Monumental Trip

2 weeks and thousands of photos later, we have returned to the states from our wonderful holiday in Europe. It took over a week to go through all of the videos and photos I took, but now I have two nice curated albums, one for France and one for England.

While Helen has traveled overseas on a few occasions, this was my first time leaving North America (what can I say, I love our country and Canada). Our travels took us first to Paris with a day trip to the little city of Amiens. After chunneling north, we spent a week in London along with sometime in Oxford and finally Brighton. And if there’s one thing Europe has more than the states, it’s monuments. It felt like every block of a city could have some significance (to varying degrees) that warranted a statue, plaque, piece of art.

As a huge fan of all things English, it’s not surprising my first time abroad would include the parts of the UK, but it is interesting to note it was actually because of the need to see the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play that really made this a priority. And while I enjoyed Paris and Amiens, I certainly loved England more. Perhaps not London specifically (fun, but way too crowded), but the other towns we visited confirmed my belief that I could enjoy living my life there.

While I won’t continue on with too much other details about our trip, there is a video below highlighting our adventures. But now for my favorite part of any vacation: recounting the (not always) interesting facts we learned:

  • Paris has stoplights before and after intersections (which is probably weird for drivers but it’s extra weird as a pedestrian trying to cross and seeing cars coming at you before they stop inches away at this second stoplight)
  • Some hotels in Europe require your room key to operate the lights (which is both useful in knowing where your key is but dangerous is accidentally leaving it behind)
  • “What’s his chops” is the British version of “What’s his name” (or “what’s his face”)
  • UK railways will give you some or all of your money back if your train is more than 15 minutes delayed (If that happened in the US, everyone would ride trains for free)
  • What side you walk on in London is very lax until the moment it becomes very strict (it was either free-for-all or giant signs informing you which side to walk)
  • Lemonade “soda” is used interchangeably with what I assume is Sprite (all I know is it wasn’t lemonade)
  • Even monarchs are not allowed to take a book out of Duke Humphrey’s library (which would have been really difficult in the beginning anyway since the books were literally chained to the walls)
  • They put you on conveyor belts to view the Crown Jewels (you can circle back around if you want to go again, but they seem determine to not let you just stand there and stare for hours)

Overall an amazing trip. The only part I’d change would be my shoes; we spent an excessive amount of time on our feet to the point it was painful.