recent malaise with homemade chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and bread. Now I feel like a fucking frontierswoman. I'm about chop some wood up in this bitch.
We have been winning the game while sorely missing some of the fun things money can buy. Namely, travel and eating food someone else prepared. Of the two, travel feels the farthest away. It is a dream that has been smothered in health problems and hospital stays. Some people want cars or houses, we want passport stamps. We don't believe in name brand hotels or fancy clothes, just hostels and good food.
In the last ten years we've been to Europe twice -- Paris, Brussels, Rome, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre -- and Asia/Polynesia once -- Korea, Belauan islands. (Shout out to frequent flier miles, United might be evil but they fly everywhere.) Even if it was a short time, 24 hours in Korea, for instance, we made it memorable and we organized our lives to keep doing it after the baby...or we did before being bitch slapped by baby/medical debt and the attendant realization the student loan might follow me into the afterlife. So now we're lean, mean debt paying machines who sigh when they see Rick Steves.
Then Eeyore, our erstwhile guide while in Italy, stepped in. We been planning to go back to Europe with him for years. Eeyore is a seasoned traveler who also organizes his life, much more successfully, to visit places of antiquity that interest him. I should add he's an armchair historian of Greco-Roman empire and WWII so Europe is his playing field. He travels like me, only after obsessively planning out what he's going to see. Unlike me he actually can speak passable French and Italian and is far more adventurous about lodging, staying in tiny room-to-let pensiones. He was a blast to travel with.
Eeyore's watched with some depression as the possible joint trip has receded further and further away. This weekend he asked us if everything was paid off where would we go? We laughed giddily and said we'd pick up the two trips we had planned with him either Barcelona/Istanbul or Greek Islands/Turkey trip. We thought Barcelona trip would require less travel and that might be a good thing with a toddler.
After wrestling our travel fantasies out of us, he revealed his secret plan. He said that he really wanted to travel with us, and that since it had been four years since our last trip, he would take us with him to Europe in the Spring. We would see Grecian ruins in the South of France and architecture in Barcelona.
It is good news. It is great news. It is amazing news. I almost cried. Husband-cat just sputtered. Even now I'm stunned. To think that someone loves us enough to do that is humbling. He wants to travel, not only with us, but with a three year old(!) because she's ours and he loves her too. And he's realistic. Our previous six-cities-in-two-weeks won't fly. It will be three cities in three weeks. He told me to halve my "I must see this" list in Barcelona to account for Toddler Flails-a-lot. He wants to enjoy our new slow pace.
We're going back to Europe. We're going to pay off the car and we're going to eat chocolate in France. We loved and lucky beyond measure.