The Galeones Prepare to Take Europe


We Want Croissants!

We Want Croissants!

A few months ago, on one of our Sunday afternoon chats, I casually mentioned to my dad that I’m visiting France over the summer to visit friends in Lyon. I further added – nonchalantly – that he might consider looking up flights for a short trip to meet in London or Paris.

Dad: “Well, I don’t know, I’ll take a look. But to be honest, I doubt it’ll happen.”

Me: “Oh hey sure. No worries. I know it’s a long shot, but I just thought I’d ask….”

To be clear, it was at this moment that

  1. I knew we were going to meet in Europe, and
  2. I felt a little bad. Sort of like I’d tricked a little kid into walking into a bear trap.

When it comes to travel, my dad is a big kid in a bigger candy shop. I knew that all I had to do was plant a trip seed in his head and just sit back and watch it grow like chia on a terracotta ram. I knew he was almost certainly going to find a way to join me. There’s a specific routine he goes through, and by two days later, it was in full gear.

In two days he asked for confirmation on my dates of travel. I told him I’d let him know as I wasn’t sure yet. A few days after that he was listing pros and cons of London and Paris. I still hadn’t confirmed on my dates of travel, the only problem of which was that it gave him time to let the seed of travel explode. A week later, I got a call that I knew was going to come.

“What do you think about Madrid?”

“Ma…drid? But that’s…you know, not really in the same…”

“I know. I know. But keep an open mind.”

I was not surprised. This happens every time my dad takes a trip. He starts out intent on Scotland, then it’s Munich, then a pub tour of Dublin, then a baguette tour of Belgium. Finally, in a late night extemporary act, he books a trip to southern Italy.

Charming though it is, this was my trip and I knew I had to rein him in or I’d be visiting Lyon via Tokyo. So a night later, I sent an email gently shooting down Madrid. I further mentioned that it was Paris and London. He agreed. When he called the following night it was to mention that my sister had now joined the trip.

So exciting. And yet, I still can’t help but conjure metaphorical visions of three Galeones visiting Paris and London. In my head, it starts with a quiet morning in the Latin Quarter, as the French enjoy a peaceful morning of croissants, brown cigarettes, and judging a lost foreigner’s French. Suddenly, there’s a high-pitched shriek as Godzilla comes stomping over a local municipal building in the search for a patisserie that accepts credit cards. The fools had no clue.

Now that the places and the characters had been chosen, it was time for the next step: planning.

My family is split into two factions, those of us who enjoy doing things and those of us who enjoy obsessively planning on what to do. My dad is the warlord of the second faction, but his second in command is my sister. A trip to London and Paris were going to be heavy on the over-planning. I knew it.

I was prepared for the calls. Not just calls about restaurants we were going to try and places we were going to visit, but calls about what food and drinks my dad was going to try. In order. There would be calls about cafes, pubs, sandwiches, packing lists, cabs, and other transport. I was prepared.

However, my sister proving more accessible than I, my father has instead directed the calls towards her. Living in Europe and being awake and at work at different times, I have been granted updates from both parties, but on a weekly rather than daily basis.

I hear the results on issues as decided by the two-person voting system made up of my dad and sister. We both agreed on a cab home from this pub on the second night in London; is that OK with you? It’s gingerly placed out there, begging me with subtle linguistics not to reopen the debate. I usually concede. In other cases, I am the occasional tie-breaker. I’ll listen to my sister’s pitch via Skype and my dad’s pitch over the phone and cast my deciding vote.

Once we’re there, I know this will relax. Plans will be halfway, partially or not followed and we’ll wing it more than our planning selves are comfortable with. The joy is in the planning. As we prepare to take Europe by storm in search of steak and ale pie and a patisserie that accepts credit cards.

  1. #1 by Roberta Souza gg96734@gmail.com on June 14, 2016 - 4:48 pm

    How exciting! Looking forward to reading your blog while you’re traveling!

    I have really enjoyed reading your blogs. Mahalo!

    • #2 by Damien Galeone on June 15, 2016 - 9:40 am

      Thank you very much! I hope you enjoy the travel posts!

  2. #3 by startup business videos on June 21, 2016 - 7:53 am

    My family is split into two factions, those of us who enjoy doing things and those of us who enjoy obsessively planning on what to do. My dad is the warlord of the second faction, but his second in command is my sister. A trip to London and Paris were going to be heavy on the over-planning.

Comments are closed.