Debi’s parents are quite frugal, but they do spend money on one particular luxury – travel.  Every few years, Debi’s mother, Rosemary, plans a large trip for the entire family.  Rosemary’s countless hours of meticulous planning finally came to fruition starting on July 24th, when we left Tampa and flew to Detroit, then to Paris, France.  It was the beginning of a two-week European vacation that included stops in four countries (five if you count our brief layover in Amsterdam) with: Gary and Rosemary (Debi’s parents); Brent, Suzy, and Ethan (Debi’s sister, brother-in-law, and nephew); Steve (Debi’s brother); and us.  I’ll be posting trip reports from each day on the actual date the events happened, though I am, of course, writing almost all of this after the fact.

Our first flight was uneventful – Toren slept and Debi and I got some reading done.  Debi was reading on her new Android phone using the recently released Kindle app.  I was reading for work – a future book review.

We had a couple hours to wait in Detroit before our flight to Paris and Toren, with his new walking skills, was all over the place.  He immediately fell in love with the moving walkways in the terminal where our flight was departing.  He would want to get on one, then loop right back around and want to get on another.  Of course, he can’t maneuver the entrances and exits, but he loves walking on the walkways.  We amused him with this for a while, but he eventually amused most of the passengers on our flight with this as well.  As our flight started boarding, Toren started crying to get back on the moving walkway right by our gate.  But he didn’t seem to realize that the one he wanted to get on was going the wrong way (toward us, instead of with us).  For fun, I took him on the wrong way since there wasn’t anyone on it, walked down a good 30 feet, then set him down, helped him get his balance, and let him start walking.  And walk he did.  He was pedaling pretty fast for a good 2 or 3 minutes before he realized that he wasn’t getting anywhere (though he also wasn’t losing ground – he’s getting fast).  Meanwhile, a good number of passengers saw him chugging down the moving walkway the wrong way – oblivious to what he was doing – and started to laugh.

The only really eventful thing was an ignominious start to our vacation.  I cut myself just as we were leaving the house, and the band-aids we packed with us were so ancient they wouldn’t stay on (we’ve never bought band-aids since we married; we inherited these from Debi’s grandmother, so they are at least 10 years old, but more likely 20 years old).  That resulted in some blood on both Toren and I, but nothing major.  Then, at the Detroit airport, we grabbed burritos at a Taco Bell and I somehow managed to bite a chunk out of my lip – seriously, a huge chunk.  It was nasty.  And, of course, it was just as we were headed to a different continent where I would have the opportunity to sample all sorts of new foods. Now, all that sampling would include the enlivening sensation of pain to accompany the pleasure.  Oh well – in case I don’t mention it again, the pain only lasted for about a week and a half before my lip healed enough for me not to notice it anymore.  Tomorrow – Paris!

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