Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Wonderings on Wanderings: Getting Ready for our European Swing 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Wonderings on Wanderings: Getting Ready for our European Swing 2014

my still-red-in-may-poinsettias and growing pothos
Mother's Day Lunch!
Our last week before our European Swing started out with Mother’s Day! After mass, Bill took me to a flower shop so I can choose my flowers. Then we had a superb Mother’s Day lunch at Cork n’ Catch, one of the best restaurants in little Cottonwood, Arizona. I had my favorite grilled fish with mango salsa and Bill, his favorite 8 oz. steak after a terrific International Cheese Platter! Bill always makes up for the distance from my daughters who are elsewhere around the world, in Seattle USA, Calgary Canada, and Newcastle England! But they sent a certificate for a Three-course Meal with Aperitif for Two at Tirage Champagne Restaurant in London.

They say to complete a life you have to mother a child, plant a tree, and write a book. Well, I have planted several trees in connection with varied causes. And now, I finally have written a book! Please go to for announcements about it. But the best, among the three, is to have mothered a child, three daughters for me, in fact. Here they are, smart, pretty, and loving. Without them, I would not have a beautiful Mother's Day every day! 

my three daughters
Well, in five days’ time, we fly to Oslo, Norway for the start of our European Swing 2014. We have decided not to cover countries outside of North America by cruising in an RV. There are no intercontinental roads anyway. Kidding aside, RV’ing in most parts of the world is more difficult and less convenient (RVs smaller and roads narrower).

We decided that now, five years after we started ticking places in our bucket list, we want more conveniences in traveling. Besides, cruising means a pace, not a specific mode of transportation! We intend to travel a maximum of two to three months a year, a month or two out of the country and visits to children the other month. For the other nine to ten months, we will snowbird and so we have reserved again in Viewpoint for even longer this time, eight months!

my new luggage and walking shoes
for our European swing!
As a matter of fact, to have more conveniences in cruising, we have signed up with Diamond Resorts International, the biggest in the industry, so that our stays will be in more comfortable resort-type condos wherever we go. At least once a year, we also intend to have a family reunion like the one we had in Mazatlan in 2009. So we are doing a two-month swing of Europe before April’s wedding at the Guthrie Castle in Scotland and a month’s stay for me at her home in Newcastle after.

The Swing is our transition to our new cruising lifestyle!  We have renewed our reservation for Phoenix’s Viewpoint for another eight months, from August 2014 to March 2015, right after our European Swing from May 17 to August 10 (for me) and July 12 (for Bill). Here is our detailed itinerary:

May 18 to 22     Oslo, Norway
May 22-26          Helsinki, Finland
May 26-27          St. Petersburg, Russia
May 27-June 1   Stockholm, Sweden
June 1-15            2-week Cruise to Denmark, Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, and England
June 15-17          Brighton, England
June 17-19          Canterbury, England
June 19-21           Stonehenge and Bath, England
June 21-25           Cotswolds, England
June 24-25           Windsor, England
June 25-30           London, England
June 30-July 1     Edinburgh, Scotland
July 1-3                 Guthrie Castle, Scotland (wedding of my daughter April)
July 3-5                 tour of the Highlands, Scotland
July 5-6                 Edinburgh, Scotland
July 6-Aug 10       Newcastle, England

I hope to post about each of these stops in  9 countries and 20+ cities and towns weekly, beginning next week after our tour of Oslo!

Right now we are in frenzied preparations to make sure we are leaving the RV okay in storage. My biggest problem is this: Who will take care of my plants, especially the still blooming and pretty poinsettia? I even had to buy new walking shoes and sandals since it will be a lot of walking in Europe, especially London. I even have a new set of luggage for the trip since we are using four airlines with differing baggage allowances. We had to make sure we have ones that would meet the smallest and lightest allowances and that is Norwegian Air! 

See you around the world in the World Wide Web!