Being a farmer is more than a job, it's a lifestyle. Due to the nature of this job/lifestyle, we spend most of our lives in one small part of the world. While I travelled as a child, the last time I was in Europe I was six years old. Mike has never lived more than four miles from where he was born and never travelled outside the USA. We met in grade school, became high school sweethearts, and married before we were old enough to drink. We have literally been partners, in both life and work, for most of our lives. We have always talked of travelling more and seeing the sights of the world, but until the company we grow for, Norpac, gave us this incredible gift, we had never managed to get very far. They couldn't know, but the timing was perfect. Mike and I had both recently celebrated our 50th birthdays and our 30th wedding anniversary. To have been given the opportunity to share this together and to have had Rick Steves Europe Through the Backdoor Tours help make it the incredible experience it was are the best gifts we could have received.
I hope it wasn't the trip of a lifetime. I hope it was only the beginning of many, many more trips of our lifetime together.
Four Part Harmony
I wish I could say Mike and I climbed the Eiffel Tower, but a broken foot and sprained knee eight short weeks before our trip had put a bit of a hitch in my git-a-long. I did fine walking the entire tour, but I wasn't going to chance re-injury climbing all those steps. So, we rode the elevator to the top. I know Rick Steves recommends going to the first landing, but we decided to go all the way to the top. Who knew when we would be back? And while we stood looking out at the city spread below us, a group of young men gathered in a circle and began singing in four part harmony. I didn't recognize the song, but I remember this phrase:
You are the evening star, You are the morning light. The center of the universe, The angel of the night. You take me to the higher place Where I belong.
What a perfect, impromptu magic moment to end our trip on. In a higher place, listening to heavenly music. As we took the stairs down, I could only shake my head in awe at what a perfect trip this had been.