As my blog winds down with 80 days around the world (OK, so I’m cheating on the last 12 days as an after-thought, but why not?), I am becoming nostalgic about all the planning and implementation for the trip. So pardon my indulgence in recapping each of the four original segments and the extra spoiler at the end.
First of all, I had no problem leaving home without one…extra birthday. For Segment 1, Karen and I left on the night of my birthday, on a red-eye bound for New York Sit-Tay. After our early urban walk down Fifth Avenue and a stop at Balthazar, we went the other direction in the late afternoon for the Big Apple Store, designed by BCJ, the firm Julianne worked for in Seattle over the summer.
We made it to the Ai-Wei Wei exhibit in Brooklyn, had dinner with friends at the Bateau Ivre, and bunked at the Pod. We scooted over to London for whirlwind tours of St. Paul’s Cathedral, The Tower of London, Tate Gallery and Buckingham Palace as an introduction for Karen’s first trip there. I managed to savor my old digs on Torrington Place in Bloomsbury, Byng Place, and Gerrard Street, and we stayed in a great location off Euston Station.
After taking the Eurostar, we arrived in St. Germaine des Pres and tracked down nearly every chocolatier that exists in Paris. Melissa met us after her etage stint in Ghent, Belgium, learning how to bake bread at the Superette. We ate our way to heaven via Roseval, Septime and Clown Bar, and managed to refresh our brains at the Musee du Monde Arabe.
Two quick stops at Reims to see the cathedral and take a champagne tour was followed by a visit to Trier to see what the Romans were doing there so early in Germany’s history. We bee-lined for Dresden just in time for my German class to start the following day. Karen stayed at my absolutely favorite accommodation, Aparthotel Neumarkt, before returning to the US via Berlin on Norwegian Air.