November 2, 2016

Road-Tripping

Category: Travels

12+ driving hours, 2 border-crossings, 2 Air B&B nights, 1 Parisien city.  

All of that in one short weekend with an impromptu planning; the perks of being and/or living in Europe as you’ll get to the next border crossing in almost no time at all! 

Just for fun, I thought I’d screenshot Google Map for you with an estimated driving time to the neighbouring countries as when you get through the borders from The Netherlands – Germany & Belgium: 2 hours, France: 3.5 hours, Luxembourg: 5 hours, Denmark: 6.5 hours. 

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Source: Google Maps

Just looking at this map is enough to make the soles of my feet itch again with the travelling bug I once have b.c (before children). With no visa restrictions, it makes Europe a great place for road-tripping and I’d have us do another impromptu trip all over again! 

We had initially considered taking the speed train to Paris more so for the kids’ amusement or even flew  for convenience if we could get cheap tickets. However, that was not to be. With the cost of train tickets for four to travel being too expensive and there were no cheap flights available, Silver Bullet decided that he would drive instead.

That saved us more than 700 Euros for a 1.5 day weekend get-away with the kids. And I thought that we would not survive the long drive back and forth with the kids in tow because that would just be too crazy. I mean, 6+ hours one way in the car with hyper kids who would not stop talking and could not sit still for long? We must be mad! It sounded crazier that this trip was not at all planned. 

So in short: Kids. Super-short weekend. Long drive. Unplanned. No specific agenda. A recipe for disaster

But the critters proved us wrong. 

Despite moments where I had threatened for Silver Bullet to stop the car and leave ’em critters on the roadside when they got too rowdy or, just swivelled my head to give them that look, both Spud and Squirt did very well during the long drive. Both ways. We couldn’t be prouder of the little imps. (Having a tablet and a portable DVD player handy to distract them for a couple of hours helped A LOT, too!)

And it was not at all a disaster!

In fact, we had a helluva fun with our old friends from our Bangkok days when we met up in Fontaineblue; our reason for us being in Paris at all! Just like the adults, the kids seemed to pick-up where they left off 2 years ago; then complaining that they did not have enough play-time.

There were no pigging out or any shopping done at all, but whatever time we had, we spent it with  a fond reminiscent of the past, chatting animatedly about the present and enthusiastically discussing/speculating the future.

While short, the trip was all worth it; we not only brought back some authentic French macarons, but we also brought with us a part of a beautiful journey of the friendship that has been cultivated since before our boys were born in Asia and rekindling it in our hearts here in Europe. Who’d have thought!

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Back in Holland with a little French love in our hearts
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Fontainebleau
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Best French Macarons in town!
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Near the Louvre
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View from our window on Saturday morning
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The chaotic street of Paris, Montmartre

For me on a deeper, yet personal level, the trip had also become an excuse for a “detox” as I officially ended my tenure both with the Thai office as well as the organisation I have been working with last week. No more working remotely from home; I start a new gig next week.

Speaking of detox, my mobile phone seemed to have the same idea too. It refused to charge on the night we got back from Paris and died the day after. That means I have not been able to retrieve all of the photos taken from last weekend’s trip; saved a few of the select few above.

Au revoir, Paris. Till we meet again. And Oh! That feeling you get when you delete all of your emails from the corporate inbox permanently. Priceless.

 


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Comments
  1. So happy to read about this. Looks like both the kids and adults enjoyed and had fun. These friendships are the ones you need to treasure because they are rare nowadays!
    You seemed to be getting more & more in touch with your new lifestyle Ann..I can imagine how you might have felt when you deleted all those corporate emails and work stuff from the past..its all in the past now.
    You, Holland, your kids & family have a looongg way more to go for another adventure. Hope to hear more of stories like this. XO

    • Too short! BUt indeed, loads of fun. Can;t believe it was only last week we work up in Paris! It is so true that real friendship are really hard to come by these days; especially for expats when it does get tiring to make new friends.
      I’ll say that I’m winging the new lifestyle…adapt…and see how it goes! It is such a great feeling to be deleting emails. ALL.OF.IT! 😀
      Seems like whether we like it or not, Holland is home-home now. And can;t wait for the adventures ahead! Thank you for leaving your comments, dear friend! x.

  2. Congratulations on your new job! 🙂 (And also on a well-executed impromptu trip!) So glad you were able to have a break. Hugs!

  3. Sounds like you have everything under control Ann! You remind me of Jessica, a mom from the TV show Fresh of the Boat. I imagine you just like her. Sassy and in control mom who wears the pants in the house, lol.
    Glad the kids behaved for you (for the most part) during the long trip. That is a lot for them. (next time drug them? just kidding).

    • You know that picture-perfect of a duck looking so calm above water, but you can;t see how the bugger peddles? That’s me! LOL. I’ve never heard of the show..I’ll have to look it up.
      You know, when they were little, we did a little with anti-histamine when we flew long distances…granted, they did have the flu. :p ;P
      xoxox.

  4. Amazing. Glad to hear the kids did well. We were stuck in car a couple summers ago on a 20 hour drive (one way). With the exception of a few battles, they were good. Like you, tablets and movies were a life saver. That’s one thing I’ve always been jealous of of Europeans… their ability to travel to another country. In just a couple hours you can be in a place where there’s another language, different food, and a different history! It’s nothing like traveling between states in the US.

    • No way!! 20 hours is loooong. One way too. You are a superman, Eric! I hope that included stops. 🙂 It makes me wonder what our parents did with us without the days of tablets/portable dvds!!!
      I agree it’s great to be in Europe – technically very much like Asia too. Except that if you travel by land, there’ll be no passport stamps; which I find to be a big bummer. I love seeing new stamps on my passport! Are you not glad that you are in Canada now vs the states? ;p

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