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Willie and Sheila's European Adventure

A 10th anniversary celebration exploring France and Italy by car and a final week in Paris

By Guillermo Quinones
Published on LatinoLA: May 22, 2014

Willie and Sheila's European Adventure

My wife Sheila and I are going on a trip of Europe like we haven't attempted since before we married ten years ago. So, to celebrate our tenth anniversary we decided to take a special trip. The problem was that we couldn't agree on a locale for such an auspicious occasion. In the end we compromised as she wanted to see some of Northern Italy while I wanted to spend time in Paris. So we will do both. Two weeks of exploring France and Italy by car and a final week in Paris.

As you might imagine, it's quite an adventure to tool around strange countries with a guidebook and a trusty GPS to navigate for us. But, we did drive Northern France and Central Spain eleven years ago without the aid of a GPS. We had a huge advantage during our Spanish sojourn though. I knew the language. How will we fare on this trip with just knowing rudimentary French and Italian? Well, I have also driven Germany, Austria and Italy a couple of decades before this and lived to tell about it. So the chances might be good.

To compound the whole thing we will have to do it in a car with a manual transmission. That's all that's listed when you are seeking a rental car on the Internet. Calling the agencies I was finally able to get quotes for an automatic transmission...Ouch! The rental cost is twice as expensive for an automatic. The last time in Europe we drove a standard car also and we did OK. Plus, Sheila owned several sports cars when she was younger and I drove a VW bug for twenty-five years. So we figure we can handle it again.

Well, this being my 3rd and possibly my last European road trip, I wish to write a blog for friends and relatives to report on our progress and to share our adventures, observations and tribulations. I would also like to share it with you so that it will help enlighten whoever might be contemplating a similar journey.


About Guillermo Quinones:
Born and raised in El Paso, Texas but now a proud Californian of 50 years. Retired as a maintenance Foreman from L.A. Harbor College in Wilmington California.
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