England and Paris, August 1999

Just back from eight days in England and Paris... here's an overview!

Ian My 16-year-old nephew Ian let himself get bumped voluntarily from a flight last summer when he had to come home from a Georgia vacation a week earlier than the rest of us. United gave him $500 in flight coupons and he dithered and dithered all year about what he was going to do with the coupons. He finally said he wanted to use them to go to Europe but the amount wasn't quite enough, even with what he made in a part-time job. So I finagled and schemed and contrived, but just couldn't get everything lined up well enough to fight with his mother (my sister Kacy) to let him go on his own so......

I just had to take him.

I know, I know, it's a tough job but SOMEBODY had to do it.
How was the trip? Well... consider this...

... it isn't possible to keep a 16-year-old boy fed.

... 16-year-olds know everything. Including many things that just aren't so. (It may surprise you to discover that France is big enough to be in several time zones AND that there is a "d" in Champs Elysees...)

... Castles definitely appeal to everyone. Especially the Tower of London and Warwick Castle.

... The Cotswolds definitely appeal to everyone. Even when they're crowded with tourists.

... Four years of high school French are enough to order dinner. And lunch. And breakfast. And snacks. And odd-colored soft drinks that still taste good even if they look weird.

... NOT telling a kid who's had four years of high school French that he's going to France until you're about ready to board the train will produce an absolutely priceless look on the kid's face. Worth every penny the trip cost and then some.

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