Madrid, Paris and London in two weeks. Wow. Awesome trip. I tried to look at it a little differently here and there along the way. Here’s some of what I saw –
Madrid, Paris and London in two weeks.
I met my daughter, Saela, in Madrid on June 25, which happened to be the 25th anniversary of my wedding to my lovely bride, Cassi. It was tough to be apart on that day, but the next couple of weeks made up for it.
Saela and I flew to Paris and met Cassi, Martin V and Mira on June 27. We were there for five days, checking out the “usual” awesome stuff, like the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Cœur and Champs-Élysées, except for one day to and from Valenciennes in northern France for a World Cup football match at the Stade du Hainaut between The Netherlands and Italy. (The Dutch won and went on to meet the USA in the final.)
The EuroStar took us through The Chunnel to London on July 2. In addition to all the “usual” sights, like Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and The Tower of London, we also traveled to Leavesden in Hertfordshire one evening to take in the Warner Bros. Studios Harry Potter Experience. They shot all of the movies there, and the Harry Potter Experience is now a permanent part of the campus.
I tried to look at it a little differently here and there along the way. Here’s some of what I saw:
She died on Palm Sunday. I think that would have made her happy, as she drew her last breaths, knowing that she was going to die on a significant day on the church calendar. I held her hand all that morning. Now I hold the bean stone.
I’ve been carrying a rock around in my pocket for a couple of months.
The smooth, bean-shaped stone is about an inch and a half long, half an inch wide and five sixteenths of an inch thick. It’s smooth, like a worry stone. Not perfectly smooth, like the kind you’d find in a gift shop. But smooth in a natural way, with some imperfections and slight ridges that make you know it’s real.
My father, Martin C. Fredricks III, said this to me many times, usually at family gatherings. Just as often, though, he said it to people he’d just met, at one of my brother’s NDSU football games, for example, even if they had their own child playing. It always seemed an odd thing to say to people with their own reasons for being somewhere.