7 June 2016
For our first trip to Europe, we chose the Mother Country, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Cara has always wanted to visit Ireland as that is where many of her relatives originated. It appealed to me as the least intimidating since none of us speak a second language.
Months of planning and we are almost there. One more day of work and school. Most of the packing is done, just a few last minute items remain. We made the flight, car rental, and hotel accommodations over 6 months ago. We planned this trip so far in advance, I need to refer back to the itinerary to remember the details.
TripAdvisor.com is my go-to research tool for general information and reviews for attractions, hotels and restaurants. Google Maps is a close second, bit of a street view junkie I’d say. Given the information available today, we rarely find ourselves in hotels we don’t like but we never know until we arrive. Cara and the kids are sometimes anxious to see where we will be staying. I’m usually a little nervous, just hoping it doesn’t suck. All-in-all we’ve had good luck.
The only part I am a little nervous about is the driving. Many of the rental cars in Europe are stick shifts, which I would enjoy, but my wife would not want to drive. I was a little freaked out by the idea of shifting with my left hand and not entirely sure which side the clutch would be. Best to avoid problems, I reserved an automatic.
With a few exceptions, I think we are ready for the U.K., although I’m not sure they are ready for us.