I'm crazy. I am. I really am. Let me tell you how I know this. I'll start from the beginning. Last summer we started saving for a "BIG TRIP" (or two) for this summer. Trip #1. Visit my cousins in Liberia, Africa. This trip offers a great set up; very expensive plane tickets $1,200 each (times 4 for me, AlphaPoppa and the boys) but free room and board with my family. We would, of course, chip in and buy food, etc. to off set the cost of hosting us. Trip #2. Tokyo, Japan to visit AlphaPoppa's brother, his wife, and baby. Once again trip #2 offers a place to stay with family, we can chip in to off set costs, etc. However, both trips slipped away from us. The airfare to Africa went up to nearly $2000 each and that would be way over budget. My brother-in-law in Japan, a sailor in the Navy, is out at sea with my sister-in-law just starting a new job. Even though both trips fell through we knew we wouldn't be content staying home all summer. The urge to be on the move flows through our veins, so we decided on New York City. I'm originally from The Bronx, I have many childhood friends there, a bunch of cousins, friends, and AlphaPoppa's sister is there. This seemed like the best bet. We can use all the extra savings for Broadway, The Bronx Zoo, Handsom cab rides in Central Park, etc. I found a $60 bus ride from Atlanta to China Town, New York on what is known as the "Chinese Bus". It leaves Atlanta at 8pm and arrives on Canal St. in Manhattan at 10:30 am, I figured that this will also be a good way for the boys to sleep the whole ride.
Atlanta to New York City route
Now, the story is not crazy, yet. Not until a series of spontaneous events happened on Saturday night, 2 nights ago. I had this very bright idea that perhaps we could catch a cheap flight out of NYC to Paris. Zane's school is having a meet up there for the Japanese-French immersion students and even though he is not in that program it's a small school and few families were planning to get there. So I checked the prices. Getting into Paris was running about $1,600 a person. Nope, not possible. So then I figured as long as we can get into Europe we can just take the Eurail Train System into Paris. So I started checking other European cities. Madrid, nope. London, nope. Rome, nope. Berlin? What?! $500 round trip from NYC to Berlin?! $676 after taxes? Impossible! Nope it's possible. I immediately called AlphaPoppa and asked, "Hey, you want to take the kids to Germany in June? The tickets are cheap." He says," Sure, what dates. I can only be away from work for a week". I say,"Me and the kids will stay in Europe the whole month of June. I'll book your ticket for the beginning of the trip." I then chose June 4th- 29th for me and the kids and I BUY THE TICKETS!!!! Just like that no hesitation, nothing... CRAZY! Once I get my e-mail confirmation I look things over and see that I accidently chose June 1st NOT the 4th. OMG!!!! I call the hubby back and let him know what happened, I'm in a panic now. June 1st is less than 2 weeks away. I know it's only a 3 day difference from what I intended, but I'm freaking out by this point. He tells me, "leave the dates and don't worry about it, we'll figure something out." I then nervously book his ticket from the 1st to the 8th. FoxyMama reassures me,"Darling, you did not book those tickets for June first by accident. There are no accidents." Mom, this is not the time to go Kung Fu Panda Buddhist on me!
There are no accidents.
Now that we have tickets. I guess a plan is in order. We are so freakin' backwards! The plan is that we will land in Berlin, Germany on the 2nd find somewhere to sleep for a couple of days then head to Paris on a train, hook up with the school parents, then AlphaPoppa will "find his way back" to Berlin to fly back to NYC then get back to Atlanta. I couldn't sleep saturday night. I've traveled under much crazier circumstances before but never with the kids. Am I being irresponsible? Have I lost my mind? Why can't I be like other people and just be happy buying things, sleeping in late, and watching reality TV? When I tell Zane about our trip I'm going to be in BIG TROUBLE! He's the most conservative member of the family (at 8 years old) and I'm not prepared for the series of questions that he will ask me. "Mom, do you speak German?" "Where are we going to sleep?" "Do you know anyone in Germany?" "How much money do you have for this trip?" etc. etc. All my answers will not be to his satisfaction. Europe is expensive and this travel on a shoestring budget has been reduced to traveling on a dental floss budget.
Berlin, Germany- Paris, France