Friday, April 12, 2013

Franco Fridays: Trip Planning This + That

  • My passport came in the mail this week!  We were relieved.  My current passport was expiring in March, so I applied for a new one several weeks ago.  My old passport was still under my maiden name, and we were a little uneasy that the copy of our Marriage Certificate we sent would be the wrong thing, but when the Department of State cashed our check, we thought, "Oh, we should be good."  Not so.  As feared, the marriage certificate couldn't be a copy but needed to be the original.  I called to confirm exactly what I needed to mail in around March 27, the day we got our rejection letter in the mail.  I think the man I talked to thought I was being over-reactive about worrying if the passport would come in time. Listen, sir, I have to have that passport in one month or else.  I didn't really say that, but I don't think he understood the gravity of the situation.  Anyway, it's here, and the Department of State was even so good as to mail me my marriage certificate and old passport back.  I wasn't expecting that.
  •  I think (unless we change our minds again...) we're choosing the Normandy trip and a few more days in Paris over Switzerland this time.  My brothers have long been fans of The Longest Day, and now I think I should probably watch it before we leave.  
  • Ella seems to be really excited about our trip and spending a lot of time with grandparents.  Last night as I was putting James to bed, and he was giving me all his nightly instructions (Leave the kitchen light on or I be scared and I cry.) I worried a little bit that the grandparents wouldn't be able to understand all of his words, and he would be frustrated.  Poor little boy.  We're praying for a fun time for the kids and energy, strength, and patience for the grandparents.  Parenting is a lot of work, as I'm sure they remember.
  • I think I'm going to try packing my clothes in Ziploc bags at the suggestion of my brother.  I think it will make my suitcase more organized.  Does anyone else have any packing tips for foreign travel?  Packing too many shoes is always my biggest problem, but am I alone in the fact that it's hard to find just a couple of pair that will go with everything?  I am trying, though.  I really am.
  • I started the Pimsleur Method of learning French (quite by accident) when I checked out a group of CDs from the library.  I've really enjoyed it, though.  I've enjoyed it so much that after I finished the first 10 lessons from the library, I downloaded the next five lessons this week.  Each lesson is about 25 minutes long, and you learn by hearing and repeating, each lesson building on another.  I listen to each lesson twice to make sure I've got it, so it takes me longer to go through them.  This week I've been heavy into learning numbers and learning to ask, "How much does this cost, in Euros and in dollars?" I will most likely be extremely self-conscious about actually trying to say anything to anybody, but for my own mental stretching and self-improvement I've loved it a lot.
  • I started looking forward to a couple of specific things about our trip.  1) I won't have to pick out clothes for anybody to wear and listen to them complain about them2) I won't have to fix anybody a meal and listen to them complain about it.

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