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July 7, 2015 / Jim Fenton

Europe Day 0: Departure

June 2, 2015

Once again (this is the sixth year), I wrote a journal on our summer vacation for publication on this blog following our return. This year the publication of the journal is delayed by 5 weeks from real time, and I intend to post one installment every day or so over the next 3 weeks or so. This year’s trip was to portions of Europe: England, France, and a bit of Germany, with lunch in Luxembourg thrown in. The recurring characters in our story are myself (Jim), my wife Kenna, and our daughter Celeste. We hope you enjoy it!


We decided to leave on our vacation earlier in the summer than usual, to get away from the construction noise from the house being built next door. That decision was affirmed this morning when a jackhammer started tearing up the previous house’s driveway. A positive sign, in a way.

It has been several years since we went to Europe, especially if you don’t count our 2013 trip to Iceland. Celeste, now almost 16, was there when she was 6 and 9 years old, and the earlier trip in particular is a dim memory. We will be revisiting some places she has been before, introducing quite a few places that Kenna and I have been that we want to show her, and going to a few places that are new to all of us. As usual for our Europe trips, this one is not completely planned: we have found that some of our best memories come from serendipity.

As has become a tradition with our travel blog entries, we will post them after our return, a month or so after the actual dates. I’m hoping I can maintain the discipline of writing a blog entry a day on our trip.

After a flurry of activity making sure we have everything we need, cleaning house, and using up the perishables in the refrigerator, the car to the airport picked us up at 2 pm. The limo service surprised us with a Tesla, which they normally charge extra for. It was a pleasant drive, and we made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. We used some of that time browsing through the SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) store, which had many beautifully designed gift items, but nothing we wanted to take to Europe and back with us.

While we stopped for a snack, I noticed a sign about a museum and library. We had used most of our excess time, but made a quick stop by the aviation museum in the International Terminal. Once inside, you feel like you’re in a beautiful classic museum rather than in an airport. We will have to remember that for a future trip or maybe just stop by sometime.

As expected, the service on Virgin Atlantic was excellent, even though we were in the “cheap” seats. Dinner was pleasant enough and then we settled in for in-flight movies and sleep for the night.

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