There's a lot to be said for traveling with a 20-year-old. Especially one who is intellectually curious and interested in everything, from bizarre fairy-tale museums to wildlife parks to a centuries-old church featuring a reliquary holding a forgotten saint's finger bone. Who eats frites and escargots and schnitzel and kaaskroketten and gaufres de Liege with equal zest.
We visited some places I've been before -- Bruges, for example. But I got to see it through new eyes.
The Michelangelo scuplture in the cathedral was once more a breathtaking surprise.
The Minnewater, crowded with swans and ringed with willows just budded, was again one of the loveliest sights anywhere.
The daffodils blooming at the Beguinage were as astonishing as they had been twenty-five years ago.
The secret window onto the cathedral, where the nobles living in the Gruuthuse observed mass without having to mingle with the masses, was even more wonderful shared.
And Paris! Though the Mona Lisa was thronged with photo-snapping tourists, her gaze became mysterious again.
The streets and hidden courtyards were magical; the gardens, with their new blooms, glorious.
We have to try to keep that freshness of vision even as we travel without our pair of young eyes. (And if we forget, he's coming back in May...)