Planning a Trip is Half the Fun.

I’m starting to think about another trip and, for me, that’s almost as much fun as the actual travel. There are two NARP meetings, of course … one in Washington every April and another in October somewhere else on the Amtrak system. But for the past several years, I’ve managed to squeeze in another trip somewhere in the between those two. That’s the one I’m thinking about now … something for next summer.
 

I’ve already pretty well decided what the focal point will be: the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland. It’s been on my list for years, and I’ve never followed through. But ’16 is the year! God knows, it’s a big deal all over the U.K. … all over Europe, in fact. The performances are staged every day and twice on Saturdays for three weeks in August, and one is televised to something like 30 countries.
 
The trick is to work in a number of other travel elements that I can’t seem to do without on one of these adventures. There is a long-distance train ride here in the U.S., either on the way or coming back. Or both. And I try to find a way to squeeze in two or three Red Sox games, either in Boston, which is always my first choice, or somewhere where they’re playing on the road–as long as it’s not Anaheim.
 

Following Edinburgh, and a night or two in Paris, I’d really like to settle down in a couple of small French towns for two or three days each. So for the next several weeks, I’ll be flipping through travel books and brochures looking for likely places … Normandy perhaps or over in the Alsace region in the Eastern part of France. Or I may even head down south to ride Le Petit Train Jaune (The Little Yellow Train) which runs through the Pyrenees down by the Spanish border. In fact, that sounds like a really good idea!
 
Of course, it’s a given that as much of the itinerary as possible will be stitched together by trains—fast or slow, new or not-so-new. It’s not just that I make a point of traveling that way … in France, and all over Europe, for that matter, it’s the only sensible, comfortable and convenient way to get around.
 
Anyway, I’m having a good time with this and will let everyone know how things are progressing as my plans firm up.