P.S. And if you can't afford a Twizy, then get a scooter.
Driving through Europe (and really every where we have been) we have seen all sorts of car, truck, motorcycle and scooter makes and models that we don't have in the U.S. And many are way cooler (and more design-y) than we have at home because they are cleverly built for much smaller spaces and roads - but the two that stood out were the scooters with full-coverage circular roofs, and then this 1+1 car concept from Renault (built in Spain) called the Twizy. The girls saw the Twizy and both instantly said, "Can we try that?!?" Sure, I guess, but how is that going to happen?
Well, what do you know? Suzanne and I are out walking in Barcelona and there it was - a Twizy rental business, each unit with built-in navigation tour-routes and GPS activated tour readings! And right down the block, a Vespa rental place too. So after signing away our lives in waiver forms, off we went, and we really did have a great time. What a fun way to see such a beautiful city. Maddy squealed with delight the entire time, declaring she couldn't decide which vehicle was her favorite...and got the full attention of both of her parents for four hours to boot.
What's a Twizy? - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_Twizy
P.S. Several people have asked me, "What is the hardest part of the trip for you?", and while dragging 6-months worth of clothes everywhere is a candidate, as is being around each other non-stop 24/7, but those pale in comparison for me to these two things: Having to feed the kids 4X a day while in airports, hotels, trains, apartments, Italian gas stations, etc. It gets exhausting and you have to really be resourceful and creative as a parent. And the other hardest? Seeing the entire world riding motorcycles while I am just stuck watching like a puppy with his nose pressed against the glass. Whaaaa! So when we got the chance to rent a Vespa, I was a happy boy for a few hours. And while it is a pretty far cry between a 125cc scooter and a 1150 cc motorcycle, I'll take it to tide me over. Summer motorcycling here I come...and now with a second backseat rider in Maddy, who not only wants a scooter when she is old enough, but also her own motorcycle eventually too. And how do I feel about that as a Dad? Estatic! As long as she takes a safety course, always wears a helmet and works hard, saves her money and pays for her own bike...you go grrrrl! So, watch for us as you'll be seeing me and Maddy around town this year on a motorcycle for sure. And watch out for Maddy solo in eight years or so!
P.S.S. How many people know that Suzanne was also taught by her Dad to ride a motorcycle and at one time was going to get her own M-Class motorcycle license? She says she's over it now and has lost that fleeting desire, but who knows, maybe she'll join me and Maddy (and her Grandpa Bruce) in the future?
P.S.S.S. And who remembers that my "riding a motorcycle" was one of the few things that Grandpa Bruce actually liked about me when we first met? How is that for an ironic twist in American culture? Well, maybe not that unusual as he is a hardcore biker himself...and now my riding buddy.