I am going to France with Mark in just a couple of weeks. I typically do not accompany Mark on trips like these but we said, "what the heck," and decided to make it happen.
We will be traveling to Marseille and Carcassone for Mark to swim in a couple of meets and train with our dear friend Fred Bousquet. I will be tagging along because, well... because I want to. Typically when I travel it is by myself or with a fellow spectator (sometimes my mother-with whom I love traveling because we are both afraid of local cuisine and stick to peanut butter crackers and granola bars that we bring from home) because Mark is traveling with the national team. For example, when Mark made the 2008 Olympic team he left straight from the Olympic trials on July 4th to go to California for a training trip for two weeks, then left from there to go to Singapore for a week and then onto Beijing for 2+ weeks. I, on the other hand, left for Beijing on August 8th and returned on the 21st. So, you can see why I have grown accustomed to traveling alone (or at least without Mark).
There are actually very few instances that we have traveled together. This is one of the reasons why I am looking forward to this trip to France so much (other reasons include getting to take a killer nap on the plane, enjoying a break from work and getting to play the role of the mysterious, yet fabulous, American in a foreign country). Sure, I'll be traveling home alone because Mark will be traveling to Paris from Marseille for the Paris Open (I will not be able to go because I will be returning to the real world, work and the life of a mom), but we'll be traveling to and in France together for a whole 5 days. This may not seem like much, but it is about as good as it gets and I am thrilled.
With this trip quickly approaching I am actually in the market for a reading-for-pleasure type of book (this is almost a forgotten concept since returning to school for another degree last year). Any suggestions out there? Last summer during Nationals/World Championship Trials season I read the Twilight series (okay, I only read the first three in the series, but I got sick of Bella and her whining and decided to stop reading-it was also difficult to read, bite my finger nails and watch Mark swim at the same time). Really, if you have any book suggestions for this traveling swim wife, please pass them along.
In addition to a good book, other "must-brings" include a good pair of sunglasses, a bathing suit, a camera and peanut butter crackers (duh)...