Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring in the Netherlands

This Spring Break, we headed north to explore the Netherlands.  We drove up and stopped in Cologne for a night.  The next morning, we headed for Kinderdijk, a village in South Holland.  This village is famous for it's 19 windmills built around 1740.  We walked around and went inside one of the working windmills.  We climbed all the way to the top.  I wore Elsie and she enjoyed the view!  Our next stop was Rotterdam for lunch...Elsie and I had apple pancakes.  YUM!  Pancakes are done amazingly in the Netherlands and I knew I would be a huge fan..I didn't realize how much of a fan Elsie would be as well!  She has her mommy's sweet tooth, for sure!

After lunch, we continued our drive to Amsterdam.  I found a house we could rent for the week.  It had a separate bedroom for Elsie, a big bed for Brian and I, and a loft space for Olivia.  We got groceries from the local store each night and cooked dinner at home once Elsie had gone to bed.  It was perfect for us!  Right on a canal with a beautiful view, peaceful, quiet, and free parking!  We drove to the nearby Park and Ride (5 min away) and parked and took the tram into the city..parking and tram ride for all of us..8 Euro.  That is amazing!!  I was super happy with my find on

Once downtown, we enjoyed strolling the city.  Admiring the buildings  the canals, the people, and the food..of course!!  We had lunch at the Pancake Bakery (thank you Ashley for the recommendation!)  We all shared a bacon and apple pancake and it was out of this world good!!  We toured the Anne Frank House, and if you do this with a baby, strollers and backpacks are not permitted.  So I wore Elsie and enjoyed having her so close for constant kisses  :)  We walked through the Red Light District and enjoyed a hamburger that was super yummy too!  I would be 200 pounds if I lived anywhere in Holland.  

The next day, we went to the Keukenhof to see the flowers.  Although the tulips hadn't bloomed, there were plenty of other flowers to see as we strolled through the park.  The greenhouses were full of tulips though, my favorite flower!  That afternoon, we drove up to Zaanse Schans, which is a small village on the banks of the Zaan river, complete with tidy green houses, real working windmills, and small topical museums such as the Cheese Museum and the Dutch Shoe Museum.  We saw how they made the traditional clogs and Brian bought a pair for yard work.  I got a small pair to hang on our Christmas tree as we have collected ornaments from our travels around Europe.  We bought a bunch of cheese (luckily we had brought a cooler for this!) and Elsie enjoyed all the free samples.

We loved our trip and loved the peacefulness and simple beauty of the Netherlands.  And the pancakes, of course!  :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Trips in June 2012-June 2013

This school year has been a bit slower for trips..
We celebrated Olivia's college graduation in Berlin in August.  We went to Prague again in September and headed to Lake Titisee, Germany for October's long weekend.  Thanksgiving was spent in Garmisch and we stayed close to home for Elsie's first Christmas.  Vienna, Austria in February and the Netherlands for Spring Break were two new places for us!  We loved them both!  This summer we will head to Paris again and then on to Normandy!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Drinking lots of coffee in Vienna, Austria

For the February long weekend, Brian, Elsie and I flew to Vienna.  Vienna was lovely!  We had the best coffee in some of the fanciest coffee shops.  Elsie enjoyed herself and was the perfect little lady eating her banana off fine china.  Unfortunately, Brian got the flu while we were away.  So Elsie and I spent a day sightseeing on our own.  We headed to the National Museum, a great place for a toddler.  And of course more coffee breaks for mommy!  :)  Elsie enjoyed cruising around in her stroller and I enjoyed the sights and sounds of the city.  Vienna was a perfect trip for a long weekend!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Berlin with a Baby!

I feel like I haven't blogged in forever!  We have done some traveling, but to repeat destinations.  We went back to Paris in January and then I had our baby in March.  We traveled to America, but no offense, that donesn't need a blog post.  :)  Since we've returned to Germany, we headed back to Nuremburg and Prague and also hit up Berlin, which was a first.  So, here goes..
Berlin was one of those places that we just had to visit while we lived in Germany.  We didn't feel like we could leave here, never having been.  So we flew up for a few days along with my sister, Olivia, who had just graduted college.  Happy Graduation!  Our hotel was in a great location, within walking distance to the up and coming part of Berlin.  Tons of restaurants and a quick walk to the sites.  We enjoyed just walking around, taking a slower pace now when traveling, and taking in all the sights and people that we probably would have missed had we not been with our little Elsie.  We took out the stroller and carrier most days so she could have a little variety and I had a place to change diapers, keep the diaper bag and my all important water bottle safe.  We spent a day at the Berlin Zoo, which is wonderful.  Although everyone agreed that Stuttgart's Zoo is better.  We also spent some time at the KaDeWe, similar to Harrod's in London.  All in all, it was a nice trip away and the first European trip with Elsie.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving at the beach!

We spent turkey day on the beach off the coast of Africa in the Canary Islands.  We had a great time!  Great weather, great food, and a great find of an apartment by yours truly!  This picture is of the pool area at our place.  We spent the days at the beach and then the later afternoons early evenings enjoying the warm pool water.  We played mini golf one night after dinner and enjoyed a nice walk along the ocean every night back up to our resort.  I highly recommend visiting if you want nothing to do besides beaching it!  :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Our Favorite Trips and Cities

Many people ask us what our favorite trip has been.  I have favorite trips and then favorite cities.  I've shared them here in case you're's hard to narrow it down!
Favorite Cities
1. Paris, France- it's so romantic and I love the eiffel tower and French food
2. London, GB- love the different areas and seeing and hearing English is really nice too!
3. Krakow, Poland- so much to do, cheap shopping, and yummy food!
4. Vilnius, Lithuania- not touristy, quaint and romantic, super cheap to travel there
5. Venice, Italy- love Venice as it's so different and lovely!
Favorite Trips
1. Istanbul, Turkey April 2010- This was my first experience with middle eastern food, culture, people, etc.  Fascinating place!
2. Fez, Morocco Dec. 2010- Fez is unlike anywhere I have ever been.  Magical!
3. Two week long driving trip around Northern Italy Dec. 2009- The driving in Italy is an experience itself.  We visited so many cities on this trip packed into the MINI with the two dogs.  Fun!
4. Greek Isles Aug.2008- Lovely trip, lovely places, love Greece!
5.  Scandinavian/Russian Cruise July 2011- I had always wanted to go on this cruise.  Very cool to visit Russia and I loved Finland especially.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Trips in June 2011-June 2012

Because I arrived here in June of 2008, I typically plan our trips from June to June.  We started the traveling season this year with a Scandinavian cruise to Latvia, Denmark, Russia, Sweden, Norway, and Finland.  In August, we drove down to Italy to celebrate our 4th anniversary in the Cinque Terre Region.  The Fall brought trips to Edinburgh, Scotland; Nancy, France; and Vilnius, Lithuania.  We'll be spending Thanksgiving in the Canary Islands and Christmas in Egypt.  For the second time, I'll ring in a birthday in Paris, France.  Right now, trips for Feb-June 2012 are still in the early planning stages.  Our baby is due in April, so I'm not quite sure where we'll go once we're a party of three.  We are planning a trip to the States in late June..will this be the baby's first trip?  Who knows!  As it is, our lucky little fetus will have been to at least seven different countries traveling in the comfort of my growing belly!  Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, and Normandy are all relatively close by cities that are high on my list to visit.  Trips to Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Southern Ireland are also on my little time, so much to see!