We have been in Europe almost 8 weeks and for those of you that think the trip has been a relaxing vacation, you can forget that idea. We have been up at 7 am most mornings and on the road by 9-9:30 . A typical day would be driving until 7-8:30 pm. There is a lot of work involved in preparing the day, where we will be driving, and most of the stress is at the end of the day, trying to locate a B&B or hotel. It is nothing like North America where you will have hotels and motels everywhere. Here they have Farmstay, B&B's, Auberges, or Chambre d'Hotes. Some are great, some are good and few not so good. Fortunately we have been very limited on the not so good but the people we have met, both proprietors and guests have been fantastic. We have driven over 7000 miles to date and covered a lot of territory. The sites have been incredible and the people amazing. We are in awe of the history in these countries. It is different from any vacation we have ever done but it has been one of the most rewarding in spite of some stressful times. The cultures are so different but you learn to adjust and adapt. Virtually everybody we have come across has been more than willing to lend a had or give advice. Driving here can be very challenging and dangerous so you have to be on your toes at all times. Little room for error on the narrow roads and excessive speeds most people are traveling. Drivers in England were extremely good and courteous, Ireland terrible and France worse. We cannot wait to get to Italy where they are apparently the worst in all of Europe. You soon learn to appreciate the luxuries we have in North America and what a wasetful culture we have become. Here they conserve everything from gasoline/diesel, power, and materials. They have switches on all electrical outlets that are turned off when not in use. Central heating is rare and houses are quite cool compared to North American standards. All you have heard about the exorbidant cost of living here is true and I do not know how most people exist. People seem to have a totally different attitude toward material things and could care less about the big homes, plazma tv's and luxury cars. They live life to the fullest and for today!
I have always been a straight shooter and a go getter. Many have said Leslie must be a saint to have put up with me for over 40 years. We have been business partners since the day we got married and each played an intrigal roll in our business success. There is nothing more important to us than our Family & Friends. Our love of people and travel has allowed us to develop amazing friendships around the world.
"The New Gineration"
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