Why you should always google

“So where do you want to go”  ?

“Don’t know, any­where but our backyard…someplace sunny. How about Tus­cany, my col­league Bart went there last year and had a blast… ”

*scratches head*

“Well Tus­cany is nice of course, but it means a long drive… “

We look into each other’s eyes and see the reflec­tions of the oth­ers thoughts in the irises. We are think­ing the same thing: a long drive with a three year old who is potty trained but is still prone to the occa­sional acci­dent when she gets too enthu­si­as­tic and who has mas­tered the con­cept of ‘dri­ving mama and papa nuts with the word ‘why’ to its full extend. A long drive with the baby, the baby who will then be two years old, who will talk, who will scream bloody mur­der when she sees some­thing not to her lik­ing, such as only two cows and a scraggy don­key in a field instead of the usual three cows and a moth-eaten sheep.  A long drive with our two kids…. no effin way.

We stare into space for a few min­utes, con­fused by that all time prob­lem: the sum­mer hol­i­day.  I know it is only Feb­ru­ary but we need to start plan­ning our hol­i­day already. No not because we are the kind of anally reten­tive peo­ple who like to map out their whole life from the moment of con­cep­tion to the moment where they draw their last breath and who will break down in a sob­bing heap when they encounter some­thing that wasn’t fore­seen. We must plan this far ahead because oth­er­wise all the good hol­i­day rentals are taken up by the planner-people and we, the go-with-the-flow-whatever-kind are left with the down­trod­den shacks burst­ing with rodents.

It is new for us this plan­ning ahead. Be gen­tle with us, will you, we are hol­i­day plan­ning vir­gins. Before we had kids our hol­i­day plan­ning con­sisted mostly of us decid­ing in March that we would go to say Hun­gary that year, we would buy some sort of guide­book and a map and leave them be until it was time to pack the bags. Then we would pick a start­ing point, load the bags in the car and set off on our wacky adven­tures, we would drive through the coun­try of choice, visit when we felt like it and what we thought was interesting.

Here of course our opin­ions split spec­tac­u­larly: I’m a his­tory buff and Björn… not so much. To him the Forum Romanum is just a cou­ple of muddy stones, while to me it is a place abuzz with deeds past. I mean come on: it is where they killed Cae­sar! This dif­fer­ence was most spec­tac­u­larly illus­trated in Lon­don: I had talked him into a visit to the Tower, once there I embarked on an enthu­si­as­tic tale of power, lust, seduc­tion, mur­der and exe­cu­tion which had taken place between the very stone walls which then gave us shade.  His reac­tion: “Hmpfh”. Just that: “Humpfh”. We are talk­ing of his­tory at its most glo­ri­ous and gory and he gives me a “Humpfh”! Let it be con­sid­ered proof of the strength of my love that I didn’t just leave him stand­ing there in the mid­dle of Tower Green.  

Not so this year, this year will be the first year that we plan a hol­i­day in the true parents-with-young-kids style. A hol­i­day rental, with a pool or near a pool/seaside/lake/whatever as long as the kids can scream and run about and splash in the water to their hearts con­tent, some inter­est­ing his­tor­i­cal towns nearby where we can parade through the streets with the dou­ble stroller and break our necks on the cob­ble­stones in an attempt to enjoy some local cul­ture, while eagerly look­ing out for the near­est wine bar.  

I want to go to Nor­mandy”  my bet­ter half announces. “It is pretty, not too far away; it is by the sea­side and has cul­ture, and how can you – the his­to­rian – say no to a visit to Omaha Beach”? So Nor­mandy it is, although I am far more inter­ested in the Bayeux tapes­try then in some beach. You would think that after 14 years he would now these things. Oh well…  

So we started look­ing for hol­i­day rentals:

“How about that one: near the sea­side, it has a swing in the back­yard and oh look, sheep!”

“Meh, it doesn’t have a laun­dry machine”


“You expect us to take along two weeks worth of clothes for us and the children”

“Ok…. not that one”

“Oh this one, it looks adorable…”

“Eh, read it dar­ling, it is an old sta­ble of an his­tor­i­cal chateau, the grounds can be vis­ited dur­ing summer..”

“And this is bad because…”

“ Mean­ing you will have tourist crawl­ing over your front porch every other day.”

“Rii­i­i­igh­hht… next one…”

“Ok this one: 7km from the sea­side, not too expen­sive and would you look at that lit­tle bed! It has cur­tains, oh my the lit­tle one is going to adore that.”

“Oh, yes this looks just per­fect and it is free. Let take this one, this is one is by far the best value. I’m going to book it.”

“Ooh, let’s Google the name of the town quickly, per­haps we can some more pictures”

Google results: Paluel Nuclear Plant

NUCLEAR PLANT” (in chorus)

“Right not that one….”

“Eh, no not that one.. would you like some more wine?”

“Yes I do think that that is in order…”

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