Monthly Archives: July 2013

Europe 2013, day four: Germany, Munich and Garmsich-Partenkirchen

The photographer was quite grumpy after getting no sleep on the sleeper train (how ironic). We fled Munich after the noon playing of the Marienplatz Glockenspiel, but not before climbing the clock tower of St. Peter’s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Peter%27s_Church_%28Munich%29) in which Rachel actually climbed and descended all 300+ steps on her own and A was actually convinced to step outside on the thin ledge at the top of tower. This is the day ended with the “Bavarian cultural evening” (Bayerische Heimatabend) at the local beer tent down the block from our hotel in Garmisch-Patenkirchen, picture posted earlier.

Disclaimer: Our current hotel charges 4‚ā¨ per hour for wifi, so I am uploading this entry hoping it is under my data allowance. I arrive at my cousin’s house Friday night so when I arrive I can hopefully add some pictures to this entry, yesterday’s, and any other entry I might write.1078551_10200528742527578_681796663_o

I left off yesterday with us boarding the train. It was a fun experience but I barely got any sleep. I know it was because I was worried about having to get up at 6 to get off the train at 7. The husband barely had any sleep as well. The kids slept well but they were so excited they stayed up later than they should have. I think if the train arrived around 10 AM I would have had a better experience.

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We arrived in Munich on time. We found Hertz and were informed that we were upgraded to a Mercedes. You gotta love renting a car in Germany. We found the car and put our suitcases in the car. Then we went back to the train station (the car was a couple of blocks away). My poor kids are having trouble finding drinks here in Germany. All they want is plain water or plain juice. Everything seems to have carbonation. My kids don’t drink soft drinks at home so everything tastes strange to them. Anyway, poor Rhubarb just wanted some apple juice so we were searching for that in the train station. I failed her and got her a carbonated apple juice….
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After the failed drink purchase, we took the public transportation into the old part of Munich. We arrived at the Marionplatz right at nine. I found out we could climb to the top of a nearby church (St. Peters) and we did that. I have a big phobia of heights but I did make it to the top! I am glad we did this first – by the time we left Munich the town center was very crowded. I think the kids enjoyed this climb as well.

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After climbing St. Peter’s church we went to the farmers market. I think it is called the Viktualien Market. You could basically find any fruit, vegetable, cheese, meat, or bread that you could possibly need here. It was only around 10 AM at this point. We spent a good time wandering this market and eventually bought food for lunch. We enjoyed eating our food on the benches outside. We noticed that it is never too early to drink beer in Germany. Both myself and my husband passed since we were both tired from the train ride the night before.1085162_10200528784528628_1590649156_o

After we ate I wanted to check out the Hofbrauhas house. We literally just walked through it. I think my family thinks I am crazy. Had we not had a meal at the Viktualien market I think we would have had one here. But in all honesty I think we chose the better option.

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By this point it was almost 12 PM. At 12 PM the figurines in the Marienplatz building come alive for a few minutes. So we went to watch this. After watching this we decided to head out of Munich and towards our lodging in the Alps. The Rhubarb slept for about ten minutes in the car and that was it. She could have used a longer rest.

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The drive down to the Alps was beautiful. I have only walked about two blocks in this town (Garmsich) but I have decided I would like to live here ūüôā We checked into our hotel. Here we have a small apartment that has two bedrooms and a sitting area. Each bedroom has a private balcony with a view of the Alps. I could sit on that balcony all day.

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Once we checked in I did a load of laundry by hand in the hotel sink. Since our room was facing the sun most clothes dried relatively quickly..:.in Berlin I had a problem because we had no direct sun and we got the one hotel room that had no drafts….anyways, the husband had gone to take a nap at this point. So I told the kids that I was taking them out to explore. We walked two blocks into town where they are having a festival this week. Just our luck there was a puppet show starting. So we watched the puppet show for about forty five minutes and then headed back to the hotel room.

I woke up the husband and we eventually headed back to the festival for dinner. This has probably been the most awesome thing we have done on the trip so far. The festival was under a large tent. There was a show at 8 PM and a parade to start the show. The Bavarians were mostly all dressed in traditional Bavarian clothing. The show was a traditional Bavarian show and there were several numbers put on by kids. You could order food and drinks while you watched. So we ordered dinner (which took a while to order). I attempted to order my first Radler but apparently the waiter thought I said Fanta so that is what I got. I am so happy we stumbled upon this festival. This was a genuine show – much better than anything we could have seen at the Hofbrauhas in Munich.

Procession of the festival

Traditional Bavarian dancing

So, now the kids are asleep. Breakfast is served until ten. I have a feeling I will have to force everyone out of bed at nine tomorrow. We are just planning on exploring tomorrow and I am hoping to do an Alpine roller coaster. The Bubba wants to do some hiking.

Did I mention that I would like to move here? I guess I better start learning German

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Categories: City Night Line, Germany, Lodging, Munich | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Europe 2013, day three and a half: Germany, Berlin Lichtenburg train station

1084930_10200528634804885_1533704271_oWe left our hotel early enough to find our night train. We arrived at the train station and it seemed absolutely dead. For a moment we were concerned because we saw no signs of a night train. The husband decided to go check the tracks. Luckily our train was there.

Next I decided to look for dinner. When we arrived at the station there was a German sandwich shop open. I had planned to buy food there but in the time that we found the track and sat down next to our compartment the sandwich place had closed. I whispered to my husband that the kids might be getting dinner from the vending machine.

So right after I tell this to my husband the Rhubarb mentioned that she needed to take care of some business. We go down the set of stairs closest to us and I am thinking we are not going to find a toilet in this small train station. Well going down that other staircase was like crossing over the Berlin Wall. I found a food option that was still open! Back to that later.

So we find the toilet and discover you need a euro to enter. We don’t have that on us. A woman tried to give us her vouchers so we could get in but for some reason it did not work. Just our luck there was a homeless person in the bathroom who let us in. She even got us some toilet paper to use as a paper towel.

Anyway we left the toilet and I discussed the new food option with the husband. I had discovered a McDonalds. Hey – it was better than our other option of a vending machine dinner. I come back with our meal very excited. As we are eating the boy then decides he needs to use the toilet. My husband take him to the bathroom and as they are gone the Rhubarb decides to hold the French fries. She says to me that I promise I know what I am doing. Two minutes later the French fries are on the ground….

It was finally time to board the train. We literally could not all go into the compartment at the same time. Our bags also seemed to take up the entire compartment. I can’t imagine how crowded the room would be if we had huge suitcases. Once we started getting luggage situated I made the kids change into the clothes they are wearing tomorrow. Also – luckily I had packed the suitcase so that I only need to take out what we needed. I can’t imagine going through a packed suitcase trying to find our clothes. Once we check into our Garmisch lodging I am going to have to go through the bags as the contents are all jumbled up now.

So hopefully everyone will sleep. The train gets in at 7 AM. I have a feeling we won’t spend a full day in Munich as everyone will be tired….the plan is to literally wake the kids ten minutes before we arrive. Hopefully the excitement of the train will wake them up without them complaining. ¬†I will leave you with some pictures of us on the night train:
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Categories: Berlin, City Night Line, Munich, Packing Light | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Europe 2013, day three: Germany, Berlin

Berlin Holocaust Memorial, Topography of Terror (large Berlin Wall remnants and museum at ex-Gestapo HQ), Tiergarten (to see the L√∂wenbr√ľcke), Potzdammer Platz, train ride out to Potsdam, and a sleeper car to Munich…. a day that involved at least 13 subway/train legs. I lost count.

After my last post I went to bed. I was immediately awoken to a blaring alarm at 10:45 PM. Being in Berlin, my first immediate thoughts were that I was in World War II since German was blaring and it was late at night. I finally realized it was a hotel fire alarm. Luckily by the time we were about to leave the room we were told to stay in our rooms.

This morning we had breakfast and then headed to the Holocaust monument.   The monument is pretty neat.  It is a bunch of concrete rectangles all of different sizes.  They are also on sloped land so some of the blocks are very large.  There is a museum beneath the monument.  I could have spent several hours in the museum if I had been here without the kids.

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After that we headed to the Tower of Topography. There you could find large segments of the Berlin Wall. ¬†There was also a nice museum here. ¬†Once again, I could have spent all day at this museum if the kids were not with us. ¬†I’d love to go back to Berlin at some point just on my own so I could spend as much time as I wanted in the museums here.

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Next we headed to the Tiergarten park and found a suspension bridge.

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We then went to Potsdam briefly. ¬†When we were in Potsdam we visited the Glienicke ¬†Bridge. ¬†This bridge is also known as the “Bridge of Spies”. ¬†It used to be where the Soviet Union and Western powers exchanged spies and prisoners. ¬†After visiting this bridge we¬†returned to our hotel. We are currently at the hotel and about to leave soon to head to the train station for our overnight train. Hopefully there will be no complications with that.

Bridge of Spies

Bridge of Spies

Categories: Berlin, Germany | Tags: | 2 Comments

Europe 2013, day two: Germany, Berlin

Bundestag Dome, Pergamon Museum of antiquities, Alexanderplatz Television Tower, and other sights.

This morning we woke around 7:30 and had to wake both the kids. The Bubba was hard to wake – he had some problems sleeping and was up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. Rhubarb and I slept through the night.

Breakfast was very nice. It was full of croissants, breads, meats, eggs, etc. We did not have time to fully enjoy it as we needed to get to a tour at 9:30. Tomorrow we have no tours so we should be able to enjoy breakfast more.

We headed out and our first observation of the morning was that there were tons more people out and about since it is a workday. There were lots of bike riders and people zooming in their cars all over the place. The day before the area our hotel is in seemed deserted. That was not the case this morning.
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We made it to our tour of the Reichstag dome. It was pretty neat inside and there were views of the whole city there. After that we decided to head to the Pergamon museum. We decided to walk….the walk was longer than expected and I had to carry the Rhubarb 66% of the walk. Once we got to the museum there was a HUGE line to get tickets. I am very thankful I bought the Berlin welcome card. I originally did not plan on buying the Museum pass in Paris but after seeing the line people without passes were in I think the pass might be worth it. I have no desire to wait in a two hour line for tickets to a museum.

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We went into the museum and saw some pretty impressive things such as Roman altars and the Gate of Babylon. They give you a headset so you can listen to each object as you get to it. We probably could have spent all day there if we wanted to – but we did a very quick tour. By this time everyone was hungry and thirsty and tired from our walk. So we saw the highlights and then left to find lunch.

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We ate outside at a restaurant along the Spree river. As we were eating it started to pour but we all kept dry under a large umbrella. We ordered apple juice for the kids, a water for myself, and a beer for the husband. I would have ordered wine but I was so thirsty I needed water. Anyways we decided to split a hamburger and french fries and a chicken Cesar salad. When the hamburger came out we have what we now refer to as the “Terror of condiments”. There was a strange sauce on the burger and bun. And they forgot to bring out the ketchup. Anyone who knows me knows I am a super picky eater and to see something unexpected and unasked for puts me in a big panic. Ketchup is also one of the staples in my diet. I eventually got some ketchup and did my best to scrape the mystery sauce off my lunch, much to the embarrassment of my husband. In fact the whole incident may inspire him to create his own blog….

So we finished lunch and then decided to head to the television tower to go to the top. The Bubba had been wanted to ride a tram we kept seeing so he finally got to do that to Alexander Platz where the television tower is. We had to wait an hour to go up. The husband and the kids went up while I chose to sit this one out due to my fear of heights.

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After the husband and kids went up the television tower we got some ice cream. We got three single scoop cones – it only cost 3‚ā¨. I was impressed – we must have found a non touristy ice cream place. We then boarded a bus for a two hour tour around Berlin. It was pretty good timing as Rachel ended up napping for half the tour. The weather had cleared up and we sat on the top deck of the bus. Conditions felt perfect.

View of Berlin.

View of Berlin

We got back to our room around 6:30 and then decided we were too tired for dinner so I headed to the German grocery store so we could eat dinner in the room. That was a different experience. In the states there are so many checkout lines and cashiers. This one only had two. Also choices were so much more limited than they are in the US. I noticed the candy prices for Haribo were significantly cheaper than what we pay in the US.

Finally, one other observation I have had today – there do not seem to be a lot of Americans here. I wonder if that will change as we get to cities like Munich, Amsterdam, and Paris. Rhubarb has asked me if we can move to Europe which I have already agreed to. Of course I don’t take her too seriously as immediately after asking that she asks if we can go back to the hotel room.

Categories: Berlin, Germany | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Europe 2013, day one: Germany, Berlin

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A few hours of roaming around Berlin after a 22-hour trek (DC-Newark-Dusseldorf-Berlin) and a 4-hour nap.

We took a cab from the airport to the hotel. It took my husband ten minutes to get the Bubba off the plane. They were literally the last ones off. He crashed the minute we boarded our second flight.

We arrived at our hotel and were so thankful to be able to check in early. Immediately after checking in we told the kids it was time to nap. I was slightly concerned because both kids napped some on the flights but neither parent did. Fortunately both went to sleep fairly quickly. I had set my alarm for 2:30 and woke up at 2:22. While everyone was still sleeping I took a shower. I starter opening the curtains to the room and gradually people started waking up. The kids had taken four hour naps. The Bubba was still pretty hard to rouse and I though Rhubarb was in pretty good spirits….The cab driver was really nice and even had boosters in his car. He did not speak a lot of English but he spoke enough to point out significant sites.

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I immediately realized I was wrong about Rhubarb. She immediately started complaining that she was hot and hungry. Our initial plan was to get a late lunch but we had to change that plan. Rhubarb was complaining about being hot. Bubba wanted to get on a metro train somewhere. So we promised them after we got to our first attraction we would get them a snack and then go on a train.

More of the Berlin wall

More of the Berlin wall

The first attraction we saw was Checkpoint Charlie. It just happens there is a McDonald’s right behind the checkpoint. By this time both kids were complaining so we went to Mickey D’s not because the kids wanted to but because I knew what to expect in there and at this point I was just trying to make the kids happy. So three of us had McFlurries.

Standing in front of a piece of the Berlin wall

Standing in front of a piece of the Berlin wall

Next we headed to the Brandenburg Gate. We had to walk a few blocks from the S-bahn stop. Rhubarb was not doing well at this point. We had to alternate carrying her. Finally Bubba and husband walked ahead of us. Eventually Rhubarb spotted a fountain. We headed straight for it and we both got wet from the spray, which seemed to make her perk up a little.

The Brandenburg gate

The Brandenburg gate

We caught up with the boys in front of Brandenburg gate. Rhubarb was still a little grumpy and at some point I think she asked if she could take pictures with my phone. Once I agreed to this she was in a much better mood. Now if I want her cooperation I tell her I need her to take my picture. There are also a bunch of bear statues around Berlin so I tell her if she finds one she can take my picture with the bear.

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We left the Brandenburg Gate and headed to the Reichstag which is a block away. The dome was closed today but hopefully opening back up tomorrow. I went to get tickets for tomorrow at what looked like a relatively small line that we thought would move fast. I was wrong. It was the world’s slowest shortest line ever. The guy told me that normally it is a two hour wait to get tickets to go into the Reichstag. I think it took us about 45 minutes to get our tickets. The husband had taken the kids to wait in the shade while I waited in the sun. Anyway we go back tomorrow morning at 9:30 to go into the dome.

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After getting those tickets it was now 7:00 PM. We decided to head back to the hotel. Either way back to the hotel involved two transfers on the train. We chose the way that took us through the main train station and decided to get dinner there too. On the way to the train station we found another fountain so we let Rhubarb stop and play again. Every time we find a fountain I will make sure we stop for Rhubarb. That is her thing.

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Rhubarb playing in a fountain

Rhubarb playing in a fountain

So eventually we made it to the main train station. The kids enjoyed watching all of the trains and it was a very impressive building. We went to the food court area where I had Pizza Hut and the kids had Burger King. You can tell we are really branching out and trying the German food. We do plan to eat at real restaurants but today is all about keeping everyone happy.

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So, we then headed back to our hotel. We had to change trains at Alexander Platz which we discovered is right next to the Television tower in Berlin. We took pictures but did not go up in it. We might possibly go up in it tomorrow.

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The kids went to bed relatively easy at 10:00 PM. On the agenda for sure tomorrow is the Reichstag building. I think I want to go to Potsdam to see the palace there but also because it is a long U-bahn ride. The kids really enjoy riding any sort of metro train. I would also like to make sure we see the Pergamon museum before we leave and the Berlin Wall that is still standing. We are also talking about doing one of those tour buses. The weather tomorrow should be much cooler than today – a high of 77 with good chance of rain versus a high of 95 with no rain (today).

The kids and I on a Berlin subway train.

The kids and I on a Berlin subway train.

Categories: Berlin, Germany | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Europe 2013, day zero: The journey so far

The boys on the train.

The boys on the train

We left our house promptly at 7:45 and were very thankful that my cousin was able to take us to the Amtrak station. She complimented us on our packing skills. We have two suitcases that could qualify as carry-on, a book bag, and a snack bag (necessary on a 21 hour journey). Our train left promptly at 9:25 AM. The train was uneventful and the trip flew by. We arrived at the Newark airport at 12:25 PM. We took the sky train and checked our baggage in and then went through security. Both of those had no lines. I am not used to that. Every other time I have flown international I have waited in incredibly long lines. Security said it was because we were on their first flight out for the day. Once we got through security we went to look for lunch. Unfortunately we only had a choice of two restaurants.

One of the two bags we packed.

One of the two bags we packed

The other bag we packed, being pulled by the Rhubarb.

The other bag we packed, being pulled by the Rhubarb

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We then boarded our flight at 3:40. Families were allowed to board first. I was excited that we were still in the bulkhead seats.

No one reclining on us!

No one reclining on us!

No one to recline on us during the flight. The flight was prepared to depart early but could not because we would have arrived in Dusseldorf before 6 AM which is not allowed. We are on Lufthansa and so far the service has been great. Three of us are watching our own movies on our own personal TVs. As we started our entertainment the flight attendants came by with snacks and free drinks. I am enjoying a glass of white wine as I type this. Next they came through with hot towels. They talk to us in German first. I am sure as the flight goes on they will talk to us in English first.

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I am hoping after we have dinner that the kids will be ready to try to go to sleep. Dinner is being served now. I pre-ordered the kids a meal and my husband and I had regular meals. Both provided plenty of options for everyone to find something they will eat. They also refilled my wine when they brought the dinner.

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It is going to be a long day. I finally convinced Rhubarb to sleep some but it will probably only be an hour nap. The rest of us did not sleep any…..

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We are now in the Dusseldorf airport waiting for our final flight. Since we were in the front of the plane we were one of the first getting through security. That was very easy – no forms to fill out and they just stamped our passports. Rhubarb has declared that she does not need to take a nap when we get to the hotel because she napped on the plane. Apparently she is going to take herself out on the town by herself. Meanwhile I have been accused of looking like the Unabomber with my present appearance. I like to put my hood over my eyes….not to mention my eye mask and my neck pillow add to my look. It’s not like I can understand anyone making fun of me.

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I called the hotel at 8 AM Dusseldorf time and as of right now they have no rooms available. Hopefully this will change by the time we arrive around eleven.

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We were able to check in early. Room is plenty big for us. Trying to get everyone to nap now. The Bubba fell asleep on the last plane ride and it took us ten minutes to wake them.

Hoping to head out to see Checkpoint Charlie later and the Bradenberg gate.

Categories: Airplanes, Amtrak | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The 21 hour journey

By the time we reach our destination, we will have been travelling for 21 hours Рwith a 4 year old and a 7 year old.  Germany is six hours ahead of us.  How does it take 21 hours to get to Germany from where I live you ask?  Here is a timeline of our travels:

  • 7:45 AM – Depart our house for Amtrak station
  • 9:25 AM – Train departs Amtrak for Newark (tickets were half the price than other airports to fly out of Newark…hence why we leave from there)
  • 4:30 PM – Depart Newark
  • 6:00 AM –¬†Arrive in Dusseldorf (12:00 midnight our time)
  • 8:40 AM – Depart Dusseldorf (2:40 AM our time)
  • 9:55 AM – Arrive Berlin (3:55 AM our time)
  • 11:00 AM – Arrive at lodging (5:00 AM our time)

It should be interesting. ¬†Will the substantial savings we obtained by flying out of Newark and connecting through Dusseldorf be worth the inconvenience? ¬†On the plane the kids will have their own entertainment devices. ¬†And on the train we can at least use ourentertainment devices and be plugged in at the same time. ¬†The boy is also starting to come around to wanting to sleep on the plane because I’m reminding him that if he gets no sleep then once we arrive he will need to sleep. ¬†He wants to arrive and see something.

So РI will probably make updates when we are stateside, but once we check into our lodging I am hitting the sack.  I think our lodging in Berlin has wi-fi though so I should eventually be able to post.

Oh Рdid I mention when we land it is supposed to be 95 degrees in Berlin?  They rarely have temperatures that high.  Just our luck the day we arrive they have a heat spell.   The other days in Berlin temperatures are supposed to be around 77 so that should be nice.

Categories: Airplanes, Amtrak, Kids | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Welcome

If you are just starting to follow my blog now, welcome.

I primarily started this blog so I can write about our trip to Europe that we are taking soon (July 27). We are bringing our kids, Bubba and Rhubarb with us. If they were not coming with us then nobody would really care about our trip (well, they would care but not as much). But since they are coming with us the grandparents and aunts and uncles want to see pictures and read about the trip. I figured a blog was a good way for me to post pictures, keep them informed, and also document our trip (assuming I have a wi-fi connection of course).

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The Rhubarb

Our trip is a two week trip visiting Europe. We will visit Germany for a little more than a week and then spend a couple of days in the Netherlands and a couple of days in Paris. The initial plan of the trip was to just visit Germany, but we could not go to Europe for the first time with the kids and not also see two special people in their lives, both who want to show our kids their country. We plan to rent a car for some of the trip and travel by train for some of the trip. Some of the trip we are staying with friends and family, some of the trip we are staying in hotels.

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The Bubba

The kids are 7 (Bubba) and 4.75 (Rhubbarb). Bubba is most excited for the Eiffel Tower, eclairs, and Haribo candy. Rhubarb does not know what to expect. I think she is just hoping she can be bribed to smile in pictures in exchange for a lot of ice cream. Both kids are hoping for a day at Disneyland Paris, but that has yet to be decided. I am most excited to watch the kids see Europe. The best summer I ever had was the summer I spent in Tokyo living with my uncle. Being able to witness different cultures and being in a country where English is not the primary language was amazing to me. I loved it. I can’t wait to see the kids experience this. Bubba has asked questions about how we’ll communicate abroad. I am eager to point out the differences in languages and architecture and food as we travel about. I can’t wait to ride the European trains.

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Rhubarb and me

Anyway, while I primarily started this blog to document our trip I have added my thoughts about other things to this blog. I grew up in a Type A family where everything was planned to the minute and itineraries and reservations were booked for every day of travel. Checking luggage was never an option. Sleeping in on vacation was never an option. When I go on a vacation I want to see as much as I can see. I figure I can always sleep when I get home ūüôā I think part of the fun of a vacation is planning the vacation and looking forward to that vacation. This trip has been on the horizon since September. I have had since then to dream and plan for this upcoming trip.

So, hopefully you will join us on our adventures as I update this blog. I love “traveling” with others on their trips by reading blogs or seeing Facebook statuses. And hopefully I can find wi-fi sites daily…if not you might have to wait a few days for an update. Here is a link to our itinerary: 2013 European vacation

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Cell phone and wi-fi information

Another item I have spent time researching is cell phone and wi fi coverage. I have read horror stories about cell phone bills when people return from abroad. I am going to do my best to only post and check email while connected to wi-fi but I still want to make sure I have a backup plan in place. My cell phone provider is with Verizon. For $25 a month Verizon offers a global data plan. This plan only includes 100 mb of data….I am used to 2 gb of data a month so this is a pretty big change for me. Regardless, I think this data plan will at least help me out when I have no wi-fi connection. The representative also told me to power down my phone and power it back up shortly before I leave so that my phone picks up the latest cell phone towers (or something like that). I am also planning on resetting my data usage on my phone so that I can see how much I have used.

I also started exploring wi-fi providers. I have used Boingo in the past in airports and I decided to look into them some more. I learned that for a fee of $7.95 a month I can get wi-fi coverage on up to two mobile devices. I think this is a pretty good deal. The Newark airport uses Boingo as a wireless provider. We will be there for three hours before our flight. I know I will want to go online there. There are some disadvantages though to Boingo. I know they have access points in Europe but I really need to be connected wirelessly to find an access point. Plus the access points might not be too convenient. Still, $7.95 a month for two devices is a price I am willing to pay. I was not willing to pay the $35 a month Europe price which covered computers as well. I think chances are I will use Boingo in Newark and maybe only once or twice in Europe.

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Go Orange – plans for the Netherlands

We have two full days to explore the Netherlands. The one thing I knew I really wanted to do there was the Anne Frank house. I pretty much was leaving all other plans up to my Dutch friend Angie. This past weekend she sent me the proposed itinerary and it looks awesome. This is what she has proposed:

“Morning/ afternoon

Boat trip from Rotterdam, Erasmusbridge to Kinderdijk (www.kinderdijk.nl), 30 min, world heritage site with lots of mills, we can rent bikes there (children’s bikes, seats and helmets are available) and bike to the mills and visit a mill. I’ll reserve the bikes in advance a week before, depending on the weather.

If the weather is very bad, we’ll do more indoor stuff in Rotterdam or Schiedam (mills, and small city like Leiden)

Afternoon/evening
In the late afternoon, depending on the weather, we can go to Madurodam (miniature Netherlands) in The Hague (30min car ride) and have dinner there on the beach or in Rotterdam, at my house or my sister’s house.

Next day Amsterdam / Volendam

Morning/ early afternoon
Day on a Canal boat hop on hop off, first stop Anne Frank House (tickets for 10.40), then back on the boat and see where we want to get off, the boat stops in several places, but it takes the same routes that the canal tour beats do and they give information on what you see. That way we don’t have to walk a lot with the kids and still see a lot of stuff.

Afternoon
(Confidential activity)

Evening
Back to Rotterdam, dinner on the way back at Mcdonalds? Or in Rotterdam or at my house. “
(Side note – Angie came on our trip out West last year and since then the kids have been fascinated with how the Dutch pronounce McDonald’s….Angie promised them they could visit one in the Netherlands if we ever visited her there).

I think her ideas are pretty great. I am really excited about Kinderdijk as I think the kids will learn a lot about how the mills work and how the Netherlands handles water.

The only thing I need to squeeze into her itinerary is a stop at the porcelain factory in Delft for me to pick up a souvenir to add to my collection ūüôā

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