won't be there at the same time, we could meet for the first time, in France!
    I hope you have a lovely trip and please tell me how to avoid jet lag.