As the cold winter wind howls past my window, I've been curling up with a few good books. Travel Guides specifically, for Europe, London, Paris and Switzerland. With Kate going to L'Abri and planning to take the train during her 10 day break in October to see Laura in Germany, my delivery of her will be an educational trip. I'm brushing up on my own skills in order to teach her to buy train tickets, metro passes and navigate like a "local" instead of a tourist while in Europe. Over a year ago we started planning to go to London together as a post-graduation treat. Now it's gone from a mere trip to delivering her to L'Abri, which will involve not only speaking English in London, but now also getting around in French, (2 or 3 days in Paris) and some German, (parts of Switzerland and her break) as well. The nature and timing of our journey- and our own personal leanings- have us booking an independent vacation as opposed to an organized tour package. We want to be flexible and on our own. The Louvre may end up requiring twice the time a tour guide would give us and we may just want to spend an entire hour or more chillin' at a cafe table and watching the people go by.
Thus far I've managed to book every hotel we will need except for the final night in Geneva. I'm waiting for the responses to my email queries now. Our flights are ticketed so that's a huge weight off my mind. We'll be spending a few days in London before being joined by one of Kate's young childhood friends, Gabby, from Grove City. Gabby will have two days with us in London, and travel with us the rest of the way, returning with me after we leave Kate at L'Abri. Once all the rooms are locked in I can relax a bit and focus on current life. This weekend Kate and I are driving to Grove City to spend some time with Gabby's family and plan, plan, plan!
life now is rather full and will take a bit of focusing on. The kitty is convalescing from her spaying last week. Ten days in a confined room as she heals. The first stage of recovery is behind us and she's doing well. Now if she'll just learn that we want only the best for her and trust us again... Only time can fix that.
My parents each have their travel plans in place to come up here for Easter and to see Nathaniel. He'll be coming home in early April for a couple of weeks. It's hard to believe that April is almost here! In our excitement we have decided to go ahead and finish painting the family room, including painting the trim white. This will keep us occupied, (we needed this?) as well as providing a deadline by which to finish. We won't have time to replace the carpet- I believe, but the labor intensive portion, (for us) will be done.
And for recreation we are now members of the Reading Archery Club. Jim has been taking the kids to shoot with the club equipment, working with a coach there, to determine if they would like to pursue archery and if so, what sort of equipment they would need. As it turns out, they all, (Bekah, Erin and Isaac) enjoy archery tremendously and seem to have a knack for it. Jim arranged to meet the coach, Rich, at an archery store to purchase bows and accessories for the kids a couple of weeks ago. The bow they chose for Bekah is an impressive rig, competition ready. Hiawatha never saw such a weapon! They'll be going at least once a week to practice. While signing them up, Jim found out that Rich, who's been helping them along, is a Nationally recognized coach under the Olympic Archery program, and several Olympic Archers have come out of this very club. Pretty cool.
And speaking of Bekah, her back is coming along fine. We'll go see the Orthopedic doctor today, but the Physical Therapist evaluated her progress after a month of seeing him and declared that her therapy is working. While her spine isn't straight- not what we expected- it is improving with the exercises that she's been doing on a daily basis. We'll see what the other Doctor says, but she may not have to wear a brace if the progress continues. We just need to remember to do the exercises!
That's all for now- on to laundry!