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Paris, Normandy & the Loire Valley with our Granddaughter

Paris, Normandy & the Loire Valley with our Granddaughter

Old Sep 3rd, 2011, 06:53 AM
  #101  
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The rest of the story!

I don’t know if Paul Harvey was internationally famous but when I was a kid, he had a radio show where he would tell something not well-known and at the end would say, now you know the rest of the story... So, paraphrasing Paul Harvey’s words a little, “And now, the rest of the story”!

Those of you who have followed along can easily see the focus of our trip was showing A a good time. I don’t mention B very much in this TR but I now want to tell you how incredibly proud I am of B. As I have said throughout the TR, we climbed to the top of everything in sight. We laughed a lot and we were on the go all the time. At times we would be tired and hungry and hot or cold – all at the same time. But through it all, B had a great positive attitude and most of the time was the one who got us all back on the right track if we drifted a little out of sorts.

Just before our trip, we discovered B had breast cancer and needed to have major surgery (mastectomy and reconstruction) that was scheduled for a week after we returned. We talked about cancelling the trip but all her doctors insisted that she go – they couldn’t schedule the surgery any sooner anyway. I don’t know how she did it. She had submitted a sample for the cancer gene test and the geneticist would not give the results (which were needed to make the final decision on single or double) until we returned. A knew B had something going on but she did not know exactly what it was – we could not see an upside to telling her before the trip. So we travelled all over France and even though B was thinking about it all the time, she somehow managed to keep it together and never let it show.

The good news is the surgery was a complete success – B is now cancer free - no radiation or chemo needed. She started back to work last Monday and has been doing incredibly well.

I don’t think B would be very happy if she knew I was writing this so I’m going to have to find a way to show her this TR without showing this last entry. But I wanted to include it for two reasons.

Number one is I want everyone to know what a fantastic wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend that B is. Her attitude has never been “why me” but has always been “let’s do everything we can to kick this thing in the butt and put it behind us”. I cannot praise her enough for how she has dealt with this since it was diagnosed.

Number two is to encourage those of you who are on the fence about whether to take kids to Europe or not to just DO IT! Our two trips with our granddaughters have been great. You will never regret taking them but if you keep waiting until you think you can afford it or “the time is right” and something happens that you never take them, you WILL regret that. OK, I'll get off my soapbox now.

Now that life is slowly returning to normal, I hope to go through the 3400 or so pictures we took and get some of them uploaded so they can be viewed. It has been a lot of fun reliving (or relishing as Ozarksbill would say) our trip for this TR but it is now time to look forward and get another trip to Italy (my favorite place on the planet) planned.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2011, 07:55 AM
  #102  
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John - I don't know when I have enjoyed a trip report as much as yours - and I read almost all reports about France! Our grandaughter just turned eleven, so I'm sure that had something to do with it! We have dreamed of taking her to France almost since she was born. Your report just makes me want to do it very soon!

I am so happy your wife's surgery was a success. She was amazing to have made the trip and stayed in such a good frame of mind. I would imagine that the trip helped the time pass by quickly until the surgery. Glad that is behind you both and you can now enjoy reliving that wonderful trip!
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Old Sep 3rd, 2011, 12:56 PM
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It's ironic that today I was telling a non-Fodorite about the information that gets revealed by strangers. So many of us are touched by cancer but it's great to have a forum to share not just sadness but practical info and in B's case the very good news of cures.

Maybe you could just cut and paste your TR into Word and print it out for your DW?
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Old Sep 3rd, 2011, 04:51 PM
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Thank you for sharing your incredible trip with us, a trip even more incredible when I think of what you two were going through! I was holding my breath as I read your most recent entry. I am so glad that things have turned out well in response to the surgery.

Can't wait to see your pictures!
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Old Sep 3rd, 2011, 06:00 PM
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Wonderful, personal, inspirational trip report. I think you've got your granddaughter on the road to being a travel addict forever, and I'm glad to hear your wife had successful surgery. And before you made me cry with " the rest of the story" I was going to ask a question about that dog video...

I'd been listening to music on my iPad as I was catching up on Fodors so when I clicked on the video, the sound came through some really nice speakers. It sounded as if the dogs were right in front of me, and I swear I heard the one being barked at say "ehhhh.....whatever". ???
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Old Sep 3rd, 2011, 08:32 PM
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What a great trip report. Thank you for sharing your experiences both good and bad. And I'm glad that your wife is recovering nicely. I hope some day to take my grandsons to Europe.
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 04:33 AM
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Excellent report and thank you so very much for sharing.
Even more excellent is the news re. your wife. She must be one brave lady. And with someone so supportive by her side, how can she do anything but do well? Best of luck to you both. And Happy Travels
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 04:36 AM
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P.S. Please, please, please share your pics when you can!
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 12:47 PM
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John: Best wishes to B and all of you. Thank you for sharing the background of the trip at the end. It does make everything you did seem rather amazing and certainly more special. Your wife must be an inspiration to her granddaughters and her family.
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 05:14 PM
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John thank you for taking the time to share all the details of your trip with us. The coda about B really added quite the emotional punch. Do thank her for us for letting you share her story, and I'm so glad to hear the treatment went so well!
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 06:33 PM
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Thanks to everyone for your nice wishes. I probably should not have included that last entry but there it is. And like I said, we are looking forward to our next trip.

I have never tried this but I am experimenting with uploading pictures to shutterfly. I have uploaded some from the first day. My thought is to upload a few at a time as I get a chance to go through them. Any advice about this process would be appreciated. Anyway, here they are - I hope!

http://john183france2011.shutterfly.com/pictures/8
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 06:42 PM
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uh_oh busted - I used the video option on my little Canon camera to record it. When I played it back here at home, I heard the same thing as you. It must have been someone near me when I was videoing. Very weird, huh?
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 07:30 PM
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But I really kind of loved it.....

Hope you and B have lots more wonderful trips ahead of you!
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Old Sep 5th, 2011, 05:37 AM
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Wonderful pics! Everything is perfect ♥
I gasped at the Maison Lavirotte pics! Exquis!
Sorry I have no advice on uploading your pics. I use photobucket and it is TIME-CONSUMING.
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Old Sep 5th, 2011, 05:38 AM
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P.S. beautiful family!
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Old Sep 5th, 2011, 09:27 AM
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Oh, great pictures! I'm *not* going to ask how young you married, because the two of you do *not* look nearly old enough to have grandkids of that age. Gorgeous family!
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Old Sep 5th, 2011, 01:16 PM
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John, I have really enjoyed your trip report and so identify with the joys of taking a granddaughter to Paris. And now, having heard "the rest of the story," the identification is even stronger. I had to cancel my first granddaughter trip a few weeks before departure to take my own trip to the OR followed by months of treatment. The next year, however, I was able to take her to London and Paris. That was twelve years ago, and since then I have taken a second granddaughter to Paris and Iceland. I'm hoping to be around to introduce my now four- and two-year-old granddaughters to Paris.

You have created such a wonderful and unforgettable experience for yourselves and Alex. I wish for you and BeBe many more years of happy traveling.
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Old Sep 5th, 2011, 04:42 PM
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Thanks for sharing your pictures. I look forward to seeing more!
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Old Sep 5th, 2011, 05:50 PM
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John, you say that perhaps you should not have shared the last part of the story. While I'm sure B has gone through a whole range of emotions during the trip and leading up to the surgery, so must you have also. As you say, in telling the story you are celebrating a wonderful wife, a successful surgery and a wonderful life together. Best wishe for continued good health and many more travels together.
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 01:01 PM
  #120  
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Thanks again irish for all the nice wishes.

You are right lantana - adding pics is TIME-CONSUMING.

PegS - as Indiana Jones once said - it's not the years it's the miles!!! HA!

Congrats to you MaineGG - wow - lots of fun trips with the grandkids.

gh21 - Yes, we are celebrating!!!
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