Holidays Abroad

posted by Anne & Kirk Woodyard
Music and Markets ToursEiffel Tower

It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since we celebrated the millennium in Paris, watching in delight and awe as the Eiffel Tower lit up with fireworks.

This anniversary of a decade has brought to mind the many holidays we’ve enjoyed in locations other than home…really soaking in the atmosphere of a particular place
St Martin in the Fields

There’s the Christmas we spent in London with our son who was studying in the UK for a year…carols and concerts at St. Martin in the Fields, a cold and windy day trip to Bath, Christmas crackers and crowns at a restaurant near Buckingham Palace, and an adventurous train trip north to Edinburgh for Hogmanay, their renowned New Year’s Eve bash.
The posters and advertisements of the celebration showed planet earth, from outer space, with a big arrow pointing to Edinburgh: “The party’s HERE!”And what a party it was – the chilly 96 Edinburgh Snow 001temperatures didn’t hold anyone back from celebrating! And the spitting snow just added to the magic of the many street performances and the proud hilltop castle.
A few years ago our Slow Travel speeded up a bit. Kirk and I had been in Vias, at our home in France, La Belle Cour, and excitedly drove north to Toulouse to pick up our son, who was flying in from the US. 1119066Jand KCarcassonneOn the way back to Vias we stopped in Carcassonne to give him a taste of old France, then on Thanksgiving Day we drove all day to reach our brother-and-sister-in-law’s home in the French Alps. A turkey dinner complete with all the trimmings was ready to be served to us hungry travelers, and the pleasure of having family to enjoy it with made the long trip worthwhile! We had been singing as we drove – “over the river and through the woods, to Aunt Patty’s house we go!” The holiday that year included some beautiful snowscape99 Paris Ferris Wheel 001s in the mountains, and visits to charming lake-side Annecy.
We’ve spent several Thanksgivings in France – the last two in Paris, where the holiday decorations are already in place, the Christmas markets line the Champs Elysees, and the giant ferris wheel is in place on Place de la Concorde.

Our Thanksgiving dinner of choice in France is duck, not turkey, when we’re eating out!
Here or there, the greatest pleasure of all is being with friends and family to celebrate the holidays. We’ll get an early start on Christmas celebrations this weekend, when we join our son and his wife and our newest granddaughter (not even a week old!), Ivy, in Texas. Then the fun will continue as we celebrate Christmas with our daughter and family in Florida.
And then – maybe Paris again? I really think we should celebrate the decade since the millennium by the Eiffel Tower again, don’t you?!

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2009 Anne and Kirk ViasThe best way to describe us (Kirk and Anne Woodyard) is that we’re interested in the stories that make the places we visit come alive.
We’ve visited Europe more times than we can count, learned some entertaining stories there, and met some warm and helpful people who also enjoy the wonders of music and life in Europe.

Between our music-related travels, we split our time between our homes near Washington DC and the Languedoc in the south of France. We look forward to sharing these stories and friends and experiences with our Music and Markets guests.

While both of us have experience in organizing travel and music groups Kirk’s background is in project management and competitive writing, and Anne is an accomplished pianist with over thirty years of teaching experience, and a travel and food writer specializing in France and Italy.

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One Response to Holidays Abroad

  1. Kathy says:

    Anne, our family was also in Paris for the millennium! We were standing at the Place da la Concorde at midnight, dazzled by the lights of the Eiffel Tower and all the excitement. Wonder if we passed each other on that special night??!

    We’ve spent two Christmases in Salzburg, Austria– a magical spot at that time of year. And a Christmas in the Luberon in the south of France. Wonderful experiences for our family.

    Great topic!

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