Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

Wow, I found out that soon I will need to go to the eye doctor for a vision test because my eyesight isn't was it used to be. It took me a few moments but I was finally able to decipher the year 2000 off the bright shiny penny that I had found on my hubby's dressing table.

The year 2000 was a good one. At it's inception everyone was relieved that the Y2K thing hadn't happened where all of the world's computers were going to crash and civilization as we knew would cease to exist. In other news I spent a few serious weeks planning an epic trip for myself, the babies and my mother-in-law overseas that summer.

I think that I had scared my mother-in-law with my stories of backpacking through southern Europe with my little sister because she gave me a list of demands before going; the first was no second class anything and the second no shlepping luggage anywhere. There were other demands but I forget them now, those first two were ingrained in my head. The trip later came to include my mother-in-law's childhood friend, who turned out to be such an easy-going, lovely traveling companion and kept my mother-in-law occupied, and my hubby.

I have to say that this was still before the high speed efficiency of DSL so I am still proud of how well the whole trip turned out, not one hiccup and every single place that I had booked, whether it be the hotel or the method of transport, passed my mother-in-law's standards. If any of you ever watched the sitcom "Everybody loves Raymond" my mother-in-law was the carbon copy of Raymond's mother Marie and I was her Debra. My hubby stood up to his mother when it was necessary, but no one can change a person like my mother-in-law or the character of Marie. They just don't get it and moreover they can dish out all of the critiques and barbs in the name of honesty, but they cannot take it if you do it to them.

That trip got me back into smoking big time, I had stopped for quite a while but between being with my mother-in-law for weeks on end and being in France where everyone smokes, I weakened and started again. It doesn't take much to get a former smoker who isn't happy to start again, thankfully I have learned how to channel my stress and unhappiness towards other things such as writing on my blog everyday. I didn't know that then.

I do know that my babies loved that trip, they visited Paris, Bordeaux, the seaside near Bordeaux, we even went to London and they traveled well for two little ones. I on the other hand came home exhausted but happy because in all the traveling, I had put aside time to visit with my family and that was wonderful. It was also funny because they didn't quite know what to make of my mother-in-law because she never changed her ways, no matter where she was so in certain situations, it was quite funny.

One of my favorite hotels during that trip was Le Crillion in Paris at the Place de la Concorde. I left my mother-in-law and her friend, they didn't want to come with us while we went to meet my cousins, at the Hotel on the 14th of July, Bastille Day, They didn't mind because even though all the surrounding streets were cordoned off for the Grand Parade, at the Hotel they were still able to sit and have a nice lunch. They were even invited by the President of France to dine with him and his party. That is what she told me, but she kept referring to the President as De Gaulle. The President at the time was Jacques Chirac who was very tall like De Gaulle, but still not De Gaulle. I wondered just how much wine she had had with lunch. Good times, I tell you.

That was the year 2000 for me in a nutshell.

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