Good tips!

(or, things one learns the hard way)

1. Pack light. Really.


Make sure everything mixes and matches and layers with everything else.


Be okay with ditching stuff as you go. We started in May in the north and headed to summer in Italy. We were cool with lightening the load of a thrift store raincoat, a pair of almost too small jeans  and a trashed pair of hiking shoes.  Bonus: a little room for souvenirs! 


Take Rick's advice and tear up that guide book. Rip out what you don't need and bring only the sections you do and then rip them out and toss as you go!


Take only necessary chargers and plug adapters. Plug adapters are important - they don't sell American adapters in Europe - just the reverse for European travelers to the US. Voltage converters are largely unnecessary these days and just add bulk and weight. 

 A few days in Paris with my mom and son -- what a treat! 
Having traveled and lived in France, I have been fortunate to have visited Paris on several occasions. Each visit is a chance to explore new sites and neighborhoods as well as visit old favorites and "must-sees."
I had originally wanted to stay in the Marais this time but, when my mom said that she would be able to join us, I 
knew that she would be delighted to stay someplace with an Eiffel Tower view. (Airbnb can often be a good way to interact with local people as well as find a good deal on a place with a view or in an otherwise pricey neighborhood.)
After Paris - a return to our hometown away from home in Brittany for a birthday party with friends and a test of some battle gear in the medieval town of Dinan. Then on to a superb but sobering tour of the Normandy D-Day sites and the town of Bayeux. 

At a loss for words. 

Yoko meshi (n) Origin - Japanese

The stress of speaking a foreign language.

(why is it I only feel this in France...where I actually sorta

speak french?)



After two weeks in France, we head to a new experience for all - 5 days in Bruges and Brussels.

Say YES!! 

To a beer straight from the...uh...Manneken Pis.

(Who knew this kid could be hooked up to a keg???!!!)

We used the Rick Steves guide book for hotel, restaurant, and sites advice in Bruges to much success!