Day Minus One
I started my blog when Nick became ill in 2014. His illness has reminded us to celebrate each day by enjoying the things we love to do, together.
In late 2014, when Nick was still working through the side effects of the recovery process from cancer, chemo, and radiation, we decided to take a trip to Tuscany, which we had previously visited and loved, and to the Amalfi Coast, a new destination for us. I wanted him to be able to sit back and relax without having to plan anything, because for all of our previous trips, Nick did all of the planning including flights, hotels, and transportation within each country, while it was my job to talk with the locals and translate everything. One of the reasons that we our destinations have often been Italy, France, and Spain is that I could communicate somewhat in Italian, French and Spanish.
We have known our delightful and cherished friends, Jose-Maria and Agnès, for more than 40 years. Nick met Jose-Maria more than 40 years ago at the Paris office of the company at which he worked at the time, NCSS. When J-M first came to New York, we initiated our five-borough tour of the city. At that time, it was possible to drive through Brooklyn to Staten Island, and then to reach Manhattan by driving one’s car onto the Staten Island Ferry. We have visited each other many times since then, most recently in 2011. At about the same time we received the word from Nick’s doctors that all tests did not detect any more evidence of cancer, Nick heard from J-M, who said that we should plan to visit him and his wife. We love being with J-M and Agnès, and we love being in Paris, so of course we accepted. And since we would be spending a week in Paris, we thought that perhaps we could extend our celebration by seeing more of France.
We have always planned our trips by using Rick Steves’ travel books. We have enjoyed watching his TV programs and videos, reading his books, and listening to his radio broadcasts. Nick said that someday he wanted to do a Rick Steves tour. I told him that someday was now.
As it happened, there was a tour that began in Chartres, which is about 40 miles from Paris, and ended in Nice. This sounded like something we would love to do. France, here we come!