There’s a famous bit from Seinfeld where Jerry and Elaine are at the rental car counter and there are no cars to fulfill his reservation: “You know how to take the reservation, you just don’t know how to hold the reservation, and that’s really the most important part…”
Something similar could be said of my travel blogging lately, but at least I’m getting the most important part–the actual travel–pretty right. Despite none too few travel bloggers out there on the interwebs who copiously blog of spurious travel, our travel has been getting in the way of almost any amount of actual writing. This is sad for me, you see, as I love to write. I don’t blog (like so many) to brag about my travels, I don’t blog (like many) to attract legions of followers so travel companies will throw freebies my way (though I will take them if you’re offering), and I don’t blog so I can claim to be a “professional” travel blogger (whatever that might be).
I blog because I love to tell stories. I blog to “keep my pencil sharp” and hone my writing and storytelling skills. And nothing in my book produces better stories than travel. But I guess in my list of life’s priorities, the travel comes ahead of travel blogging.
The Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Since our last blog on Thailand, we moved on to Kuala Lumpur and admired the Petronas Towers; took a 14.5 hour flight to London, landing a day ahead of the attack on the Westminster bridge; spent another 4 weeks in the UK, discovering how great a town Portsmouth is and visiting another 7 of England’s cathedrals (we’ve now seen all but 6 of England’s cathedrals); and wound down our round-the-world trip house sitting for friends in Glasgow where we caught a Celtics football game and took in A Play, A Pie, and A Pint.
Top: The Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth, England. Bottom: The Whole Crew At Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Since being stateside again, we’ve fawned over the grandbaby; roamed Florida for a few weeks, including crashing with friends and taking a drive on Daytona Beach while enduring sand-blasting breezes and taking the family to Disney World (grandbaby Felix’s first visit to Disney World); took a quick Bahamas cruise with Royal Caribbean; and settled into a 2-month long summer house sit in our old stomping grounds in North Atlanta, convenient for helping our daughter and son-in-law work on their new house (painting, caulking, yard work, and all those other joys of home ownership that have reminded me why I enjoy not owning a home).
Each of the mile markers I mention above—and more—deserve their own blog. I used to insist our blogs come in chronological order, meaning if I miss or skip a destination, it was lost to chuckandlori.com and relegated to a photo folder deep in the bowels of Dropbox and our 50+ year old memories. But given that isn’t a rule adhered to by any other travel blog I read, I’ve decided to change my philosophy on that: in the future, expect blogs that might follow the actual travel by months or years. Why, back in 1986, Lori and I took our first vacation together to Mammoth Cave, Kentucky…
Anyway, we hope you stay tuned as we share travel anecdotes, explore tips and tricks, and muse over ambitions. Indeed, those travel ambitions haven’t slowed. In fact, today marks the T-Minus 60 day mark for our next “big” excursion, a 4-month return to Europe that will be notable for sharing so much of it with friends and family. Here’s how our fall travels look:
- Southern Spain, including Malaga, Granada, and Seville
- Portugal, including the Algarve and Evora
- Our inaugural small group tour of Portugal, visiting Lisbon, Obidos, stomping grapes in wine country, Aveiro, and Sintra
- The UK, including Scotland, the Midlands of England, Cornwall, and Devon
- Belfast, Northern Ireland
- Ireland, where our daughter and son-in-law will join us to visit Dublin and the countryside
- Florence, Italy (we will book our Uffizi Gallery visit MONTHS in advance)
- A cruise on the Norwegian Spirit from Rome with stops in Greece (Mykonos, Athens, Rhodes, Santorini, and Crete), Malta, Sicily, and Naples
- Venice, Italy (we’ve been several times before, but, it’s Venice, so…)
- Paris and London, joined by our son and daughter-in-law AND grandbaby Felix!
- Norwich and eastern England, where we’ll see the last 3 of England’s cathedrals
- Wrapping up in London for our Dance Across the Atlantic group, with a ballroom-rich return to the US on the Queen Mary 2 (our third trip on this magnificent ocean liner)
Beyond that? In 2018 we are contemplating buying that camper and exploring the US…winding up in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, taking an Alaska cruise, then our first transpacific crossing followed by a couple of months in Japan and a return visit to the Philippines. And sometime in 2019…our first ever trip to Africa.
Just try to keep up with us, I dare ya.
Above: Felix’s Prized “1st Visit” Badge. Below: What Felix Thinks About It