Every year, my Mom takes a big vacation abroad. Before we had kids, my brother and I used to join her, either on our own, or together. Our trips to Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and many other places, are some of my fondest memories. She spends months preparing for her trips and always finds the coolest places to eat, stay, and visit. She refers to multiple books, websites, newspaper and magazine articles and compiles all her information in a binder. It becomes her bible while she's away. I'll never forget when we went to Spain and she left her binder on the plane. We realized while we were in baggage claim and had to race back to our plane to retrieve it.
Sometimes one or both of her sisters have joined her, but lately, my Mom's been taking these trips on her own. On Saturday, she left for Europe and will be spending the next two weeks in Russia, Sweden, Denmark and Holland. When Nico heard she was going to Copenhagen (because he called her hotel there by accident while playing with her iPhone), he became fascinated with the word. Now he keeps asking if we can take the subway there. Some day, we'll all take a big international trip together.
For now, my Mom is keeping us in the loop on her latest trip with daily updates. She sends us photos of special meals with captions or short stories. Most people would shy away from traveling solo. She completely embraces it and secretly, I think it's her favorite way to go. I've always told her she should start a travel company, or at least a blog, because as anyone who has traveled with her can confirm, she plans the best trips.
So far we've gotten a few emails from her. The one today included the photo above and had the following caption: Traditional Russian salad, potatoes, carrots, beets, herring, pear and egg white on top, with a glass of Russian Chardonnay, preceded by a shot of cranberry flavored Russian vodka. In another she told us that she saw Swan Lake in St. Petersburg and how it made her cry. After, she walked back to her hotel broad daylight since the city is in the middle of its White Nights, before stopping in at what she called the most happening bar to have a white Russian and some caviar.
No photos of the St. Petersburg yet, but she promised they're coming.