Thursday, May 31, 2007

Children, I give you Paris...

Said in a grand voice, with a sweep of the hand, standing at the very top of the Eiffel the pouring rain. Why? Because it always must rain on us when we're sightseeing! It did however cut down dramatically on the tourists. The Americans are all afraid to get wet.

Hannah, Meaghan says you both are coming back here some day. Maybe your mom and I can plan some glorious trip for you both. Tam, think about all those stupid pieces we spend hours digging out of my boys' bunks- remember the wars? The 'Land' of their obsessions.....

Today was amazing. We came in on the highway that became the Champs-Elysees, so we came over a hill, and POW!! The Arc De Triomphe! Je suis amazed!

Off to the German edge of France tomorrow, and then to Germany proper. Hopefully I'll find internet access. The next clue then would be Mad King Ludwig's castle, (after the trials,) and then the squirt gun castle. See you then.....

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Children and I Are Changing Passports

We are having an amazing time. We arrived without a glitch, got our tiny, tiny van, (not sure where we are going to put the Lion King or his things), and other than a few wrong turns, made it out of Barcelona, and into France. We stayed at a wonderful hostel in Bealieau-Sur-Dordogne, that has been around since 50 years before Columbus set sail. When was that?

We saw castles and caves, and have navigated through the French countryside, but not so well. There are many small towns not on the maps. And you need to know where you are going to head in the right direction. Not easy when the directions are for the next small town not on your map.

We have discovered that you can buy baguette bread on any corner, and spread it with Brie cheese, which the children are eating like peanut butter. Not a habit we will encourage when we get back.

Today were Monet's Gardens and house. We all agreed it was amazing to be where he actually painted. We also toured a chateau, which the Germans had taken over in WW2. They had hollowed out the side of the rock, and built safe houses for the soldiers. A sad note to discover this in this beautiful chateau.

Tomorrow is the City of Lights, home of Madeleine. I'll try to update before we leave. Then we're going to the edge of Germany, but still in France, for one night, and then to the place where the Trials were held after WW2. We are actually touring a Medieval city not too far from there, on the Tauber River. (That's a clue.) And we are going to tour a 'Land' of my sons' obsessions- Knights, Vikings, and Fairytale Castles.

Hopefully I'll be able to update from Germany. Let me know if you need the answers for the clues.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Aaaaand we're outta here....

Well, the bags are packed, at least for the most part, we're loading the car, and setting the alarm for the unheard-of hour of 3.30am. One of the reasons we homeschool is because we flat out don't get up in the morning. Ugh. Our schedule is to fly from Columbus to JFK at 6.30 tomorrow morning, then kill time at Kennedy until our flight tomorrow night at 6pm. We land in Madrid, then fly to Barcelona, and then drive to our first destination. I'll try to post in the next few days, to let you all know how we're doing!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New Clues-save this for later if you want to follow us on the day

OK, so the first place we're going to visit has the oldest paintings. This will be Sat. and Sun.

Second place- it's an area known for beautiful though not old chateaus, and a medieval castle being built in the 21st. Century. This is Monday night.

Third place, for a few days, he was known as a painter of light, and I don't mean Thomas Kinkade. He revolutionized how the world looked at art in his day.

Fourth Place, for one day- It's known for Madeline and Napoleon. My children want to see gargoyles.

I'll have to come up with a good clue for the 5th place, before we leave this country. Anyone figured out where we are yet?

If you need more hints, let me know.

Let me rephrase that...

OK, it has come to my attention, if you Google oldest paintings, there are some now older than the ones we're visiting. So let's say the oldest ones conventionally believed to exist for a long time. They were discovered by a group of boys in the late 1800's, I think. How's that for generally vague?

As for prizes for guessing, you get the satisfaction of knowing you were right.

A suggestion for those following us vicariously- when my parents did their extensive traveling, we had the world map up on the wall, and the kids would move the marker wherever my parents were that day. It really brought home World Geography for them. I will try to post pictures if possible.

3 days and counting...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dragged Kicking and Screaming into the 21st Century....

Well, it's happened. I've joined the real world. As requested I've started a blog to chronicle the trip of a lifetime. On Friday, my cubs and I head off to New York at an obnoxious hour, and then to Spain.

This all started when my Little Brother decided to get married in Spain. Thanks to him, my cubs are getting the homeschool experience of a lifetime. I figured if I'm going to pay all this money to fly these kids overseas, we're going to make it worth their while. And I'm winging it as a single parent for part of it, since the Lion King can't join us till later. Anyway. Prayers are always appreciated, both for safety, and Mamalion's sanity!

Can you find us on a map? Our first activity will be to see the paintings that have been recognized as being around the longest. What country and city?