When I was in the eighth grade, I studied German. The language was difficult, but I adored the “culture days” the teacher gave us every Friday, where we learned about the history and culture of Germany. At one point the class went to Germany on a field trip. I sold the gummy bears to help raise funds for the group to go—but I didn’t join them. My family could never have afforded it.
Fast forward way too many years, and I’m planning a trip to Germany, with a little side trip to Paris. (Because Paris is just 3 hours away and is always a good idea. ) Since I was a girl, I dreamed of those castles that King Ludwig built—and they are first on my list of stops.
I’m flying to Frankfurt, taking a train to Munich and staying in Munich for three days—one of those days I’ll make a day trip to see my beloved castles. Then I’m off to Baden-Baden, for the real reason for my trip. I’m going to be interviewed by a German TV station. They are actually paying for my airline tickets and for two nights in a hotel, which is, quite honestly, the only reason I could afford this journey.
After the interview, I’ll be off to Paris for three days and back to Germany—Bingen, for my last full day in Europe.
This is really the craziest thing that has happened in my life.
I can’t tell you the exact reason for this trip. I will, after it’s all over. I promise. But suffice it to say it has nothing to do with my books and everything to do with a relative of mine, of my grandfather. If this is all not strange enough for you, I have and extra little nugget to this story.
I never use family names in any of my books. But I mentioned my grandfather’s name to my daughters one day and they though it was so cool—Paul Eugene. So I used it for a very special character in an upcoming book (No Charm Intended, out next spring). So I had been thinking a lot about him—a man who was very influential in my life.
At the same period, I was being more reflective than usual and regretting I’ve never really had the time or money to travel like I wanted to. I was beginning to let go of some of those far-reaching travel dreams.
Then I heard from this TV show, and the next thing you know, I’m making plans to see those castles. I know it might seem strange to some of you, but I believe my grandfather had a hand in all of this. It’s just too far-fetched and specific and the timing just so for me to believe otherwise.
So starting June 2, follow along on my journey on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Here’s hoping all the technology will be in working order. I have a feeling it will be—if Paul Eugene has anything to do with it. Wink.