I have never imagined myself on a cruise of any type. But that was before January.
January was when my mom—an exceptionally active, social and fun 80-year-old—told me she was investigating European river cruises. She enthusiastically shared the itinerary on Viking’s 15-day “Grand European Tour” and, golly, I had to admit it did sound pretty nifty.
Mom figured this is probably the “only” time she’ll ever do this type of thing, so she told me she wanted an upper room, with a veranda. Okay, I get it—Mom is under five foot tall and a bit claustrophobic so those cheaper, “aquarium-class” rooms weren’t going to work for her.
The more I kept researching (ostensibly to make sure she wasn’t getting “taken advantage of”), the more interesting the whole trip sounded to me. My husband, Mark, and I own a business so me being gone and unable to do meaningful “work” for close to three weeks would be a challenge (especially for Mark!).
But how many chances do you have to do this in life? I knew Mom and I “travel well” together from previous, one-week adventures. So, after long discussions with Mark, I pulled out the credit card and paid (and just think of all those frequent flyer miles for using the card!).
We leave Los Angeles International Airport on Aug. 1, arriving (bleary-eyed, I’m sure) in Amsterdam on Aug. 2. The three-day pre-trip (also arranged through Viking) takes us to an Aug. 5 boarding of the Viking Atla. The cruise ends in Budapest on Aug. 19 but we’re hanging around there for a few more days before heading home on Aug. 22.