That's still progress, albeit not fast progress.  I wrote earlier that I found a great place in Holland close to everything we both wanted and needed, and I was under the impression that it was ours.  I'd been in contact with the owners and they had quoted me the price for our dates so everything seemed right on track.  I emailed them less than 24 hours later to confirm that we wanted it and somehow in that time frame someone else rented that house for part of the time we needed it!  Not sure how that happened and I'm slightly annoyed, but there is nothing to be done about it so we must assume that there is something else out there that will be better for us.  It's just sort of annoying to have to continue to look.... and I am actually someone who generally enjoys whittling away my time on various search engines looking for vacation rentals!

I've taken a few days break from it so that I can come at it with fresh eyes.  We're now considering changing the whole general area of where we stay - so as they say, everything happens for a reason!  I've also been looking into Paris and have found a handful of great looking places exactly where we want to be.  I'm fairly picky when it comes to apartment rentals for the beginning of any overseas trip as I want us to minimize our jet lag as soon as possible.  For us that means having at least two separate bedrooms, one of which must contain two single beds.  The first few nights typically finds everyone with different sleep patterns and having the kids toss and turn and wake each other up doesn't help the situation.  It's also helpful to have a couch in the living area that either makes into a bed or is comfy enough for someone to doze on.  Our first few nights in Barcelona the summer of 2010 found each of us waking up in a different bed than we started in!  Musical beds... just get into an empty one and sleep.

Edit:  After posting the last blog entry I realized that I discussed the one step back, but not the two steps forward!  I booked our airline tickets after spending quite a bit of time playing with different airlines, cities, and dates.  So although we don't have anywhere to stay when we get there, we at least know that we have the dates we want - now it's time to fill in the blanks.  The booking process was an interesting one and I'll focus on that in my next blog post.  Stay tuned!

I'm finding summer vacation planning particularly therapeutic right now as we're experiencing what is called an 'arctic blast'.  You don't need to be a weather expert to understand that means it is COLD!  Very cold.  So I'm remembering last August in Verona when I had a mild case of heat stroke - our apartment wouldn't get any cooler than 31 C (87 F) and the days were hot and humid making it very difficult to cool down.  I could use a little of that right now!  I've lived here long enough to realize that this is a temporary blip and in a few days we'll be back to regular winter temperatures and that somehow through the magic of Mother Nature we'll one day again have green grass and blooming flowers and I'll be gardening in a tank top.  The world is an interesting place - while we're freezing and seeing nothing but white outside there is someone else sweating and cursing the relentless heat, where snow covered mountains are only something they've seen in a picture book.  I'm so happy to be able to experience all the differences this earth has to offer!  Mountains, Ocean, blue skies and arctic blasts.  I'll take them all.


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