Friday, June 26, 2015

Our European Vacay: The Itinerary

It's been 10 days since we've stood on European soil and if I focus hard enough I can still hear the sounds of the birds singing in the Alps, the smell of fresh baked croissants from Provence and recall the world's most beautiful landscape in our favorite Italian town, Bellagio. This trip was almost unreal.

The reason for this awesome vacation was to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. I swear, we're the only idiots I know who would take their 4 children under the age of 9 on a trip to celebrate an ANNIVERSARY. But truth be told, we've been telling our children about our love story since the day they were born so to show them firsthand where it all began was actually pretty great.

Bella made anniversary pancakes the morning we left 
The only thing better than the trip itself was the actual planning of it. Believe it or not, we planned this entire trip three months before we left. Which I definitely DO NOT recommend. Normal people plan things out a year in advance but with Eugene's busy travel schedule and our utter procrastination we left it to the last minute. I should note that we were saving money for the trip for over a year but the actual planning began in February.

We toyed around with seeing Europe several different ways: a cruise, train or by car and we decided on car since we had such a great experience the last time we went. The great thing about Europe is that most countries are totally doable by car. It's amazing how far you can get in 6 hours. As Eugene and I started the planning, we began by asking ourselves what we wished for. For me, my vacation wishes were to experience France outside of Paris and I wanted to go to Spain, since I had never been there before. Eugene's wish was to go back to the Swiss Alps and adventure even further up the Alps than he had been before. Fair enough, add it to the list.

Other than that, our options were totally open. This is where the fun began. I started google searching by literally typing "most magical European cities" and list after list showed a town in France, so we added that to our itinerary. We also had an 8 hour drive time limit for the car (which we only had to do once) so that helped to narrow down our options. It's important to ask yourself what would make your family really happy? For us, it was a diverse schedule. We wanted each city to feel so different from the next and let each little adventure stand on it's own. And it sure did.

We also tried to mix things up as much as we could. Like for example, since we were going to the top of Europe in the Alps we wanted to take the kids swimming on the shores of Barcelona. If we stayed at a fancy chateau one night then the next night would be in a modest cabin. The trip was ever-changing right up until our 18 hour layover in Denmark.

We also did a great job of spacing the trip out. We were gone for 16 days total and within these two weeks we had 2 cities with a 3 night stay, 3 cities with a 2 night stay and 3 cities with a 1 night stay. It seems like a lot but it really was paced perfectly!

Here was our route:

Each city was an adventure in itself. I plan to write about each one separately, so stay tuned for even more pictures and videos and history of these amazing cities. 

Ciao for now....


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