Maeve has been selected as a People to People Student Ambassador delegate. She will be traveling this summer, to France, England, Wales and Ireland. I am so excited for her, although I spend at least a half-hour lying in bed doing math to figure out how we're going to pay for the trip. Our first significant payment is made already, but there are three more looming.
This will not be her first travel experience. When she was 4, we vacationed in New Brunswick, Canada for a week. We stayed in a little town called Bouctouche, right on Le Baie de Bouctouche. It was a wonderful trip - we visited Prince Edward Island, with its gorgeous red clay beaches; Nova Scotia, where we spent most of a day at Peggy's Cove and where she discovered her love of pickled beets; and where we also visited an animal preserve, where a young otter decided he loved Maeve, and he followed her everywhere she went.
When she was 5, we went to England. We stayed in London for a few days, at a hotel that was just around the corner from the London Eye and just on the back side of Town Hall, which faces the Thames. Then we traveled around. We went to Glastonbury, where we found a little B&B that had the Tor in its backyard. We went to Bath and Stonehenge, where Maeve absorbed the autoguided tour, telling us that "this is hundreds of thousands of years old!" Then we went back to London and stayed with family for a few days, which was fantastic. We also had a get together with some of the May Moms and their kids, all the same age as Maeve. We visited Leeds Castle and heard the sad story of the albino peacock, whose albino peahen mate was eaten by foxes and who was rejected by the colorful peahens. My cousin-in-law Mick took us on his whistle stop tour of London, which included some seedy bars where he got to see some of the giants of classic rock before they were huge.
When she was 8, we went to Paris and Ireland. Our first day in Paris, we stayed in Montmartre. It was a drizzly evening, and I was wearing a blue plastic poncho, and an old man came up to me, reaching for my face and speaking to me in French. Siobhan translated for me - he was telling me that my red hair looked beautiful against the blue poncho. We went to Ireland for a week, where we met people in Dublin who varied between angry and crazy; we found a much nicer Ireland in the countryside, and we stayed with my family in Galway for a week. Then we went back to France, stayed in a small apartment off of Rue Mouffetard, and did all kinds of touristy stuff like the Tour d'Eiffel and the Louvre, D'Orsay, etc. And we ate like kings!
I feel so lucky that we've been able to see some small part of the world outside of where we have settled down.