Saturday, March 23, 2024

Our Own Grandchildren's 'Grand Tour' of Europe

You may of heard of the Grand Tour of Europe undertaken by wealthy young men in the 17th to 19th centuries. For us it's been the Grandchild Tour, and we're about to depart with Jace, the youngest of our eight grandchildren, on his own special trip, nearly 10 years after our first such expedition. 

We've previously traveled to Europe with Jake (2014), Avery (2015), Taegan (2016), Lily, Peyton, Riley (all 3 together in 2019), and Blane (2022). We'll visit Heidelberg, Salzburg, Paris, Venice, and Rome with Jace before flying home in a couple of weeks. We are fortunate grandparents indeed! 

We've generally considered 12 to be about the ideal age, when grandkids are old enough to more fully appreciate the sights and experiences, but not so old that they're totally involved in school and other commitments.  Jace is actually making his trip at the age of 11, because we didn't want to cope with another hot European summer (Rome can resemble a pizza oven in August).  We're instead utilizing Jace's spring break plus one additional week away from elementary school, with the approval of his parents and the school.

That's worked out well because for part of the summer Jace will have lacrosse tournament commitments in several states with an elite Seattle-based team he has joined. He also attends a lot of Saturday chess tournaments with his brother. He is one busy boy!

Our trip preparation has been interesting. Among other challenges, we've experienced two train cancellations and one flight cancellation, something of a record for us, but we managed to rebook. We were originally scheduled to be in Rome on the Easter weekend, until the reason for the horrendous hotel rates dawned on us, so we juggled the itinerary. We have reservations for all of the major attractions we'll visit with the exception of the Roman Colosseum. The notoriously challenging booking engine blocked our efforts from the U.S., so we'll try to finish that up once we've arrived in Europe.

There will be more posts forthcoming and we can only hope that Jace is as excited about the trip as he was with the magic trick birthday cake Grandma made for him in September 2021.

And here we are today at Jace’s house, all ready to go


Anonymous said...

Yes Kathy, you are indeed lucky grandparents… and apparently a talented baker as well. Patti and I are in Porto right now… very cool place.

Kathy and Brian said...

We hope you enjoy Porto as much as we did.